Self acceptance dating

I feel like I’ve been reading headline after headline my whole adult life that are like, “The 20-somethings, why hath they not yet wed in holy matrimony?

” These stories read like panicked end-of-world relationship shifts when really, young people are actually just kind of chaotic and messy and that’s fine!

But if it ever gotten cool, I certainly got there before that time—I was online dating in the year of our Lord 2007, before most people currently alive were even born.

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Being sized up as breeding stock is still not totally normal but, hey, I’m semi-flattered that they’d consider mixing genes with me.

One of the great mistakes I think many of my 30-something peers make is assuming that letting their preferred age range dip well into the early-to-mid-20s would be a waste of time.

When I became unexpectedly single again this fall, I feared that I’d find their endless scrolls a barren wasteland, the bitter harvest of dude-crops picked over with all the eligible bachelors snatched up by effervescent college girls who love to laugh and have serious wanderlust but exclusively for Cabo San Lucas in March and April of any given year.

What I found instead was a veritable feast of f*ckable dudes who were not only picking up what I was throwing down, but also apparently had learned that the correct way to react to a text message from a woman you’re seeing is to actually answer it in full sentences within a few hours of receiving it. This realization is just one of many genuinely surprising-in-a-good-way discoveries I've made since trying the whole dating thing again, this time as an older and wiser woman in her 30s.

It beats the hell out of the four-in-a-row of that guy who’s laughing so hard he’s crying that I used to get.

Like, is this the movie with Michael Keaton where he cloned himself to do all his chores and raise his children so there are actually four of you laughing about the thing I said?

On the topic of raking lawns, it reminds me, naturally, that we are all on a slow and unstoppable march toward death, a fact that we think about more often as we get older.

So as my age range preference has expanded to accommodate more dudes in their mid-to-late 30s, I find that they realize more keenly that they don’t have all the time to “see what happens” and “play the field," and not just because their vision isn’t what it used to be and sports really agitate their increasingly fragile back muscles! And on that note, the imaginary children I’ve been thinking about for decades are finally something that it is fine to talk about.

The thing about claiming to have gotten into online dating “before it was cool” is that there is no such time: Online dating never actually got cool.

It just became normal, as more and more people realized that the internet is, indeed, a legitimate communication pathway and that “real life” people use it to connect to each other.

On the other hand, going out with a cool dude who four hours into our date casually told me that he had made me accept the reality that I’m going to be going on a lot more dates that double as stepmom auditions than I used to.

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