A Fish Out Of Water

Women laughing, 50, Fabulous & Finally Free

Part 1:

I think that dating is difficult at any age, for either sex, but being a single woman at 50 is that much more difficult. Being single for the first time in more than 20 years is extremely awkward to say the least.

I think that my take on all of this is different than most, I waited a really long time, choosing to focus on raising my amazing kids before I even thought about what my life might be missing. I waited more than 4 years before I even went out in a setting that was really even social. My friends pushed, but I really wasn’t interested.

My first time out was strange, I really felt when I walked in to that room full of people that everyone was staring at me - they probably were because I looked so uncomfortable. I was and still am different than most of the others including both men & women that are in these settings.

I always said that there was no way I would ever be that girl on the prowl and I never will be. I never wanted to go out with only one or 2 friends standing on the outside of the room scanning the room for a potential whatever as there is a lot of that going on and it really is pathetic and desperate. I am lucky enough to proudly say that I was able to avoid that.

I actually have an amazing small group of women that are not only interesting and funny, they are intelligent and confident, able to sit at a table engrossed in a conversation oblivious to all that is going on around us. I think we are the exception, not the rule.

Secondly, on that first night out, we were fortunate enough to run in to a male friend that I have known for nearly twenty years. He immediately made us feel so comfortable, introducing us to all of his friends who welcomed us in to their “friend” group.

I need to genuinely express how grateful I am to all of the “friend” group for welcoming us and have to say that the rest of my story really isn’t about any of them. They are really the proof that having a non-judging group of friends is healthy and necessary! I am so thankful for my friends, old and new!

I feel a little bit like I am a character from the sit-com “Friends” (of course an older version) and I kind of like it. Now we are invited everywhere, not as objects or with an ulterior motive, but truly because we are friends and part of the group. It really is fun and a pleasure to hang out with all of them.

There was one small hiccup to the first night, so I have to mention it:

That very first night of being out, I had an interesting conversation with one of the guys. In a nutshell, he asked me, “Don’t you have the desire to just “HOOK-UP” for the night with someone?” I don't even know what that means, BUT I didn’t even have to think about it for a second - absolutely NOT! I was mortified and although I really am unclear of what that means, I think it really might be a thing that a lot of people are doing!

To each his own as they say, but I am going to judge a little and maybe wrongly so... I think that you have only one reputation no matter how old you are - this includes men and women, but I am speaking mainly for women! I also think that a first impression is a lasting impression and I guess that may make me prudish or uptight, but I really do know within a minute if I like someone or not - even as a friend!

I am different and always have been, I am the one who almost always stays sober, not entirely because I always want to be in control, but because I genuinely don’t need to have alcohol to make me feel comfortable. My friends might argue that am a lot more fun when I am drunk, but I beg to differ!

If I could describe myself in one word, I would say that I am a little bit “Invisible”, some people might call it unapproachable, but I am pretty sure that I do go unnoticed and am easily forgotten!

I really like being the one observing, so I am OK with that, I am not lacking confidence and will talk with many people throughout the night, some interesting and some not, but I do judge people and really feel like I am a good judge of character.

So what is the point? Well, my initial take on all of this is that we are all in the same boat. I don't think that you should ever try and be something that you are not. There really are just as many guys out there with questionable confidence as there are women and there are just as many men re-learning how to do this as there are women. One thing I know is that we are all equally awkward. I guess that you have to start somewhere and as I said, being out with my "friend" group has made this next chapter actually fun and I am truly grateful!

Having been out and about for a little while, one thing has not changed. I still feel like I am different than everyone else in the places we go. I am still the observer and by choice I am still alone. Hopefully someday I will feel differently and perhaps I will eventually be leaving with someone, someone worthy, someone that I really like, someone who is charming and funny, someone who likes that I am different and wants to leave to have a deeper conversation, but never for just a sleepover.

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