Part One: It’s a Jungle Out There–Dating in My Fifties



A post by my friend Kathy Cox:

My name is Kathy. I’m 54 years old and I have been single for the last six years. I didn’t quite make it to that 25th silver anniversary, but I did survive married life for 24 years.

I was quite unhappy in my marriage; it seemed that the only things my ex and I had in common were two wonderful sons, bills to pay, and a love of gardening. When I reached the ripe old age of 48, I said to myself, “I’m 48 and miserable…..twenty years from now, unless I change something, I will be 68 and miserable.”

So I got divorced. I liked the idea of marriage; I just hadn’t chosen the right person for me. So I optimistically set out to find “Mr. Right.”

In all honesty, this is what I thought to myself, “I look decent, I’m in fairly good shape, I have a basically cheerful personality, so surely my knight in shining armor will ride up on his white horse and sweep me off my feet.”

However, meeting that special someone proved to be a challenge.

I attend a church where the congregation is mostly old people.

I go to a gym where the men seem to be either young, short (I’m 5’10”), or married.

I work as an innkeeper on an island where most guests are couples on a romantic get-away.

Therefore, I decided to try my luck at online dating.

I was a little surprised to find that many men my age are interested in women much younger than me. Idiots! Do they really think they will be able to hang on to a woman in her 30’s when they are in their 50’s?

It also appeared that many men who were interested in me were already in their 60’s. I have no desire to take on a man ten or more years older than me in a brand-new relationship.

In the past six years I dated several men, and I met all but one of them online. My requirements for Mr. Right are: he should be at least 5’10”, intelligent, near my age, gainfully employed, decent looking, have a sense of humor, have some spiritual beliefs, and enjoy outdoor activities.

Unfortunately, although most men I dated met most of my requirements, there was usually some other issue that was a deal-breaker.

The first guy I dated was a smoker.

The next one was a narcissist.

Another one was an alcoholic.

Yet another one was extremely religious.

The most recent one had mental issues.

Then along came Nick.

I “met” Nick online about two months ago. He is 6’1”, 52 years old, attractive (I think), has a master’s degree, has a job as an antiques/art dealer, attends church regularly, and is very interested in me.

Could this finally be Mr. Right?

To be continued…

me at BHI ferry

Kathy Cox lives in Wilmington, NC and has two grown sons (top photo) living in Raleigh, NC. She recently received her master’s degree in gerontology and is doing consulting work with a non-profit Aging in Place organization.  She also sells printing and works as an innkeeper on Bald Head Island, NC.

10 responses »

    • Hi Kathryn,

      I have found that it is essential to never give up hope; whether in finding the right man or in ANY situation you enounter in life. Sometimes I think that all of the good men are already taken. I have told my friends, “maybe I need to wait about ten years until some really great man’s wife dies, and he will be the right one for me.” (Coincidentally, Nick’s wife died of cancer five years ago.) I also think it’s important to be patient; and patience has never been my strong suit. Hang in there, Kathryn, and thanks for writing.


  1. Kathy…..loved seeing a picture of your boys! Very nice looking family! You are so brave and need to continue to be your fun and friendly self. I know you will succeed….. you are a good catch!! Thanks so much for sharing your escapades with us.

    • Thanks, Judy! Your friendship, kind words, and encouragement are greatly appreciated. I have found that I enjoy life’s adventures the most when I don’t take things too seriously!

    • Kimba, it really is a great story. I asked Barbara when she was going to post part 2, and she said she would leave y’all hanging for a short while. So be sure to stay tuned for further developments!

  2. I’m 52 and just got married again after 12 years. (Mr. Right and I dated for 8.) We didn’t meet online, but I definitely think those matches can work. I tried it for a couple of years and really didn’t have any bad experiences. Met some very nice guys, in fact. But I just didn’t have that perfect chemistry with anyone. I’m also looking forward to the “rest of the story” about Nick!

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