It felt like the right time to dive into the dating pool and finally share my heart with someone.
Nearly five years ago, my long term relationship ended. It had been decades since I was last on the dating scene, and I thought that it would be as easy as it was in my 20s.
I was so wrong.
When I met my last partner, there was no internet. Guys would pursue a girl they were interested in -- they would call and ask you to the movies, bring you flowers for special dates, and take you to dinner.
But now there is internet dating. I was (and still am) leery of this process, but considering I work from home and am very busy, it seemed like a reasonable option.
Posting my online profile, I felt another layer of vulnerability. It was as if I was the last one to enter a high school dance and the whole room turned to see who walked in. But with this dance, the people are there for all kinds of reasons: some are looking to make friends, others are looking for a companion for one night, and a few are looking for long term relationships.
What has been an ongoing feeling for me is that online dating is like "shopping" for a mate rather than really looking for a partner. There seems to be such a disposable mentality to it. But perhaps I am being too analytical about it.
The motivator for me to try online dating in the first place was Patti Stanger. Stanger is an American matchmaker and television personality, known for starring in the reality series The Millionaire Matchmaker.
Stanger shared with me the top tips for women over 40 looking for love:
-Get online. The local dating pool is very small, so try to date outside of your city or town -- this increases your chances of finding your soulmate.
-Know your age range for dating. 10 years up and 10 years down is fine, but anything older or younger probably won't work.
-Consider divorced parents. They tend to be looking for long term relationships and stability.
-Exercise. Endorphins will come out, and sexuality will, too. People feel more confident after working out, and can be more open to meeting someone.
-Date one person. It can be easy to lose focus if you are dating different people, so try to date one person at a time and see if it works out.
I was still feeling slightly pessimistic about dating in my 40s, but Stanger challenged my thinking.
"Look at famous people now getting engaged in their 40s," she said. "The whole saying about being over 40 and not finding love is simply not true."
Stanger is confident that as you mature, you can still follow the road to love.
"The older you get, the wiser you are," she said. "You can see warning signs more easily. Use that intuition we all have to date."
I will continue to share how my dating life is progressing. Hopefully there will be some good news soon, and I can let Stanger know she was right.