On June 20, 1985, 3:20 a.m. my dad died in his sleep. In that instant, my mom became single and a single parent. She had a five-year-old under her wing and two grown children, ages 19 and 21.
She had anticipated sharing her life with the man of her dreams. They had plans. They had love. They had one another...through sickness, health, rich and poor times, etc.
Suddenly, she was alone.
I was as sensitive as any 21 year old, who had just met her love could be. I now wish I had my current life experience hidden away in my pocket. I didn't give my mom nearly enough time to mourn. But, when it came time for her to move forward, she had my brother and me behind her. We were her biggest fans and we gave her as much emotional support as we could. We didn't want to see her unhappy. She was too young, too joy filled, too vivacious, too happy of a soul to be alone for the rest of her life. Simply put, she was an amazing lady.
Oh, history (sigh)... Thanks for allowing me to learn from you.
After spending nearly two years working my butt off in graduate school, knowing that my marriage was over through it all, and feeling too young to be alone, not religious enough to join the convent (sorry Sister Frances!), and too social...I decided to try my hand at online dating.
Think about it, how does a fifty-one-year-old let others know she has healed enough to want to get out in her community and date? I was told I need to join organizations, be active in groups, follow my passions. Where do all the single 50+ year old men hang out? If they are in the bars, no thanks. I don't mind a drink or two, but nightly...not for me. On one's profile that means I am a "social drinker".
Who has time to, hold down a full-time job, take care of the pets that are now a responsibility, and keep a house uber clean since it's on the market?
Do you know how much courage it takes to go to events alone? Going to a movie is different than going to say a gala event. So, gala's are no longer part of my life. Time for new adventures. Going on walks alone has it's risks. As does traveling. I try to not be scared of this world, but I am cautious. Saturday nights I force myself to go out! I love my blogging nights.
Enter the world of online dating with me. This is what I've learned so far.
1) Pay $ and upgrade.
In order to thin out the better choices from the bad choices, one must spend a little money. I recall as an undergraduate hearing one of my professors say TANSTAAFLE.
There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch...totally applies.
Spend money to have the weeds pulled.
Don't trust anyone who only posts one picture or no picture. Or at least proceed with caution! Yes, there are people who are in certain jobs whom need to not post their pictures, I get that. They really should have another source they are comfortable with sharing...like Facebook! Telling me you'll send me pictures if I'll give you my email or cell phone number....sorry, Charlie.
I did learn a lesson the hard way (no pun intended). Someone decided to share his peacock with me without my asking. Skeptical it was really his. If it was...well...I was not impressed. He has been blocked.
3) Meet in Public.
Guys of all age have one thing on their mind. Maybe girls do as well. Society today seems a little more promiscuous than I recall from my youth. As independent as I am, I hope to be sought after. Maybe even chased a little and made to feel wanted. It seems that in today's world people don't have to try very hard to find someone who will go to bed.
Yes, it is just a number, but I am NOT interested in someone younger than me. If you are under 30, definitely DO NOT contact me! The flattery comes off as creepy. I feel you might have mommy issues. I don't want to take care of you! Even if you are under 50, I'm probably not interested. Someone my age has experienced the same world that I have. They will have a past too. I like that. Our pasts make us richer souls. We will have things to discuss.
I do have stories I could share, but not here. Most of the men I chat with are kind, kind people. I am looking for someone close to home. Someone I can share my community with, hopefully this is his community too since I plan on staying put. As a social person, I need my partner to be social as well. I'm still learning who I am though and I am still new to this dating stuff. I don't think people really go out any more. I think so many people are looking for that person they used to have...just in a different form. It might not be me they are looking for.
I have moved forward. I am NOT looking for the same person I had.
My reminder this morning:
I am working on being that magnet.