Woman of Experience Helping midlife women make sense of modern relationships.

The state of the Date


Often there are better manners in a cage fight than on a dating site or indeed on a date. (I include myself in this as I have been guilty of dumping a date after 5 minutes, but that’s another story).

If you’ve been tucked or smothered in a relationship for some time, you will have emerged into the world of Hinge, Bumble etc like a newly hatched chicken. It’s not an easy environment. The technology you are putting your trust and potentially intimate details into is based on game theory. Swiping is only the first step in the gamification of dating. At the same time, remember this is a dating market and whether you like it or not, we’re all plastic items in a Costco catalogue that’s being sorted by robots. If I were your best friend, I wouldn’t have told you any of that. I would have said, “Go out there, someone is waiting for you and he will be perfect.”

I’m not giving you rules. I’m giving you experience

Luckily, I’m here to rescue you from love’s scrap heap with straight and occasionally dirty advice, straight from my own life. For fifteen years during my thirties and forties, I joined the early era of online dating. (Craigslist anyone?) Except for the odd lingering cheap and dirty feeling, those memories are gone. In between the dating site crazies (though to be fair not all were) I punctuated my life with handsome, intelligent and charming married men. And then, around 2015 I decided I needed to stay at home, eat cheese on toast and read more books. And without going into the ultimate sliding door moment, that’s when I met the man I’ve been with for the past several years. What you should know is that I fully expected I would spend my life alone. And it didn’t bother me. If I could bestow only one piece of advice, it would be to learn to invest yourself minimally until such a moment as it’s worth investing more.

Being single isn’t a good reason to date

Human logic is greatly flawed, especially when mixed with emotional needs. Let’s get back to your well-meaning best friend – we’ll call her Flick because that’s the kind of annoying person she is – who doesn’t want to have to invite a single person to dinner parties. She’s also the sort of married person who goes on dating sites to live vicariously (we’ll get to that.). Anyway, Flick reckons that even with the ex-husband’s fingerprints still on the front door, you should get into online dating.

If you last dated in the analogue era, you will, understandably, be cautious. The dejection and despair that applies to job hunting applies just as much to online dating. That means that you can bring nothing less than your A-game to the party. If you can’t do that, then you’re not ready. Any bitterness, residual anger, self-esteem issues or clinging to the past by your fingernails is not going to help you date. You are going to need wings of steel but, mostly you’re going to have to approach the whole dating thing with a degree of lightness and adventure, rather than throwing your heart on the table.

The Take Out of this blog is this: If you are happy in your skin, this is likely to manifest in your experiences, not just online dating. When you are at a stage where you can laugh off the sudden cancellations, criticism of your photos, weird conversations that go nowhere and all that other stuff, then you will be ready for dating.

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Woman of Experience Helping midlife women make sense of modern relationships.