Finding myself single at 50 wasn’t that much of a shock to my system. After all, I spent the final years of my 20 year marriage more alone than ever so it felt right to cut that cord and set myself free. Two years later I fell for a tall, dark and handsome man who swept me up in a fantasy holiday romance and emotions buried deep were reignited. That situationship ended abruptly and it briefly rocked my self worth with cruel words fired at me. But undeterred and resilient as ever, I recently decided that I was ready to meet someone new. So after much deliberation and being egged on by my friend, I recently tried online dating. Almost as quickly as I set up my profile, I deleted it and vowed never to go through that again. Ugh.
For the first hour it was entertaining and then it become irritating. The calibre of eligible men is pretty low and honestly, I am astounded at the confidence of some of these men. Have they looked in the mirror? Do they really think they stand a chance with me? Don’t get me wrong, I know many people who have found successful relationships with partners they have met online but I couldn’t even get past a first date. Are my standards too high or am I just deep down emotionally unavailable? I compared them all to a fairytale image of a man I want and not one of them matched up.
The first date was with an incredibly good looking man, with a beautiful chiselled face and a body of steel. He ordered a perrier water all night and nursed it like liquid gold to avoid ordering a second drink. He spoke about himself all night and rarely asked anything about me. I sipped at an iced tea all night thinking I would rather be at home with my cats.
The second date was with a man in his 30s and that was fun, but in the back of my mind the age was an issue for me. I prefer younger men by a few years but that was just too much and our age gap would have been a problem for me. Especially with children in my 20s who are closer in age to him.
The third never made it to a date, I think he just wanted to be an online penpal. The communication was great, he texted regularly and checked in with me but made no effort to actually suggest meeting up and so my boredom crept in rather quickly.
Then of course there was the usual variety of men blocked instantly for descending into sexting within a few sentences of introducing themselves. When will men realise that most women find intelligent conversation and sense of humour the biggest turn on?
Recent statistics show that 39% of women my age are single. some never married, others like me became bored of being treated like wallpaper by lazy, indifferent husbands and chose to end relationships. Like many, I don't need a man, I want one but I am not desperate. Almost 50% of divorces have occurred in people’s 40s and 50s and I don’t regret my decision. I don’t have to answer to anyone, I am not stressed by cutting remarks or comments aimed to lower my self esteem anymore. I am comfortable in my skin and am naturally confident.
It takes courage to put yourself out there but that isn’t a problem for me, my work dictates that I talk to strangers all the time. I have no problem going to a party alone or going to a bar alone as I love meeting people. My journalistic instinct kicks in and I am naturally inquisitive.
I remain optimistic that I will fall in love again but it’s not the central priority in my life. A man has to compliment my lifestyle, my strict gym regime and my crazy, unconventional work hours, he isn’t there to fill a void that isn’t there.
I am alone but not lonely. My life is filled with my children, fun and fabulous friendships whom I cherish. So until then I shall remain, single, sassy and a little bit badassy.
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