A man and woman sitting at a table in a restaurant.

GriefSPEAK: Looking for Liars – Mari Nardolillo Dias

by Mari Nardolillo Dias, EdD, contributing writer

Looking for Liars  (Lyrics by the Complaints and Joe Martira)

I understand the loneliness that widows live with on a daily basis. Many find themselves on dating websites, looking for someone to talk with, share their day, a meal, or an adventure. This is the case of MJ. MJ was looking for a single male in his 60’s, divorced or widowed. She shies away from “never married.” Perhaps a professional guy, maybe newly retired and an outdoorsman that likes dogs and hiking. Unfortunately, she keeps hitting “dead ends” – men who tweak their pictures, or post one taken 20 years ago. Men who prove to be, at the minimum, contradictory with their facts on the phone, or downright disingenuous. 

Until she met Peter. He fulfilled all her requirements and asked her to meet for lunch at a local, well-known restaurant in his town. MJ tells me they had a wonderful lunch, and really clicked. He was a retired tradesman and living alone on his boat in a local marina. Upon Peter’s suggestion, they made plans for the following day to take her dog for a hike. Peter couldn’t wait to meet her constant companion. 

Peter never called, and MJ says she was worried. She waits out the day, and finds out from a mutual friend that Peter has a girlfriend who was away for a few days. In fact, the mutual friend had also dated Peter a few months ago. She also found him on the same dating site. We have Facebook dating, Christian Mingles, Tinder, eHarmony, Silver Singles, among many others. Many of these sites profess to match “similar interests”, based on your requirements. MJ has tried them all. Yet, how can a dating site include parameters for lying? Trust and hope are the only things we have in our arsenal, along with a large platter of discernment and doubt. 

When MJ found out about Peter’s true relationship status, she texted him warning him she knew he was a liar and planned to tell his girlfriend. Peter called her crazy. Said she would never find him. And the gas lighting begins… blame your insincerity on the victim. In an effort to warn others, MJ has joined the Facebook group “Are we dating the same guy RI?”  She is burning with retribution. 

Kaye met a guy at a local Providence watering hole. As this establishment tends to have weekend “regulars”, she kept bumping into Joe. Joe bought her drinks, asked her to dance and appeared very interested. Kaye found him to be a “very nice guy”, very “genuine and sincere.” He was 30 something and divorced. She, however, was not attracted to Joe. Joe lamented over this fact and just kept trying. One Friday night they planned to meet up at the bar, “just as friends.” After arriving, Kaye received a text from Joe stating, “Can’t make it tonight. Have fun.” Kaye was suspicious. She went on social media and found his page, complete with a family picture of his very pregnant wife, and a toddler. 

Kaye, like MJ, plans to confront him. He shows up that same night he planned not to attend, a bit late and could only stay a few minutes. Kaye finds out that Joe’s wife delivered their infant daughter that evening. He stopped by the bar within an hour of the delivery. Kaye confronted him, called him a liar. He protested; said he was “separated.” Kaye would love to inform his wife. 

[Maybe] “The truth be damned when we need what we need, We learn to pretend not to see what we see, We want to hear words that we know are not true…”(The Complaints and Joe Martira, Looking for Liars from their album “Catching Light” (2023).

Of course, there may be women who catfish as well, but I am not privy to them. The breaking of hearts, hope and faith of a widow who is looking for companionship is unforgiving. The warning here is clear.

 You may be looking for liars.

(Note: Identities have been changed to avoid identification of the guilty)


To read more articles by Dr. Dias, go here:

Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias is a nationally board-certified counselor, holds a Fellow in Thanatology and is certified in both grief counseling and complicated grief. Dias is a Certified death doula, and has a Certificate in Psychological Autopsy.

She is Professor of Clinical Mental Health, Master of Science program, Johnson & Wales University. Dias is the director of GracePointe Grief Center, in North Kingstown, RI.  For more information, go to: