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So - my partner died in 20. Grief and loneliness have been hard to take, but I’m enduring, and I’m starting to think about a new relationship, in other words, dating. The ratio of single women to single men my is about a million to one. Normally there were a few organizations and hobby groups in my town where I could go meet people. But because of Covid, dating apps are about the safest way for people to meet. Even on this site secularists are so sparse that men I’d like to meet live so far away that I can’t even contemplate starting a conversation, let alone projecting a future relationship. I don’t think I’m being too picky - there’s just a lot of obstacles between California and Florida. So when I’ve looked on OKCupid, Bumble and Match, it’s possible to filter out most religious folk, but sometimes the profiles say wiggle words that obscure their orientation such as “other,” “Christian but I’m laughing about it,” or my new nemesis, “spiritual.” I got into a discussion with an otherwise nice man this morning about Christopher Hitchens and I think he thought I was challenging his faith. I didn’t think I was, but it left me feeling defensive and depressed.
So does anyone have experience with navigating this landscape? What works? How do you meet people? Is it appearance, or is the bio as important?

Wendy91602 5 Jan 29

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So sorry for your loss. I'm a widow of two years... although it feels like 4 due to cancer devastating my poor husband.
I joined an online dating site after talking to my Karate son who is a professor in cyber security. He gave me red flags to watch for and questions to ask for the vetting process.
I haven't dated since 1988... so I was clueless. However, I decided to jump in and be very upfront on my profile.
My first sentences were...
I am an Agnostic Atheist and politically progressive. I believe in getting the hard topics out of the way right from the start so we don't waste each other's time. I'm a relationship person... no games and I believe strongly in monogamy. If you haven't noticed... I'm not afraid to speak my mind.

I found a wonderful gentleman who responded, "I agree. Less time to waste at our age. Now I'm even more interested in getting to know you"
Vetted him thoroughly and we are going strong.

Be upfront with exactly what you want. Good luck to you.

I love your first sentences. If I ever go back into the online dating thing I am going to approach in the same way.

I met someone back in November on FaceBook Dating. (I only did it because it was free).

I too put Atheist on my profile. Had a couple of conversations with a couple of ladies. My atheism was not even brought up ( maybe women don't read the profiles either...? LOL j/k)

Enter Jennifer. She saw the atheist tag, was curious and we connected.
And like we are ! Tight as can be !

She had Agnostic in her profile, but almost right away gave that up and said "yeah, I'm an atheist, I just could not go there in my profile".

Ultimately, for me Atheist was a Great Filter / attraction


I went back on POF last year in a fit of boredom and met one man during the year. I deleted my profile in December. Men contacted me in a positive manner because of my pictures--they seldom bothered to read my profile. They contacted me to tell me that I am the spawn of the devil because I led off with I hated Trump.

The one man I met did not understand that when I said I was not looking for a relationship, I meant it. Some men think that is also "wiggle" room and that all women really want a man in their lives even if they say that they don't.

Meeting men on or offline is not a problem, not even at my great age of 68. Young men have older women fantasies and old men just want a woman--and if they find her attractive, so much the better.

Be picky. If you meet someone from online, proceed slowly and make sure that you both want the same things. Sometimes, this apparent right away, but I wasn't sure what the guy whom I met last year wanted. It was the third or fourth meeting that it became apparent.


I think he was thinking you were challenging his faith, you are right there. If anyone is comfortable in his/her faith they they would not worry about what others think about it. He was not the person for you. Take it easy, no reason to rush, find happiness in everything you do. Good luck.


There is sage advice here! I've become pickier the longer I've been on dating apps. Any hint of religion and located too far away are non-starters for me. Unfortunately, you will encounter scammers on this site and others. I have. Good luck. 🙂

JGal Level 7 Jan 30, 2021

My condolences on your recent loss, and that you're contemplating dating.
I've been single since '97; didn't date for 12 years, then tried a few first dates, the last was 5 years ago. Weirdly, I've been hit-on at multiple funerals. Also, if there are 100 people in a room, I'll attract a musician. Broke, homeless, ego-sensitive and unfaithful musos.

I recently phone-chatted with a 'spiritual not religious' theist (whom I'd met a year ago at a funeral). He is a still-handsome, retired TV celebrity & musician (a home-owner, strangely). He had confidence & a generous laugh; but then, when he relaxed ... the ingrained racism oozed out of him, and I ended it swiftly. He had also been exceptionally snarky about vegans (I'm only aspiring to be one); guilt, I guess.

In general, I'd rather be alone, than with a right wing, Trump supporting, theist, bigot & racist who is arrogantly intolerant of those living more ethically than themselves. How could one trust them to not be a closet chauvinist and abuser?

With first dates with strangers, one has to be very careful about one's safety. (Photos, phone numbers, numberplates, location check-ins, all sent to friends' phones; and tell the guy you're doing it.) I rarely meet strangers; everyone knows everyone, and that's just awkward after a disappointing encounter! 😁

Online dating tried, was not for me. A repository of out-of-date photos & inept liars. Noyes from my experience: Recent photos of close up face, no dark specs, are key, for both genders (and a few extra photos, hats off & full body). Some decent guys have crappy bios. If they're a "uni graduate" with a poor bio, be suspicious. A good bio, is a great start (he's literate, or has a daughter who cares & wants you for her dad). Your bio, consider their daughters reading it. Be explicit about atheism & other key stuff; attracted opposers will want to convert you, but they soon expose themselves.

And, don't give home address, personal identity info. Even after phone/video chats, or meeting them briefly. AND never ever send money!!!
Good luck Wendy!


sometimes the hardest part is just remaining open to what's next. all the best.


I haven't been on a dating site for about 3 years. My bio said I was an atheist and a liberal. Thanks look at the creatures and Republicans contacted me because many men evidently don't read your bio they just look at your picture. A few right wingers contacted me to yell at me and call me a communist. In other words it's worked me one on one of those sites. No matter what you do about being upfront about what you're looking for and who you are there will be people who are there that are not upfront. I was surprised at how many men lied about their age and how an accurate their pictures were. I think in a couple of years on POF I only had second dates with two guys. I still remember the guy that said he was a Baptist under religion but contacted me anyway. When I asked him about why he was contacting an atheist since he was a Baptist he said he was not really a Baptist he just put that down because he thought most women in his area were Baptists. He was also a Republican but told me he wouldn't keep me from going to my Democratic meetings. We never went anywhere together.


Welcome to the asylum. Enjoy your stay.

Sorry you lost your partner, that sucks.

As far as how to navigate dating, I have nothing to offer you but best wishes and good luck.

I've lost all interest in pursuing any new relationship. I'm done.


My most sincere condolences on your loss and I hope these words may be of some comfort to you,
"While there is one who will speak my name I shall never be forgotten, " - Cherokee Indian saying.
Although your partner may not be with you in corporeal form any longer, he will be with you in your memories of him, cherish them, treasure the good ones and hold them dear to you always.


It's been many years since I've been on a dating app but when I was on, I found that most men focus their attention on the appearance of a possible romantic partner more than beliefs, and that you can't really trust what people put as their religious beliefs, unless they identify as atheist.

I found that many older men categorized themselves as Christian simply because that's the religion they were raised with even though they don't really believe it anymore and they felt they would attract a wider swath of interested partners if they identified as religious. Even those who listed themselves as "spiritual" state some strange beliefs that were hard to stomach, likely due to the high number of new age woo-woo types in my area, so they were hedging their bets that way. It was very rare to find any man who straight out identified themselves as atheist or agnostic, freethinker or none. I believe that is because they feared narrowing the field too much.

My feeling is that there is still too much stigma attached to atheism, so the more good people who confidently identify openly as such, the wider the field of choices for those looking to date will be.

I remember there were some sites for atheist singles or some such name, but there were none in the selections for my geographic area, so I didn't bother.

My advice is to not pay too much attention to the religious category just in case they are not being totally honest to increase their chances, but pay attention to whether they cite God or have other religious references in their bio. You can screen possible closet atheists by personal messaging. If nothing else, you are sharing the idea that beautiful atheist women with good taste and happy attitudes are indeed looking for the same in romantic partners. 🙂

Beware though when screening for possible atheists in hiding that they aren't just giving you a line and pretending to be what you want, to get what they want, and you find out later they were lying to you the whole time. I did have that happen to me a time or two. 😉


Sorry for your loss. Try dating a Pagan


I’m very grateful for the thoughtful and candid responses to my questions. It sounds like you’re all saying it’s not my imagination; dating really is a minefield. But I’m glad to hear that at least a few of us have found new partners, and that life can still be fun and interesting once grief gets past the paralysis stage regardless of marital status.
There was a typo in my original post. My partner died in 2016, four and a half years ago. He was only 68.
I’ve figured out that if I ever have another partner, it won’t be the same as the partnership I had before. I’m also grateful that I understand humans are social animals, and the craving to bond with another doesn’t mean I’m weak or shallow.

For sakes not, ‘weak or shallow!’ Best of luck to you!


For the past year, a "glitch" on has been deleting numbers and words from posts.

Especially numbers: 2016 becomes "20" or vanishes entirely. It's not your fault.


I'm sorry for your loss, and wish you the best. 🙂


All I can say is hang in there, girl! Be yourself. I understand the frustration of the sites you addressed, so many exploiters! I certainly am no expert, but have abanonded all sites except this one after losing my wife three and a half years ago. It's hatder now with covid running our lives so don't be in a hurry! I believe I have found someone on this site, we have not yet met in person but reading her posts let me know that we share the same basic outlook on life and if it never works out we will still be friends!!!


That old saying about having to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince is one of the truest things i know...and am not even wanting to get married or live together!

did u know that after every partner u have sexually unprotected with the sea ya man

after every partner it leaves behind his DNA inside and that thought alone is kinda gross eh!?

@HeAdAkE i Preach all the time about how women in the over-70 category are the fastest-growing HIV-Positive group in the country, and have been for well over a decade. I said KISS, not fuck, you fool!


i don't understand why u need to call me names

i did nothing but offer my words and i never seek to hurt

and im reasonably intelligent and open and honest

why are u so harsh?

u may seem to have "red flags" all over you, jus sayin, i tell it how it is and i have wicked good intuition

@AnneWimsey why do u preach that all the time?

doesnt seem to be related to anything i said

perhaps its suppose to be an "aha" moment for me?

uhh not a chance, stick to the subject when u offer a rebuke or whatever u call it


I'm no expert (to say the least) but here's some advice that came to mind while reading your post: try not to take it too seriously. Mistakes and mis-steps don't really matter, and every mistake is a lesson.



It was jarring quickly meeting lots of men. Through online dating I have met 100-120 men. Seventy-five percent of the men pushed for sex on the first date. Over 80 percent of men (and women) post old photos and lie about their age, weight, profession, height, etc. Shocking.

I insist on a phone conversation before meeting. Most men do good phone. A few turned out severely quiet and withdrawn in person. It's boring to provide all of the conversation topics and humor.

For a first meet, I prefer meeting for lunch (daylight) in a quiet restaurant. Sit at the table so you aren't directly facing each other. This reduces tension and makes it feel less like a job interview.

I slowed this freight train down. Decided to spend more time with one person, once he met my basic screening:

Intelligent, good sense of humor, Democrat, good manners, respectful, courteous, fit, fun, athletic and also loves hiking.

Most people can hold it together for about three weeks. Then bad behavior starts, the same bad behavior that tanked their last relationships.

By spending more time together, I get to know the person better and we build rapport. I discovered things about him that were not initially apparent.

In most cases, people’s unique traits and values are difficult to recognize, let alone appreciate, in an initial encounter. There are just too many things going through our minds to fully take in what makes that person special and interesting.

Excellent. Thank you. I’m sure people put their best foot forward. My weakness is that I let my imagination run away with me, and I think there is something wrong with me rather than I’m just not what that person is looking for, let alone that he’s a psycho and I’ve gotten off lightly. I need to tell myself to remember I’m at least safe and comfortable, if lonely, and that’s not bad at all.


You're welcome, Wendy. Remember to listen to your gut.

I arrive early and tell the wait person I'm meeting a stranger. Essentially it's a blind date.

"Can a staff member walk me to my car if things go south?" I ask. They always say yes.

It helps me relax knowing employees have my back.


Try POF (Plenty of Fish) if you want to feel like there are more single men than women in the world. I averaged about 8 new contacts per day when I was active and I'm far from my attractive prime. The problem was that almost all of them were creeps who were more interested in getting laid than finding out what I might want to get out of a relationship.

I've moved toward singles groups and other social groups instead of dating apps. The dating apps create a certain dynamic that doesn't necessarily foster a healthy long-term relationship.

There are some good singles groups on Facebook and other social sites. Meetup can help you find local groups to get involved in and most are using Zoom these days so you don't have worry about social distancing. Of course that isn't as nice as meeting in person but it gives you a way to get involved at least. Also try Nextdoor to meet people who are nearby.


My favorite joke was by Henny Young men who would say to the audience " take my wife for instance. Sombody please take my wife"
She put me to the curb after 45 years . I was on the street for a ten days then in a hospital . Boarding houses for now.
Someone did take her . An internet friend she hasnt even meet in six months.
I hope you have positive thoughts going forward . You owne this life and go for it.


It takes work! I found that I couldn’t work that hard. But a friend who’s husband died, was very serious and DID put in the work and is happily coupled.
On your depression or grief...this emotional state is going to effect how you perceive certain remarks. It is a brain and nervous system thing. Watch your diet, exercise and keep yourself balanced...nothing is just black & white, etc. Get to know some fellows and just enjoy yourself for a while. So sorry about your dear one’s passing.
Best of luck, 🤗


Sorry to hear of the loss of your partner. I don't know about dating sites as I opted not to try those. I know some people on this site have connected, but like you said the distance sometimes can make things impossible. Those willing to move might find it easier. I wish you the best in your search.


Sorry for your loss, and I wish I had good info for you. Unfortunately I find that most people are lying, or you run onto impossible claims in profiles. Good luck.


You live in the LA area of Cali. I envy you, as there should be a decent supply of non-believing, secular men your age in the area, unlike an area like my Bible Belt state of Iowa. Whether you find them on Agnostic or on a paid site like Match, I'm sure they're out there. Take your time. Your main obstacle is all the men your age who are trying to only date women younger than themselves. They are fools and you don't need them.


Interesting fact : 80% of women are looking for the top 20% of men on dating apps

datingapps are not worth it if ur a guy

"Women marry Men in the hope that they will change, and Men marry Woman hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed."

can u believe that was the great Albert Einstein who said that? wow eh!

You are right about the stats on dating sites or apps. Both sexes are mostly looking for the top 20% of the respective genders on dating sites. The result is that the vast majority of both sexes end up being frustrated spectators who end up meeting very few people from the dating sites, go on very few dates and seldom end up having sex from it. Most of the actual dating and sex from dating sites is only practiced by the men and women in the top 20% of looks/attractiveness from the site. I do suspect the stats are somewhat different and better for average-looking or below average looking men and women on the sites like Tinder that are more about just hooking up than seeking relationships, but I have no experience with those types of sites or apps.

@TomMcGiverin the truth is that its probably even more like 90-10

the times have gotten so bad cuz of the social media

the feminine imparative is harsh

look up Hypergamy

men need to be aware no matter what stage of life ur in

@HeAdAkE It could very well be 90-10 instead of 80-20. It really doesn't matter that much difference. The point is that an average looking guy like me with average money is going to be a losing spectator in the dating game, I'm afraid. But I will still try again this summer, because I may well live another 20-25 years and I don't want to spend all of it as a single. Esp. because I'm not getting any younger and eventually most or all of my friends will die too, so life will be lonelier. I saw that happen to my late father and it's not pretty. You get old enough and all your friends are dead and it's not that easy to make new ones once you get into your elderly years.

If that weren't bad enough, the 80-20 thing, the other issue is that on almost all dating sites, there are way more men on there than women, so the game is lopsided from the beginning against men, then you add the 80-20 thing, and you're right, it's probably money down the rathole.


u have no clue as to just how bad it is is and the fact becomes, why even try?

its far too much effort and very little to zero reward

protect urself say no to pussy on a pedestal

@HeAdAkE I appreciate your support and concern, man, but I'll live my life my way, even if it is a futile effort. I beat the odds last time, at least to the point of finding someone that was a good companion, so I'll try again. I would rather be trying than resigning myself to being alone the rest of my life without even trying.


and i understand and of course

im no fool

just be prepared to break ur heart more ok bro

just remember

shes not yours, its just ur turn

@HeAdAkE I respect your position and will keep your advice in mind.

@TomMcGiverin its perfectly ok to be co-dependant but its also very important to take care of yourself

know thy self

your true happiness is not found in another person


The best way to find someone with similar interests is to go where they are. Could be sections of a bookstore, well any place where a like person will be. It is hard to find people when we are supposed to stay apart but it is time to get creative.

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