When your doorman thinks you are pathetic, you probably are.
“You’ve got to get out there while you’re still young enough to get a guy,” he said recently, and then added, “Your husband’s been gone a long time. What are you waiting for?”
“Good morning,” would’ve sufficed, but he certainly knew better than most the small life I was living. Borderline shut in I spent my days writing, took a few night classes, and occasionally went out with friends, but men? Hardly.
It was difficult to see myself in a new relationship while still in love with someone else. That was the dilemma. It was the biggest kind of love–one for the record books. Imagine if the perfect person, tailor-made, came into your life. That’s what happened to me. I knew it the moment I saw his face–like finding something I had forgotten I’d lost. After being alone for a decade, focused on raising my daughters, I finally had my fairy-tale ending.
Five years. That’s how long we were together, and then he died.
Today is an anniversary of sorts, and one I’ve dreaded. My husband has been gone longer than I knew him. I couldn’t fathom a life without him, but excruciatingly slowly I’ve learned to accept the reality of my situation. After five tough years, I’m open to the possibility of someone new in my life and ready to love again.
Two years ago I got in my car and drove from Las Vegas to Manhattan. I gave away most of my possessions and shipped only what would fit in my tiny apartment. Armed with a rough manuscript of a memoir I’d just complete (our story) and a newfound passion for writing, I thought I would immerse myself in the heart of the literary world and see if I could make something happen. Leaving all that was safe and familiar seemed crazy to many, but after losing the life I thought was mine I felt fearless.
Now that I was ready to love again, how would a 50-year-old widow living in New York City meet men? It’s hard for any single woman here where the ladies outnumber the guys but especially so when your life is spent alone hunched over a computer trying to be a writer. Gorgeous girls with Ivy educations and successful careers sit at home solo on Saturday nights in this city. What were my chances?
The answer was obvious. I’d have to jump into online dating where thousands of single men were a click away from my dance card. My friend, an Internet dating expert, called it a numbers game. Most people go on a site, get disgusted after several bad dates and delete their profile. She said I must commit to a year and prepare to kiss a pond-full of amphibians.
Just the thought of my photos and profile on a dating website for 365 days made me jittery. I realized the stigma associated with online dating had diminished but there was something that felt, well, desperado.
BUT, the sooner I get started the quicker it might happen and this blog will document the process. If you’re considering online dating or just want to read about one middle-aged woman’s quest for love you can follow along. I’m in for a year, unless George Clooney calls or I meet my Cyber Prince Charming.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell