After my 21-year marriage ended, life took on a routine
of kids-work-house maintenance interrupted by the
occasional emotional bump.
Emotions weren’t something I could afford as a
newly divorced woman, given the to-do list that faced
me each day, so when well-meaning friends started
wonder if this was It. Kleenexes
tucked in my sleeve, Scotch mints at
the ready, steadily working through
every Netflix rom-com, and studiously avoiding real relationships
since the fantasy ones were so easily
worked out in 90 minutes.
Let’s face it. Dating is hard work.
It’s messy. The outcome is never
sure. One friend advised, “Don’t
date, it always ends badly.” Once
you’ve experienced emotional dev-
astation – and who hasn’t after five
or six decades in this world? – dating
again is like lying on the train track
of life, waiting to get run over.
Unless, of course, you’re made of
the same stuff as Thomas Edison
who, when his factory burned
down, famously said, “Great, I get
to start anew.”
So much had changed in the 30
years since I last dated. I had
changed. There was my securely at-
tached emotional baggage – and the
body losing its fight against gravity.
The world was a different place with
the Internet, hook-up culture, and
the rise in divorce among midlifers.
There is a multitude of saggy
singles out there like me, confused
about relationship failures and
(possibly) looking for someone to
love. Five years ago I wouldn’t have
Middle-aged, divorced and dating
online – what I learned about myself
and the brave new world
BY ALEX NEWMAN
pushing me to date, I was able to
easily put them off – too busy stabilizing the finances, too worried
about what studies reveal about
kids when their parents date, too
freaked out by the possibility of a
bad outcome. And too aware of how
history repeats itself.
Five years down the road, though,
with household matters well in
hand, my son almost finished university and my teenaged daughter
mostly MIA with friends, I began to
AVERAGE AGE OF
DIVORCE IN CANADA
( W W W.HRSDC.GC.CA)