My plan (I always have a plan) was: I will put myself out there until I'm 50, and if I'm not in love by then, I will be content living out the rest of my life as a happy single. It didn't mean I planned to give up totally on the idea of getting married again -- I've heard the cliche wisdom, "when you're not looking, it will happen," over and over again.
So I turned 50. The world didn't come to an end. I don't feel different than I did at 49. I actually am more comfortable about dating than I was when I was young and certainly more comfortable than I was at 43, when I first got divorced. I've learned that dating is is not that big of a deal. I suppose I've grown to accept that there's a good chance the relationships I get into won't lead to marriage, so I stop stressing about them, and just let them play out. I really don't worry too much about the "attraction" factor any more. These days, I'm a lot more interested in getting to know someone and I've stopped worrying so much about all those sexual fears.
There was a big study recently that showed that happiness begins at 50. Some people speculate it's because those of us at this older age live more "in the moment." I would guess it's because we are more accepting of ourselves and the people around us. Or maybe it's because our hormones and libido are more at an even keel and don't confuse and frustrate us the way they once did.
In any case, the holidays are upon us again, and I reluctantly thought maybe I'd give match.com another try. Just one month... I was prepared for the worst. Now that I'm 50, I figured I would be too old to even make it into the search criteria of anyone other than the senior citizens. (I did briefly consider lying about my age... it's so common place on the online dating sites that it's almost expected... but that's a story for another post.)
Anyway, I have been having the best luck this time around! There are a lot of really great-looking, active, intelligent guys in their late 40's and early 50's who have contacted me. In fact, when I had three "in the 'let's meet' queue," I had to start turning 'em away. (I never was good at multi-dating and I barely have time to date one guy, let alone more than one.)
Now I fully expected that when I met these guys I'd do my typical thing and find some stupid, insignificant reason why we were a bad match, but that didn't happen! I think it's 'cause I used to think you had to have that limerence-induced infatuated feeling and I hardly ever get that. But this time, I was much more open to just getting to know someone more... And I actually liked all three of them! Maybe it really is much more about attitude than age.
It turns out Bachelor #2 (who secretly I was hoping for) has asked me out to dinner for Friday night! Way too early to know if it will amount to anything, but it feels good to be back in the game!