You may be alone for the holidays but you're not alone in being alone. Does that make you feel better? It was supposed to. Many people who curl up on the sofa, Christmas in the air, to snuggle with and plant little elfin kisses on a loved one don't always realize that the holidays can be a sad time for a lot of people.
I know this because I, too, walk in the Valley of the Lonely, otherwise known as the world of online dating.
It's my second time among the Electronically Eligible. I was looking for love on match.com in 2010 after the unexpected, made-for-TV-movie ending of a very long and happy marriage. I was one of the lucky ones. I found a deep and satisfying love with a smart, charming, wonderful man. But, for some reason we were not meant to live happily ever after. He died of cancer before we could even celebrate our second anniversary together.
But, I'm a better person because of him and the immense love we shared. I have more to give because of what he taught me about love and about myself. I want to start living again, not just existing.
So, I'm back among the Walking Unwed.
I joined a paid ($23.99 a month) site called Our Time (ourtime.com), which is for people 50 and older. I thought I'd have better luck at this watering hole than the free sites for all ages. What I found was that this is where the really lonely and sad people are. (I guess because this is the age in which we get really lonely and sad.)
I didn't even renew my ourtime.com subscription after the month was up. I didn't have time to answer — let alone write a thoughtful, friendly note to — all those men who flooded my in-box with 10, 20, 30 messages every day.
I (took the chicken's way out and) went back to a free site called OK Cupid (okcupid.com), where I'm just another old lady looking for a date. That in-box is much more manageable and the notes in it much less pathetic.
Here I am trying to prove the validity of the phrase, "the third time's a charm."
But I'll still spend most of my time trying to make life a little better for my bereft brethren, starting with the one who sent me this:
"Gotta figure on who to hole up with on Christmas. This is what I hate most about the holidays. I don't belong anywhere. I've become 'Mr. Imposition.' If I could go to sleep from Nov 15 to Jan 5, I'd do it in a heartbeat. What a grinch, eh!"
Oh brother, where's Santa when you need him?
Patti Ewald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8746