Like so many women, I’ve gone out with a lot of frogs in my search to find a prince among them. In fact, it’s taken a year and a half of dating men. And guess what? Three of them had the name Richard. Two turned out to be Dicks. The third has been a Rich experience.

My story: Seven years ago, I got divorced. For five of those years, I did nothing about getting out—like so many of my female friends who find themselves in a similar single situation. I would still be doing nothing if my daughter had not threatened to make me go public by setting up my online dating profile. To shut her up, I got on a dating site and created my own, sure that it was a lost cause and I would meet no one.

My self-esteem post-divorce sucked from being told I was old and that I would never find anyone who would want me. And let’s face it, when someone throws you away after 20 years, you tend to think there’s some reason why. Then I decided, Screw him. I’m doing this. What followed was one wild year of dating. In that time, I’ve been the dumper and the dumped. Never shed any tears along the way, but chalked it all up to a pretty great experience.

WHY DATING OVER 50 CAN BE GREAT

Trust me, the more you date, the better you get at it. You get better at spotting the frogs right from the start. You get bolder at calling bullshit. You get good at stating what YOU want. You learn when to call it quits–even if that’s mid-conversation over a drink You start recognizing the signs and listening to your gut: Uh-huh. This one’s a freaking f’d up whackado. Push the eject button ASAP.

And along the way you’ll get out just in the nick of time. You’ll get some free meals. You’ll see some good movies, plays and stuff you’re dying to do at someone else’s expense. Hey, a girl has to eat, doesn’t she? And just because you got something for free, doesn’t mean you have to put out. You control your destiny. Men may have expectations on ROI, but you didn’t sign any contract when you accepted the date so you’re off the hook.

You’ll feel better about yourself. You’re wanted. You will get complimented. I don’t care what anyone female says, we like and need a little male attention. And because you’re getting out again, you’ll start to take better care of yourself—so at the very least you will look your best, and that feels wonderful.

You’ll realize that there is a lid for every pot. At least that is what my mom told me, and it turned out to be true. It may have taken a while to find my lid, but he’s been worth the wait. Only thing is now I have my 85-year-old mom giving me dating advice. Her latest? I’ve been thinking…maybe you should go buy some lingerie. She also doesn’t think I should call him my boyfriend. She thinks it’s a weird term to use when you’re almost 60. I told her she’s having way too much fun with my life. Do you have any crazy dating after 50 stories? Share them in the comments!

How I Found My (Rich) Prince Charming

Holly Pavlika is an award-winning creative marketing and social media veteran and SVP, Brand Strategy at Collective Bias where she oversees marketing, PR and social strategy. She’s also the founder of MOMentumNation, her blog on marketing to moms leveraging social media. 

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