Well, I'm sorry my friends (and myself), but that's just not the way life works.
After I got home from my walk I took a deep breath, peeled off my stretchy sweater boots, and curled up on the couch to meditate with a hot cup of tea (or vodka, I can't remember).I am much more grounded and more comfortable in my skin than ever before and it is these qualities, I think, that have enabled me to enjoy the dating ride. If you expect to find your soulmate on Ok Cupid, you will probably marinate in frustration. I always dated white-collar, highly-educated men but after my divorce I had a great casual relationship with a handyman. Wear it everyday, even if you're not going anywhere but the grocery store. If you just want to explore your sexuality, go for it (but be safe) and don't worry what the women's magazines tell you. With dating, as with life, you should focus on the journey, not the destination. Don't feel pressured to have sex before you're ready, or a relationship in which you settle.Here are 10 things I've learned about how to do just that. Instead, treat online dating for what it is: an invaluable way to learn about yourself and what you want in a partner, love, and sex. Do not start off with a mile-long list of "I'm looking for" qualities. Dating outside your type -- especially if your type hasn't worked out -- will give you a sense of who you are as a single person, without the pressure of "is this the one? You'll feel sexy knowing you're sporting black lace boy shorts under your jeans, whether or not a guy sees them. Have at least one outfit pre-selected, one that you know you look good in, so you're not scrambling through your closet at the last minute trying to figure out what to wear. You're a big girl and you're capable of making your own decisions about sex. Don't worry about your wrinkle lines, your imperfect past, or your ex.I'm not sure why, but for some reason dating seems to evoke feelings I thought I'd parted ways with in middle school; that in some indiscernible way, I just don't measure up, I'm less than, I'm "other than." Last year when I first started online dating with the serious intention of snagging a boyfriend, I had a series of really great first dates, but no second ones. Why does dating seem to elicit these middle-school-spawned feelings of being different, less than, or "other than," where unreasonable self-scrutiny so quickly evolves into the slippery slope of thinking if I just had, were, could, was, wasn't..life would be just grand?I found this rather unsettling and wondered whether there was something perhaps undesirable about me that was causing this trend. I have a laundry list of rather trivial self-perceived flaws that when I'm in a certain state of mind (or dating) can plummet me into this world of "other than." For instance, I hate my overly muscular calves, which is particularly inconvenient since I absolutely love boots.On that day it may have been my calves that served as a portal through which all of my "other-ness" manifested, but on another day it could just as easily been something else.
And for whatever reason dating in my 50s seems to have amplified these negative feelings.When my marriage ended, I wondered if I'd be spending all my free, non-kid time with my books and my cat.There have been weekends when I've done just that, but there have also been long stretches when I've dated up a storm.After some time, I realized that it really wasn't about boots (it never is).Rather, it was about feeling different, and not in a good way.This was before I developed my "online dating/car shopping" comparison theory, where online dating can create a disincentive to settling down with one person, since there's always a newer, shinier model rolling onto the lot. Yet, despite my love of boots, I can rarely find a pair that fit me (with the exception of wide-calf, stretchy or ankle boots) because my calves are too big.