I don’t know about you, but as a career-focused, family-oriented, happily single woman who just turned 55, dating hasn’t been on the top of my list. It’s true. I’ve been living a “too-full life” that I’ve both worked hard to create and gotten used to – and, for the most part, I am satisfied. I’m one of those ever-positive people who has recently been experimenting with the art of growing where I’m planted. I’ve already conquered worlds and pursued my dreams. I’ve flown and I’ve crashed. Now I’m content to land and savor what I have. and that’s been working really well for me. For example, one of the big reasons I moved back to Baltimore was to re-establish relationships with friends and especially family. And to start planning for a financially-secure retirement. Awfully practical compared to my younger self!

Being single as I live it now has been pretty much drama free. I like that. I like not being infatuated with someone or being lost in a relationship I can’t seem to extricate myself from, even if it is unhealthy for me. I don’t even think I want to be in any relationship that is a lot of work to maintain. Over time I’ve observed the ongoing dramas families and couples go through and I find myself saying more often these days “I’m so glad that phase of my life is over.”

Actually, I am quite surprised I feel this way. After all, I’ve always prided myself as a romantic. But hopeless romantic no more. Indeed, since becoming an adult, along with the rapid changes I’ve experienced happening in general in society, I’ve seen love relationships shift dramatically too. I used to believe, for example, that I couldn’t live without a committed relationship that lasted till I left this earth. So far, reality has proven otherwise.

When it comes to love, I know that I am running out of time to “get it right.” This is not pressure. I’ve never “gotten love wrong.” Both of my long-term relationships were incredible learning experiences. But when it comes to finding love again, I would imagine the love I want next time around is more than anything else: joyful and fun. A proverbial “cherry on the top of my sundae.”

I recognize now too how much pressure making it work or even living together can put on two individuals in a couple. Yes! I think it’s wise – for example – for everyone considering living together either before marriage or instead of marriage to consider keeping separate residences if that is best for them rather than feel they must merge households, too. Maybe merging hearts is enough. We can talk more in depth about that issue in a future article if you want.

Coincidentally, I’ve been toying with a particular dating site over the past several months or so, using the free version. Today they offered me a discount to become a paid member and I said yes! It feels right. So, I guess I am ready to take it to the next level.

I can’t wait to tell you more about my online dating adventures in future articles. I of course will be very discreet; I don’t want to identify anyone. Stay tuned!

Barb Elgin, MSW, is a Certified Singles Coach who has been coaching and counseling single, dating, and coupled lesbians for over 25 years. If you’re interested in connecting with other women-who-love-women in healthy social and travel environments that combine fun and learning, join Barb’s complimentary email list here: Lastinglesbianlove.com/lesbian-social-and-travel-with-heart.