Two Sense: Is It Wrong to Use Grief to Get Women?


My wife died three years ago and I went through a long grieving process during which I was celibate and completely uninterested in dating. Recently I've attempted to get back out there, and the very first woman I dated seemed--shall we say--very interested in getting me "back on the horse," so to speak, after hearing that I'd been abstinent for so long. The experience was healing for me, and she felt great about it afterwards as well. Now, as I meet new women, I'm tempted to also tell them about my long period of celibacy, since it seems to have been some kind of turn-on, or perhaps it made me look trustworthy or loyal to my wife. The thing is, of course, I'd be kind of lying, since the abstinence is over, and of course I don't want to use my beloved deceased wife to get laid. Is it wrong to bring up my period of abstinence now that it's officially over?

He Said: Coming up with a dating narrative is generally a good thing, as long as it does not stray too far from reality. It helps convey to your dates where you are emotionally at the same time it helps you provide a sense of meaning to the otherwise random dating process. In fact, the more elaborate the story, the better. However, while the celibacy narrative needs to be sexy right now, it must also be believable in the future, in case you become more emotionally intimate with one of the people you tell it to. So make sure you frame it carefully, avoiding outright fibs. Basically, you'll need to be able to laugh about it with your partner years from now when you look back at the early days of your dating. As for your beloved wife, why not use her memory to get laid? Her cold, dead body is not otherwise helping increase the ratio of pleasure on earth. If she was worth her salt as a partner she'd want nothing but the best for your future. Good luck!

She Said: First off, I think you need to know that your period of celibacy will be a turn-on for some women, bringing out their nurturing sides, easing down their guards, and allaying any of their own sexual insecurities (a guy who hasn’t had it for three years is bound to be happy with pretty much anything, right?). For other women, it may actually be a turn-off, or at best, evoke a neutral response. So just because it worked with one woman doesn’t necessarily mean it will continue to be a ticket to ride, so to speak. But overall, it does speak well of you in several intuitive ways: that you loved your wife, that you didn’t use sex as a means of escaping your grief, and most of all, that your heart and groin are closely connected—a trait we women generally value. Of course you can continue to “use” the story, since it is yours. Something akin to, “I didn’t see or sleep with anyone for three years after my wife died, and I’ve just recently begun dating again,” is still true and valid at this point. A year from now, not so much. Just don’t say or do anything to make your next partner assume she is the first woman you are sleeping with since your wife.

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