Life, Love, and Online Dating
Is a review magazine dedicated to romance fiction really the right place to offer a treatise on online dating from the perspective of a sixty-year-old former romance author? Probably not. But thanks to the support and indulgence of one of my dearest friends (who just happens to be Affaire’s owner) here it is...
Looking for love has never been easy. Certainly not when you’re an awkward, acne-prone teenager, and not when you’re a clearer-skinned young adult starting out and seeking a spouse and life partner. But what happens when you had the fairy tale/happily-ever-after, and it turns out to be neither happy nor ever-after. Suddenly you’re out there looking again. Only this time with wrinkles and age spots and sagging parts you didn’t even realize could sag!
But, at least this time, you’ve got a lifetime’s accumulated wisdom, so it should be easier, right? Wrong. Because guess what? Beneath that “mature adult” veneer, you realize—to your horror and shock—Crap! You’re harboring THE SAME insecurities and self-doubts you had when you were sixteen or seventeen. Throw in what’s foreign territory to many older people—social media, dating apps, and online sites—and suddenly you’re in an unreal realm of reality. (Millennials: Lest you judge too quickly, please consider that for my generation, when we were first dating, a “web site” was where a freakin’ spider did her thing in a barn for a rat!)
Today’s virtual dating world is a place where people create wish lists like some adult version of Build a Bear Workshop®. Here we judge by photos and swipe and click countless profiles, shopping for a partner like its Amorous Amazon’s or Erotic Ebay’s free shipping weekend: “Hurry! Act now before it’s too late and your soulmate’s grabbed by someone else! Sign up today and we’ll expedite overnight at no additional charge!”
For many (older women over 40 in particular), online dating creates a recipe for rejection. Believe me, I know whereof I speak. These days I’m an international flight attendant for American Airlines. I work with literally thousands of women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond trying to start over again after one of the big 3-Ds (death, divorce, or getting dumped). Most contemplate or actually do online dating. Success is negligible. Just last week I flew with a very attractive, bubbly 47-year-old-blond. She tried online dating for seven years and 100 dates. Her verdict: Never again! And yet the TV ads tell us it works. Again, negligible and debatable, at least for 85% of my fellow flight attendants. (And that’s a generous estimate.) But, I digress.
For me, like my sister stews, six months online, and looking for love resulted in plenty of rejection. But once a writer, always a writer, so it also resulted in a book.
Written as a weekly journal in an intimate girlfriend to girlfriend style, WINK: A Single at Sixty’s Odyssey Guide to Online Dating (my first choice Single at Sixty Sucks seemed a little harsh), is a sexy, sophisticated (I’ve been told), irreverently sassy exposé on life, love and online dating. Wrapped in humor and research, WINK is a must read (so I’ve been told) how-to/don’t do guide for women over forty who might be thinking love’s a mere mouse click away. For those who’ve taken a trip down the rabbit-hole, WINK’s an instantly relatable, hysterical (I’ve been told) “been there/done that/got the t-shirt” look back. Currently I’m looking for an interested agent and/or publisher, so if anyone knows anyone . . .
Ladies, we women love to commiserate. We seek the shelter of community and the security of a community. It’s in our primordial hard-wiring to want and need to share. We love that “OMG! That happened to me! I thought I was the only one!” moment. And so with Louise’s kind indulgence, and if there’s interest among Affaire’s readers, I hope to provide just such moments over the next few months in a series of articles addressing various topics within the titled subjects of life, love, and online dating. I hope you’ll look for next month’s installment, an abridged version of Louise’s favorite chapter: “I make bird houses.”
Judith Hill is a former high school teacher, turned romance author, turned international flight attendant. After a twenty plus year hiatus from writing, she has returned to her passion. She nows adds to her bestselling historical romances a humor/advice/vent blog for women: singleat60sucks.com Regardless of your age or marital status, Judith promises that with each post you will relate at least twice and laugh thrice.
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