I discovered quite quickly that I hated the word, as it emphasised what I've lost.
Nevertheless, in the months after my wife's death, a grieving widower was exactly what I was, all the while trying to keep things together to be a good father.
The loss of the family unit, sense of abandonment, complications with how the kids deal with the situation – there was plenty of common ground.
I met several single mothers, some of whom became friends, others brief, unsuccessful relationships, and I began to feel a bit like Hugh Grant in the film About a Boy – only I hadn't invented my children.
It was obvious that for many single women my situation was way too complicated.
After a while, this series of let-downs became rather depressing.
Then there were the high expectations – women writing that they were looking for a "knight in shining armour" (I'll get my sword and shield), "Mr Darcy" (I'll get my top hat and tails), "Mr Grey" (I'll get my riding crop and restraints). If they didn't want kids, then why would they take on mine?
And do I really want any more children, considering how a baby could impact on my children's world, which has already been turned upside down?For some women, the discovery of my widowed status was clearly a deal breaker; the communication dried up, and I could understand why.After all, it's a very crowded dating market out there – and grief is a long way from romance.Dealing with the loss of a spouse is bad enough, but seeing your children suffer – waking from nightmares about their mum, crying uncontrollably without warning, getting upset at school at the slightest trigger – is even worse.Mother's Day became the most dreaded day of the year.