Cover Photo: To date or not to Date by Catherine Miller

To date or not to Date

I smiled when my daughter said "Why don't you try online dating?". I smiled when she gave me a shiny silver frog wearing a gold crown. "This is yours to keep until your next Prince Charming comes along" she said as I unwrapped the birthday gift. Little did I know how tight a grip I would keep on that shiny little frog for the next few years. During those years my-gaze would land on the frog, bringing to stark and startled light the image of me chugging and churning through a land mine of possible dating. At times i thought the idea absurd since I am now in the category of age "55 and older". My insides were not smiling in any way. I was scared, I was confused at the prospect of my methodology to return to the dating scene.

What was my chosen reason to foray into the world of modern dating? Why did a frosty pit of fear settle like a rock into the pit of my stomach every time my daughter asked "Have you done anything Mom, about getting back into dating?"

My husband had passed away years ago. And, here I was getting on with my life in every area except an attempt to begin dating. Did I need a new man in my life? Did I need another layer of complexity in my presen life? Would a new relationship bring me something called joy? Would that relationship mean I would have to make sacrifices? And, so the questions go around and around in my head. Did I need to be in a new relationship after age 55? 55 seems old until you turn 50. Then, 55 does not look so old anymore.

I sometimes wanted a parner to the crime of my life. I already had peace and a fair amount contentment in my life. I am close with my family, small though it is. I have many wonderful friends. I have hobbies like painting and reading that occupy my time. I love movies and the performing arts. So the list goes on.

But, alas, there was a catch. At times I did not want to eat dinner alone. I did not want to spend Sunday mornings reading the paper alone. Alone, I had to drive everywhere myself. I wanted to have a partner for the fun times. I wanted someone to take me to the symphony and the ballet. I wated to say," we need to go to that production, we need to go to that party". married. I now can say I liked an occasional clash with my partner.There was a deep loneliness that I felt without a husband by my side. I was swinging back and forth trying to inch closer to some decision about dating again.