Blog Birthday: 14 Lessons Learned about Dating, Sex, and Life in Your 60s

Wonder woman for blog

In honor of the 1-year birthday of this blog (February 14), I’m going to indulge in a brief interlude of narcissism. Today’s theme: what I learned in the last year about dating, sex, and life in your 60s – and blogging.

My goal, as always, is to impart useful knowledge, make you laugh, or just be that wing woman sitting at the whine bar with you while we wonder why the hell we can’t find the one.

I’m going to write this blog post in real dating time. In other words, I’m writing this post while texting two guys simultaneously – a guy from Tinder and a Bumble match.

Given my track record lately, one will turn out to be a Russian spy who has traveled forward in time from the cold war era and the other one will actually be a married trans woman. But hope springs eternal…so I text on.

Join me in an anti-Valentine’s Day treat of creamy Gorgonzola and portobello mushroom risotto created by a wonderfully named chef called Nadia G (of Bitchin’ Kitchen fame). Just substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock and you will eat like Nadia A.

And now I present my top 14 lessons learned in the last year about dating, sex, life in your 60s, and blogging:

*Maximizing opportunities keeps hope alive. I’m on multiple dating sites and apps. Later this month, I will try speed dating a second time (via a new speed dating meet-up) and attend a Match happy hour with live in the flesh as opposed to virtual men.

*Keep trying something new. This is related to the maximizing opportunities point above. The single life is not only about dating but also about finding ways to make new friends and to enrich your life through education, culture, or sport. I signed up for a Spanish class, multiple new meet-up groups, and went to museums, art galleries, poetry readings, and story telling events.

*Keep trying something old in a new way. Because I have CRS (Can’t Remember Shit), I have no idea what I meant when I jotted this down in my first draft of this post…. but it sounds good so I’m keeping it. Please tell me what you think I meant.

*It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. Take this in any way you want. Going to a bar happy hour by myself was a leap for this shy blogger.

*Say yes to as much as you can. Even if you’re tired. Even if you’re cranky. Go, do, enjoy.

*If a man starts to make you feel bad about yourself in any way, run to the nearest exit. Consider the source and do not believe anything he says about you.

*Similarly, if a man doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, look elsewhere.

*Get used to the roller coaster of dating. One day you’ll be messaging or talking to 3 guys – all seemingly good possibilities and by the end of the next day, one has disappeared, one is revealed as a scammer, and the other one is starting to creep you out.

*Smile to yourself when you’re out with a couple (married or otherwise) that drives each other crazy or engages in petty fighting. At this moment, say, TGIS (Thank God I’m Single.)

*If a man’s total focus is on sex – either before or after you meet – drop him even if you want sex.

*Put on your big girl panties and tell your man what you need and what you want.

*Keep a journal or write a blog to help you figure out your life. Writing an anonymous blog helped motivate me to try new things – for the good of the blog. 

*Be as physically active as you can to relieve stress and to feel better about yourself.

*Be a woman who roars. Revel in your strength and independence. It feels good to add oil and transmission fluid to your car, tighten that loose toilet seat, manage a home renovation project, and book an overseas trip.

What have you learned in the last year? Let me know. If you liked this post or any past ones, sign up to get regular email delivery of this blog. To maximize your pleasure, sign up for my Twitter feed and like my Facebook page. You’ll get frequent daily updates of news and features about dating, relationships, sex, the single life, and life in your 60s.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Dating and Powerball: Compare and Contrast

Blog pix lottery

It’s time for another compare and contrast blog post. This time, let’s compare dating to Powerball®.

This morning, I went to two different liquor stores to buy $8 worth of lottery tickets. With a $900 million Powerball® jackpot for tonight’s drawing, I can’t think of a better return on my investment! As I browsed the wine aisles before making my purchase, I started thinking about the similarities and differences between buying a lottery ticket and searching for “the one.”

Enjoy some healthy Power Veggie Soup as we fantasize about winning the lottery and the man.

Compare and Contrast Dating and Powerball:

  • You have to play to win. Rating: Similar
  • The cost: can be cheap ($2 per ticket and $5 for a happy hour glass of wine) or pricey ($200 for 100 tickets and $200 for dinner with a very nice bottle of wine and a movie). Rating: Similar
  • Both Powerball® and online dating require “matching.”   Rating: Similar
  • There are two Powerball® drawings a week (Wednesday and Saturday). There are two “best days” for reaching out to and connecting with prospective online matches – Sunday and Monday. With dating, the goal is to line something up before the weekend. Rating: Mostly Similar (despite the different specific days)
  • With Powerball®, you have to match a total of 6 numbers. With seeking a mate, you’ll likely be looking for more than 6 desired traits. One list of top 10 desired traits includes honesty, communication, commitment, trustworthiness, affection, humor, confidence, independence, self-sufficience, and relateability. It would be hard to eliminate any of these.   Rating: Different
  • If you win the lottery, you choose between a cash lump sum payment or an annuitized prize paid out over 29 years. With dating, you decide whether to go with an initial outlay of a romp in the hay or an annuitized long-term commitment prize paid out over 29+ years. Rating: Similar
  • The chance of winning the lottery: infinitesimal. The chance of meeting your match: better than infinitesimal but still a lot of slogging. Rating: Different
  • That feeling you get when you play the lottery and the feeling you get when you begin to date someone you’re excited about: hope. Rating: Similar

So if you buy a Powerball® ticket before the cut-off tonight, maximize hope and talk to that cute guy in line.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating!

XXXOOO

Nadia

Bittersweet: Revisiting a Place from your Marital History

Embed from Getty Images

Bittersweet – a good term to describe not only excellent chocolate but also some of the experiences one has after divorce. Case in point: revisiting a place (city, point of interest, etc.) you frequented with your ex- or your ex- and your kids.

When I revisit a place I love, my goal is to create new memories so that I can return with fewer pangs of loss (less bitter, more sweet). Brief pause while I close my eyes and swoon to One Republic’s Burning Bridges accompanied by romantic fantasizing. And let’s take another brief pause to eat some Thai style grain salad with crunchy seeds.

Back to the case in point: the first time I revisited a key place from my marital vacation history was a few years ago when I took my daughter to Italy. Although we road-tripped across the North (a new place for me), we also visited Venice. Standing on a small bridge near Piazza San Marco, the same bridge I had stood on while Mr. Ex took a photo of me, was truly bittersweet. But then I swallowed and went off to explore the rest of the city and a new gelato place. So, yes, it was painful to see couples enjoying this romantic city but how could I never return to this place of dreams? That would give too much power to the loss. Better to overlay those memories with new ones.

Seeking out new parts of Venice, or any new aspect of a place you are returning to, can help add to the sweetness of the experience.

There have been smaller, local experience revisits as well. By now I have accumulated quite a list of bittersweet revisits – from formerly frequented restaurants and music venues to far flung vacation places.

What I can’t do yet: go by the house we lived in for over 25 years. So I avoid that neighborhood and even the neighbors. There’s no upside in this case – no new sweetness to gather.

I write this sitting on a beautiful beach, part of a southern barrier island – a place we vacationed in often as a young family. This time, with my siblings, I look past the past to the present moment of sun, clear water, and soft wind. Healing.

I wonder about the many other young families on the beach. Will they remain intact well into the future? If not, they are still creating memories. And they’ll always have the ability to revisit the memories – to experience the bittersweet and transform it into something new.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating,

XXXOOO

Nadia

Hope: Losing it and Getting it Back

I wanted this blog to take the reader through a natural progression of life and love issues after divorce. I’m going to diverge a bit today because blog posts — just like life — do not necessarily follow a nice, neat, chronological order.

Today’s subject is hope – why it’s so important and how you get it back when you seem to have misplaced it. For our conversation, we need breakfast comfort food for lunch: blueberry pancakes.

Hope is the thing that keeps me going when slogging through bad dating profiles. It’s the thing that helps me bounce back after finding out a promising man is America’s Most Wanted Romance Scammer. And it is the lifeline I hold onto after an awkward first date that begs for termination after 10 minutes.

Sometimes life happens — to revisit a cliché — and I lose my optimism. Loss of hope can be triggered by matters of the heart, medical concerns, financial worries, or an unexpected reminder of my defunct marriage. And when all four happen at once — watch out!

Fortunately, with the passing of time, I’ve been able to shorten “hopeless” interludes and jumpstart myself back to a hopeful place.

Here are some things that I think about to make me feel better and some actions that I’ve found to be helpful. I’d love to know what works for you.

Points to Ponder to Revive Hope: 

  • Given mathematical probability, percentages based on direct e-mail marketing, and random karma, it is just a matter of time before that guy who likes me is actually someone I like.
  • A lot of men want a relationship too – just read the profiles.
  • Anything can happen at any time. But most of it won’t happen inside your house or apartment. Get out!

Things to Do:

  • Think about the universal need to connect with other people and realize it will help you. On Oscar night, a man on POF (Plenty of Fish) emailed me to ask if I was watching the Oscar’s or Downtown Abbey.

We ended up “watching the Oscar’s together,” commenting on who we wanted to win and the quality of the performances. We both loved Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music. Will I ever meet this guy? Hard to know. We have continued to exchange emails and just yesterday he suggested a phone call. Even if we never meet, we carried on a nice “virtual conversation” for an evening. That’s worth something.

  • Keep a lot of irons in the fire. At any one time, I am on three dating sites to maximize opportunities (opportunities = hope).
  • Consider an occasional email exchange with young and/or out-of-town men just to kvetch about the often-frustrating online dating process. Creating solidarity helps me feel better. I know I am not alone in the quest to not be alone.
  • Do something that empowers you – whether it is proactively contacting a potential match or initiating a fun activity such as PaintNite for you and your friends.
  • Plan a vacation or day trip. Having something to look forward to does wonders for increasing your hope quotient.
  • Exercise really does help. I have found boxing with a trainer to be amazingly therapeutic.

I wanted to write this post because I began the week in a less hopeful place. I feel better now. Just thinking about these truths and putting them down on paper — or rather the computer — helped.

As one of my favorite writers Anne Lamott says about writing and life in Bird by Bird, “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”

What keeps you going?