Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Numbers Game

I often hear from other widowed people who are thinking about dating again that they only want to date another widowed person as it would be better to date someone who "gets" it.  I certainly understand this and at one time I was one of them. 

When I first started to entertain the idea of dating again, I contacted someone through Craigslist who had stated in his profile he had lost his partner.  It only took three e-mails back and forth to realize we had shared grief but nothing else in common.  I told him I was sorry but I didn't feel we would have a connection and wished him the best.  Since then, I have met several awesome widowers-one of whom has become a great friend-but none of whom I am compatible enough with outside of shared grief to have a successful relationship.  In addition to that, I find our conversations tend to center around our late partners, and while it is great to be able to talk freely about James, I want my relationship to center around us while respecting the past that led us to each other.

Dating, regardless of your circumstances, is a numbers game.  And when it comes to being widowed young, the odds for dating a fellow widowed person are greatly in favor of the widower.  I have read the ratio of young widows to widowers is anywhere from 7:1 to 12:1.  Curious, I looked at the stats for my Meetup group, as that is the only thing for which I have hard statistics to use for a basis.  Currently, the ratio of widows to widowers is 3.39:1.  I was a little surprised it was actually this close as the ratio of women to men at our monthly dinners is closer to 7:1.  Historically, the ratio of members who have attended at least one dinner since I started the group in July 2008 is 5.38:1.  Only 30.7% of the widowers have ever attended a dinner compared to 48.8% of the widows, meaning over half the members have joined the group but have never joined in (typical for Meetup groups of any kind).  Historically, the ratio of widows to widowers who have attended more than one dinner is an even 5:1. 

So far for 2012, the ratio of members who have viewed the site to see when and where we are meeting is 3.82:1.  Fifty-three members have viewed the site, which represents 46.4% of the group total.  Only 14.9% of the group members have attended at least one dinner so far this year; the ratio of widows to widowers is almost 50/50.  However, two widowers just joined the group last week and while they attended tonight's dinner, there is no history for them and nothing to indicate at this point if they will attend another dinner.

This makes me glad that I am not dead set on dating a widower.  I'm finding the odds of just meeting someone with whom there is mutual interest and attraction are pretty slim.  This area has an overabundance of single women (in general) in the age range of 30-45 compared to the number of men in that same range.  If I stick to just the widowers, well, I might as well buy another dog in preparation for my life as the crazy dog lady at the end of the block.

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