Dear Reader,   

Do you find yourself wishing you were single and could start all over again? Or perhaps you are single and terrified of putting yourself out there. In either case, I volunteer myself as a guinea pig. I have dived into the dating scene—wish me luck!

Dating is not for the faint of heart. It involves the risk of rejection, even total heartbreak. On the other hand, dating keeps you on your toes as you are exposed to new and exciting—even downright weird—experiences.

In my opinion, if you’re over fifty, you’re not likely to find a long-term relationship without using a dating app. I walked around for a year and ran into one single man in all that time. Dating apps like Match or eHarmony can save you time and trouble. It lays out what you have in common with a potential partner—their education, appearance, income, religious beliefs, etc. Most importantly, it gives everyone a chance to describe themselves and their needs, which saves both parties a LOT of time. At this stage in life, I also suggest that you set your expectations high! There’s no time to waste with anymore Mr. Wrongs.

Here’s what I look for in a date:

  • He’s near my age. (I want to grow old together.)
  • He has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, preferably a graduate/post graduate degree. (I want to have a common educational experience.)
  • He’s at least 5’10”. (OK, call me shallow, but I want a man who makes me feel petite.)
  • He takes care of his appearance. (Facial hair, teeth, etc. Need I say more?)
  • In his written words on the dating app, he displays depth of character, wisdom, intelligence, and—most importantly for me—kindness and compassion.

I don’t even look at:

  • Very handsome men who smirk at the camera while wearing sunglasses. (Dude, I can’t see your eyes/windows to the soul.)
  • Men who have never been married. (They haven’t learned some valuable lessons about intimacy.)
  • Men with a horde of children still at home. (I’ve already been the mother of WAY too many children.)
  • Men who can’t write more than a paragraph about who they are or what they want.

Are you with me so far? Within a week of putting up my profile (last summer), I was beset with suitors. I narrowed them quickly down to two. A couple of phone calls eliminated one of them. The lucky candidate was a retired Navy captain who lived on a 41-foot sailboat down in Virginia Beach. (Like that’s not romantic!) He wrote so eloquently of desiring a woman who enjoyed the wind in her hair and the sand between her toes, that I was immediately captivated. I’ve always been a sucker for a military man. We arranged to meet for dinner in Yorktown, at a waterfront restaurant.

Join me next time for a recounting of my magical first date with The Master and Commander!