When I was a young girl I believed that all girls grow up, meet their partner and get married; like Barbie and Ken. I never gave any thought to the who, when or how this would occur, and I certainly never thought I would be looking for love after 40.
I had a wonderful life in my 20s and 30s. I was focused on my family of origin and their milestones. My sisters both got married and then they started having children. These wonderful little balls of pure joy that I completely adored. I totally rocked being and Aunt. I was there, I was present and I was thrilled to capture every second with them. There was so much love and joy.
I’m not saying that I didn’t wonder where my ‘Ken’ was at times, but the happiness in other areas made that wish but a whisper. My cup was full of love in so many ways.
My 20s and 30s were also filled with personal experiences like travel to different countries, and weekends visiting this family or that friend. My career began and grew into its own force during this time as well. Some say work became my marriage, and I can’t really argue with that. I didn’t have a family of my own so I worked, it was that simple. Don’t feel sad for me, it was my life and my joy, and at the time that was enough.
Then came 40, and little ones that were now teens and sisters busy with their maturing relationships and growing children. There was a shift that made me start to hear the whisper grow louder. What about my life partner? Shouldn’t I have a ‘Ken’ by now? Why haven’t I organically met that person who is going to walk through life with me?
I should add some context to this story and share with you that while I wasn’t, and am not, a hermit, I also wasn’t the person who seeking out parties and a full social calendar. I spent time with my family and friends. As things went, that circle didn’t change to often. So I asked myself, ‘if it hadn’t already happened by now, how was I going to meet someone?’
Insert the world of online dating here! The modern version of a going to the local dance, dinner or barn building to interact with other humans with the intention of finding someone you have a spark with.
My view of online dating was, to be honest, a very judgmental disdain. I protested that it just wasn’t for me. That I wanted to meet someone the old fashioned way. Um, did I mention that I was looking for love after 40? Which means that for over 20 years, no one had knocked at the door looking for me, other than the pizza guy. So, I got over myself. I chose an online platform that I felt right for me, and I took the step.
My experience was actually pretty simple. I can honestly say I didn’t have the horror stories that some of my friends and acquaintances had. Through the course of my trial and error I went on exactly three dates.
The first guy was a coffee date where I learned he did still in fact live with his mother – hmm that was a deal breaker for me. Let me say that it wasn’t because she was sick and needed him, he just still lived with his mother at 43. Uh no. The second guy was nice, but seemed old, if that makes sense. I feel so much younger than my age, that it was not a equitable match. We went out twice and then didn’t call each other. No drama. The last one I messaged without much hope of his returning my online ‘smile’. He was so handsome and to be frank I thought he was out of my league.
A few weeks after I had sent a smile to Mr. #3, he messaged me. I was surprised, not only because I never expected it, but also because I had almost forgotten about it. Okay, this is where it gets mushy. My first date with Mr #3 was with him and his daughter. It was comfortable and easy and I was excited to see them both again. The really crazy part was, that when I left them, I drove away and suddenly felt sick to my stomach. What was this I was feeling? I kept driving, and my face scrunched up in a puzzled expression, and then words came out of my mouth in a scared, but certain whisper, ‘wholly crap, they are my family’.
Love after 40 happened for me, and those two people are in fact now my family, and truly have been from that first meeting. Mr #3 is my fiance and his daughter is now my daughter. If faith is something you have, then lean in to it, and get over any judgement you hold on to for whatever method you need to use to find that love you’re looking for. Whether its an app, a friend, going outside, or just looking up from your smart phone – open your eyes and love after 40 could be your story too.