Beginner’s luck

A pal who ended a decade-long relationship a year ago has fallen for a woman he met a few weeks ago. It’s the first person he’s dated after his relationship ended.

I’m fighting the urge to run screaming into traffic yelling, “It’s not fair!”

I have gone out with 112 men, only really falling for one who, after my rose-colored fog lifted, I saw as a controlling, abusive, self-absorbed man. Ah, love!

So now my friend’s love-fueled giddiness has me thinking what so many unintentional singles muse: “What’s wrong with me?”

“Why,” we wonder, “am I still single? My friends think I’m terrific!”

Of course, we know that being terrific in our friends’ eyes is not enough. After all, we’ve met (or been set up with) a friend’s “terrific” pal, only to experience someone who drones on about himself or you have to pull out more than monosyllabic responses to your questions. Or he chews with his mouth open, takes calls during dinner, or hasn’t been clothes shopping since 1980.

Sure, these guys are nice guys — if you don’t plan on spending time alone with them, introducing them to your parents, or getting naked with them.

But wait — could we have some glaring character flaw — what we like to think of as a quirk — that could be keeping us single? Do we have some annoying habit that is really only irritating to someone who wants more than a party guest or movie companion? Wouldn’t someone who loves us take us aside and say, “You know when you go into minute detail on matters than no one cares about? You need to stop that if you don’t want to die a spinster.”

Or maybe you’re just fine and you just haven’t found that elusive needle in the proverbial dating haystack — the one who sweeps you off your feet (orthotic-installed shoes and all) and will keep you loving him despite his quirks. And of course, he’ll keep loving you, as well.

So, as I’m sure you would, I wish my pal well with his new love and ask for as many details as he cares to share. I am happy for him. And it gives me hope that my guy is right around the corner and we’ll meet up very soon.


Dating After 40: Dipping Your Toe in the Dating PoolWant to understand more of what to expect in midlife dating? Get your copy of Dipping Your Toe in the Dating Pool: Dive In Without Belly Flopping



7 responses to “Beginner’s luck”

  1. Almita Avatar

    Of course, it could be luck, but I suspect that people who develop a relationship with the first person they date are not very selective.

  2. Joan Price Avatar

    What a well-written and clever post! I think Almita makes a good point. It will be interesting to see if your friend and his love are still together after the first-lust whirlwind settles!

    I’m about to turn 69 and have the energy of two people half my age. Right now I’m on a rant about men age 55-70 on the dating sites wanting women 10-30 (!) years their junior. Just what do they think their appeal is to women that much younger?

  3. Lisa Avatar

    DG. I know exactly how you feel, 100%. I have been doing the on-line thing on and off for years. It can get really frustrating. In my own situation, I realize that what I am looking for is just harder to find, and it has nothing to do with having unrealistic standards or expectations. Smart. Playful. Creative. Kind. Active. I mean, does that sound unrealistic? !! Those qualities can manifest themselves in many ways–there are no specific educational, career, income, physical feature requirements, etc. but the qualities seem pretty basic to me.

    Then if you do meet someone who has the qualities you like, they either don’t like you back or you realize after a bit that they just aren’t in a position to have a relationship with anybody. The 40s and 50s are the big divorce years, and there are a lot of messed up people out there!

    I think if a person is not “mainstream” in whatever way or has some slight physical abnormality, as I do, it is harder. It is like trying to match up a color that is lovely but just a little unusual or out of the ordinary. It is just harder. Reflect on your own behavior, make adjustments as necessary, and just keep on going. That is my motto.

    Some people really are lucky and meet someone right away, but in your friend’s case, I would definitely just wait and see. In my experience with divorced men, it seems to take a year just to get your feet back on the ground and another year to steady yourself. I think if someone has been divorced it is best if they have some casual relationships with other newly divorced people–heh, maybe there is a dating site for that!–before they start to look seriously again. In my experience, such men’s affections often quickly fade. Your friend might be an exception, and in that case anyone would wish them well, but it’s wise to remain hopeful but realistic. Leave the wedding license application at home!

    The other night, I had coffee with an internet guy who was very smart and creative and interesting and youthful, but he is new to on- line dating, or so he says, and I am only the second woman he has met up . Even though he has been divorced for a while and has had a few other relationships, part of me irrationally thinks he should have to pay his on-line dues! But then maybe he is the lucky one in having met me after 2 dates. We’ll just see.

    Persevere with hope.

  4. Stacey Avatar

    I find this sort of thing tends to happen more to men than to women. My uncle remarried within a year of my aunt dying and this was after a 25+ yr marriage. A guy friend of mine remarried within six months of getting a divorce from his ex-wife who left him. He married the first woman he met at a friend’s party.

    I think there are divorced or widowed men who cannot stand to be alone, even for just a second, so they marry or move in with the first reasonable female they meet. Whether or not it will be a relationship built to last, who’s to say, but I do think their standards are not as demanding as a female divorcee in similar circumstances.

  5. Tara Avatar

    DG WOW 112 dates…I am incredibly amazed! Are they with different people? I think I have had maybe 25-30 in my whole life! Do you live in a large city? I find it unbelievably hard to find, meet and connect with interesting, quality men where I live. I am involved with several groups so I do interact with others dancing, doing classes and meditating,. Yet most men I meet here are nice but either involved or don’t interest me. The few that do don’t seem interested in me. I have been doing intentions and affirmations, positive thinking, clearing blocks, online dating, for years with pitiful results (2-4 dates/year) Where do I find great men in a small town on a large island where the distances are great?? Please Help..Thanks

  6. Dating Goddess Avatar


    I’ve gone out with 112 men, yielding hundreds of dates!

    There’s really no secret to finding men to go out with. I used online dating and accepted dates with all who sounded interesting. But clearly, I’m still searching!

  7. Richard Avatar

    Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus. I do not think you can compare the “beginner’s luck” of a man and woman. For a variety of reasons, in the 40+ age group, the percentage of marriageable women is a lot higher than men. Thus, it is easier for a man to find a woman.

    Part of the reasons include that, in general, men have a shorter “must have” list than women. “but I do think their standards are not as demanding as a female divorcee in similar circumstances.” – assuming she is not a serial divorcee, why wouldn’t her more critical judgement be more sufficient?

    Note: There is a difference between being “the one”, and being “good enough”. I think guys are not insightful enough to know “the one”, and are happy with “good enough”.