Dilemma: after being widowed my friends keep trying to set me up

Jo Brand / 05 January 2018

After recently being widowed a reader is starting to dread the matchmaking that goes on at social events organised by her friends and family.

Dilemma: my friends and family keep trying to partner me off

I was recently widowed after a 40-year marriage to a man I loved very much. At 63, I have no desire for a new relationship. But my friends and family are bent on ‘partnering’ me off.

How can I tell my friends and family that I dread social occasions for fear of being match-made?

Jo Brand's advice

Oh dear, living in fear of having ‘eligible’ men launched at you over the prawn cocktail for the next few years? I feel your pain. I think the best way to deal with this is humour – to be honest, I would feel a bit fed up if I’d tried to tell my friends and family and they’d refused to listen.

Your friends and family seem to come from the school of You’re-Nothing-Without-a-Man – a school so old-fashioned that it’s almost extinct – so you need to bring them up to date. Here are your options as I see them.

Practise a little humorous speech to reprise at your next few gatherings, which makes it perfectly clear that you do not require the presence of a new partner in your life, adding maybe, “And even if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be asking you lot to find me someone!”

Tell them you’ve realised you’re gay. If they’re as old fashioned as they sound, that’ll shut them up.

Tell them you’ve met someone who isn’t ready to meet them. This could be good fun to keep going for a bit, if you’re someone who likes to indulge in a little creative fantasy. Then your fantasy partner, let’s call him Derek, could give you the boot/emigrate etc, somewhere down the line.

I sense you shrinking in horror from all of the above options. You could always write a heartfelt letter and send it to the relevant parties. This gives you a chance to say what you really want without anyone interrupting. Job done.

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