Despite my dating history, I have not given up on the possibility that there may be someone special out there for me after all.

Everyone seems to have an opinion. My mother doesn’t want me to date anymore. Like somehow at the age of 43, my romantic life shouldn’t be a priority. My two younger brothers think their gender is a disappointment and have no faith that there are any good men left out there, especially none for me.

If I could have conducted some kind of ‘Weird Science’ experiment and created the ideal man for my sister, it would be her finacé. He couldn’t be a more perfect fit and after her own divorce, she certainly traded way up. They met online, so of course, my fingers are crossed that the process could work for me too. According to her, she went on 32 dates before she found him. I don’t think I had been on 32 dates in my life. If I took the time to count them, maybe I’d come close, but I decided to wipe the slate clean and restart the count just to be sure.

I have dated in every decade. I met my first husband in my late teens and we married in my mid 20s. I was a mother barely two years into my marriage, and a divorcée shortly afterwards.

I didn’t date very much in my 20s, because I met my youngest daughter’s father three years after I left my husband. I felt fortunate to have moved on from my first mistake. It took me eight years to figure out he wasn’t the one.

I split my 30s and the beginning of my 40s torn between a man who couldn’t live without me and a man who couldn’t figure out a way to keep me.

So here I am. Dating in my early 40s. You would think that being more mature and having lived a little more life, the prospects would be more promising.

I have been online since May. I have spaced out the dates. I have met 5 men in person. I have chatted with several others and now that the initial excitement has worn off, I have settled down to the point where I am no longer take things too personally.

Promising conversations have died without warning or explanation and I am told that this is the new norm and to not take it personally. I am nothing if not adaptable. So my ego is bruised when it happens to me, but I have also not responded to messages or blocked a stranger myself. So, tit for tat, I guess.

Dating does force one to grow a thicker skin.

27 dates to go.

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