Is there life after marriage? Hell yes!
Hordes of women the world over are rediscovering their identity, sexuality, and life goals after leaving long-term relationships.
I’m Eve and this is my story, which could be your story or any woman’s tale of what happens when, on a whim, an excited and nervous, freshly liberated forty-something gets a dating app.
She might be seeking entertainment, sex, frivolous fun or a serious commitment.
Whatever her goals, today’s midlife woman will find herself in a bizarre new post-internet world amid the general collapse of what ‘dating’ used to be like for Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Online dating is the kind of baptism by fire that scours us clean of all but our genuine intentions. It forces us to consider what we really want in the second half of our lives.
My own very personal story is told here in numerous posts about reclaiming my ‘midlife’ self, post-motherhood and marriage. (Start from the bottom of the sidebar and work your way up!)
Owning up to the concept of ‘midlife’ was part of my journey! This blog used to be called UNLEASHING THE COUGAR, and though – with a cheeky dose of irony – I redefined what I meant by ‘cougar’, the label never did sit well. I’ve moved past that phase, away from the 20- and 30-somethings, who taught me a whole lot about the new midlife me – my sexuality, my desirability and what this 21st Century dating caper is all about.
Hell, the interweb wasn’t even invented when I was last single! Online dating is a brash new world with few rules and great expectations. If you’ve been partnered for a while, you’ll have no idea of what it’s like out there.
A new name for a new decade!
During my first year of online dating, I discovered the tantalising lure of younger men, virtual sex, kinks – and the illusion of endless choice online. My heartfelt memoirs document my transformation from eager ingénue unfamiliar with the lingo and etiquette, bad behaviour and in-your-face dick pics! It was the baptism of fire that every newbie lives through.
Here, I consider the vast beast of the online dating industry itself, romance scams and catfishing, alternative relationship models, infidelity and monogamy, mid-life sexuality, touch, and how difficult it is to find genuine intimacy.
Three years after downloading that first dating app, I’m in a happy monogamous relationship. I’m both satisfied and genuinely settled. I’m finally off the apps and dating sites, and that’s nothing but a relief!
I still adore thinkers and writers like Esther Perel and Dan Savage who explore relationships and help people through the quagmire of desire and intimacy. And I’m still very much interested in the whole topic of post-internet dating and relationships, so I sometimes share other people’s writing on the topic. I still avidly read other people’s blogs about their journey and like to feel the international pulse of thought and feeling about dating.
I aim to shine a light on the messages we’re given in our lives about what choices we have, what relationships should look like, and what we expect of our partners.
Here in this blog I also reflect on the thorny topic of age for women, tips and advice for people looking online for partners, but most of all, I still question everything and pull no punches about post-internet dating.
If you’re dating again after a long relationship has ended, or if you’re someone interested in modern dating, or especially a ‘midlife’ woman or man, I want to hear your feedback and stories. Get ready for a bumpy ride!
PS – a word on posting frequency
My articles and memoirs are generally quite long and well researched. I used to post to a schedule but I found that difficult at times, because I need to gestate and allow the dust to settle. I’m also mindful of the awkward intersection between my lived experience and my writing subject matter.
This flows over into issues around privacy, and the ethics of writing for an audience about relationships – sometimes even as they’re unfolding.
It’s true that every blogger should have their niche, but when your niche is such a defining, complex and confusing aspect of your life (ie, sex and dating/relationships), you can’t always squeeze out an article just to satisfy some random idea that you’ll blog weekly.
So I prefer to post when it feels right, or when the urge for a new piece overtakes me, or when I have truly worthy words, thoughts and feelings to explore and share. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you’ll join me on my journey. Start at the bottom if you want to begin at the beginning – this story is my first.
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