Most nightmares are not a ratio, but mine was last night. The ratio 11 to 1 kept floating across my frontal lobe. Eleven to one. Eleven to one in all different sizes and typefaces — actually hovering in my mind, mocking me.
Eleven to one is the ratio I read earlier that night on an online dating website: If you’re in your 50s (the new 40s!), there are 11 single women to every single man. Yikes, say it isn’t so.
I already feel disadvantaged in the dating scene by the physical changes in my body: My skin is slowly melting down over the bones of my face. My boobs aren’t as perky as they were. Well, one is slightly perkier than the other. My thighs look like cottage cheese accented by a road map of varicose veins.
Who the heck would be attracted to me? I’m not even attracted to me.
There’s one recent physical improvement. I lost 35 pounds because of the divorce diet. Ask any divorced or even separated or widowed woman — when she finds herself single, she finally loses those extra pounds she struggled with eliminating for years ... probably decades.
The oven goes into retirement and the microwave becomes the cooking appliance of choice. You prepare a fraction of the meals you lovingly prepared when you were married. You food shop occasionally, instead of regularly, and you peck at some food in front of the TV set, hopefully not watching a soap opera mash-up like The Young and the Beautiful.
I am older and restless, but I am not giving up. Welcome to my blog about a woman age 50-plus who recently found herself single, after being coupled pretty much her entire life. In some ways, I feel like Mary Richards in TV’s Mary Tyler Moore Show (see statue photo). Mary moved to Minneapolis/Saint Paul to start a new chapter of her life. She was a professional single woman. I moved to southern Florida to start my new singlehood, but I am probably two decades older — and tanner, I might add.
Unlike Mary, I am a recent empty nester. My new nest is perched near my aging parents. I moved to sunny Florida to live closer to them. It’s 2015 and the odds of finding a compatible companion are, yes, 11 to 1. However, I refuse to feel and be discouraged. I am going to join an online dating website and engage in other date-seeking strategies and see what fate has in store for me.
My next post will describe my initial attempts at becoming a subscriber of online dating services. Through the next couple of weeks and months (perhaps years), I am going to share my trials and tribulations, my insights, dating tips and hopefully my ultimate success at reconstructing my shattered life into something beautiful, centered and fun. Come join me. It’s going to be an absurd, funny and, yes, sometimes sad account of a single, 50-plus-year-old woman attempting to find herself, her soul mate, her serenity and, most important, her sanity and sense of humor. Am I being too ambitious? I think not.
*Names and identifying information have been changed for anonymity reasons to protect peoples' privacy and for security reasons.
Photo: gpc decatur library/flickr
Also of Interest:
- Dating for Introverts: What Can I Do?
- I’m 63, She’s 37. How Young Is Too Young?
- Get Involved: Learn How You Can Give Back
- Join AARP: savings, resources and news for your well-being
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