I am a 55-year-old woman who ventured into the Odyssey known as online dating two years ago. Being a late stage baby boomer, and having survived sexual revolution of the late 70s, I figured online dating would be a cake walk. You post a profile. A nice gentleman reads your profile and decides to correspond with you. At some point, you meet for coffee and share ideas. If it goes well, you start dating and all is right with the world. Simple. Right?
Okay Pollyanna! What planet do you hail from? I honestly don’t know what I could have been thinking. The world has changed dramatically since Patty Duke and Gidget were synonymous with the dating scene. It has gotten considerably smaller with the advent of the Internet. You may find yourself falling in love with someone who appears to be a couple states away,whose visit is always imminent. Only to discover that he’s residing in another country! Connections are only a text message away. (Not to mention the threat and/or promise of a sexual encounter via text message known as “sexting”, and “pexting” which I won’t go into right now.
I assumed that being in our 50’s, one might have a calmer, more reserved approach to dating. In retrospect I see just how crazy that is. After all, I was 53, not 93.
I’ve never been particularly fond of having my picture taken. But if my efforts were going to fruitful, it was time for reality check. I began photographing myself in tight fitting clothes to explore all the areas of dilapidation. After scraping myself up off the floor from the devastation, I took my fat ass to the gym. It had been years since I worked out. But I was desperate for my body to be able to keep pace with my newly discovered libido.
There was a “plus” side to my largesse. (Pun intended.) I had become invisible. No one was going to pay attention to the fat lady stretching in the corner. So I could be chill. There was a time when I would’ve been horrified to undress in the locker room around young svelte women. Instead of feeling like a woman whose “Burka” was a mass of excess weight, I chose to adopt a maternal role saying, “no matter where life takes you, don’t ever stop taking care of yourself! For anyone! This is what can result. And honey, it’s a long road back!”
I continued to take pictures of my progress. Once I got over the initial shock of that first photograph, I told myself, “Don’t cry sweetie! This is just your before picture!” I went from a size 24 jeans to a size 12 without dieting. The stronger and thinner I got, the cuter I got and the more I wanted to experience the joys of intimacy and all that entails.
As a result of my bad my marriage I was celibate for 12 years. (That includes time that I was married, coupled with the first few years after my divorce.) Until that kiss, it had been five years since I’d been kissed passionately. Did it stir the pot? Hell Yes!!! Did I want more? ABSOLUTELY! More than anything I simply wanted to live life to its fullest again. I wanted to be touched both emotionally and physically.
Having seen my radical transformation, I embarked into online dating at the encouragement of others and with an open heart. I have not met “Mr. Right”. (I have met several “Mr. Right Nows!”) I am not a “cougar” by any stretch of the imagination. However, I have met, dated and/or “follied” with men ranging in age from 28 to 58. Each one unique in his own way. Some more interesting than others. (BTW, I’ve only had sex about 7 times in the last two years. I should qualify that. Seven partners. The names have been changed to protect both the innocent and not-so-innocent.) More about that later…
I’ve also made some wonderful friends who have enriched my life. That is one of the many unanticipated results of this crazy journey. Which I would like to share with you going forward.
Last point…this is NOT AN ADVICE COLUMN! I’d like to think that it won’t require 50 dates to meet the right guy. But I would never presume to offer advice on this matter. How could I? If I’ve learned nothing else during this process, it’s that everyone is different.The best I can hope is that perhaps you’ll learn from my missteps. I’m learning as I go.
I’ve been told I have a rather girlish, youthful, exuberance. I do tend to look at things with wide eyes. Pretty goofy I know. But at 55, if that hasn’t changed by now, it’s probably time to just accept it.
I hope you find my stories as funny, illuminating, ridiculous, sometimes a little scary, poignant, naive, and informative, as I do. So…stay tuned As We Explore Together the 50 First Dates Of A Woman Over 50.