Things that are awful/awesome about dating after 40

  1. The dating pool is WAY smaller than it was in your 20s and 30s.
  2. ...and it's filled with other people who are single in the 40+ range.
  3. ...and sometimes, somewhere in the midst of a first or second date, you realize why they're still single.
  4. ...and it's not a good thing.
  5. ...because life is hard and full of f^%k ups - some that have been done to them, some that they've committed, some that just came out of nowhere.
  6. ...and that can mar, leave people subtly disoriented, and not quite healthy enough to be a life-giving presence in your life.
  7. ...and sometimes it's not them. You're the one that's been marred in a way that makes you unhealthy for them.
  8. ...but sometimes, life's pills and puzzles make a person nuanced, brave, and wise.
  9. ...and profoundly beautiful for, not in spite of, their flaws.
  10. ...and some of these people have done their work and know where their land mines lay.
  11. ...and can be gracious when you mistakenly trigger them.
  12. ...but some haven't done that work and things blow up harsh and ugly.
  13. ...but more often than not, you've developed a keen intuition, and can discern the one from the other before it's too late.
  14. ...but sometimes you still miss something and find yourself, again, stung and bewildered amidst the debris.
  15. ...and it hurts just as bad as all the other times before.
  16. ...but time has given you perspective and so you don't take things so personally.
  17. ...and so you mend a bit faster.
  18. ...and you take it as yet another learning experience - knowledge for a better next time.
  19. ...and for a better, deeper you.
  20. ...but at the same time, you wonder if life isn't leaving you cynical, or worse, numb and apathetic.
  21. ...and in your better moments, you remember that this too will pass, that life and love are still out there to be embraced.
  22. ...and in your lesser moments, you remember all the times you've told yourself that same thing before.
  23. ...and yet, here you are again.
  24. ...and that can drive you to watch seven episodes, back to back, night after night, of that show.
  25. ...or to binge eat/drink.
  26. ...but you can afford better food/booze these days, so there's that.
  27. ...but you catch yourself, eventually.
  28. ...because you've been here before and you know the way out.
  29. ...and you've learned to be kinder to yourself.
  30. ...and one benefit of being 40+ and single today is the existence of on-line dating sites.
  31. ...and you wonder how mid-lifers ever dated before the Internet.
  32. ...and yes, you see those same profiles again.
  33. ...and you wonder why they're still single.
  34. ...and if they're wondering the same thing about you.
  35. ...but you're out there.
  36. ...and sometimes someone new signs up.
  37. ...and sometimes someone changes something in their profile or puts up a new photo and suddenly, potential energy abounds.
  38. ...and sometimes that profile that disappeared before you could reach out appears again after a few weeks/months.
  39. ...and you get excited because now you have another shot.
  40. ...but you also wonder what happened to them while they were away.
  41. ...and sometimes you send a message.
  42. ...and sometimes you get a message.
  43. ...and sometimes it leads to something great.
  44. ...but more often, not so much.
  45. ...but that's okay, because perspective and self-kindness.
  46. ...and better friends.
  47. ...and better booze.
  48. ...and Netflix.