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It’s been a bit over two years since my husband of 28 years told me we were “opening up” our marriage. Purely his idea, and he was doing it whether I agreed to it or not. Obviously, he had had something happening with a “friend” in another state, and wanted to take it to another level.

I wasn’t thrilled. I’m a fighter by nature, having mostly recovered from a devastating stroke at age 35 during the sixth month of my second pregnancy. I was willing to do whatever it took to figure things out with him, but apparently, he was done.

Under the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” theory, I started an account on OKCupid, and listed my status as “open relationship”. I looked at the experience as an adventure, having been in a faithful, monogomous relationship for 37 years. Even though my profile clearly states that I have a minor disability, my photos are pretty and garnered significant attention.

The first few dates were the weirdest since I hadn’t really dated in my younger days. I had become a bit of an adventure seeker after surviving a life threatening ordeal and coming out the other side ready to live life. It was fun to get attention from many different men. Some were smart, interesting and handsome. One was a very long term alcoholic. One was the brother of a girlhood friend who had graduated from high school with my oldest brother. I had a lot of “first dates”. Some of them clearly laid it out for me that the disability was a non-starter. For others, it was a total non-issue.

I had one serious affair with a handsome, successful guy who drank too much. Most guys in my demographic aren’t interested in monogomy which was hard to get used to after being married for so long.

I tried some other dating sites along the way just for the hell of it. I have come across some of the same faces on different sites.

Recently, I had a date set up with a nice looking guy to meet for drinks. I remember hoping all day that he would cancel because my instincts told me that nothing would become of this meeting with him. I was in the beginning stages of involvement with a few others, and didn’t have that burning desire to meet someone new. I went to meet him anyway. The bar was close to home and I figured one or two drinks would do it. He passed the “looks” test, but his education and career stories fell a bit short. He didn’t make me laugh, which is very important to me. One of the men I was starting to be involved with asked if this was all worth some free wine. My answer was I am capable of overlooking some shit in order to have an adventure.

Now that I have had some memorable dating experiences, it is starting to feel as if I am just letting myself be churned up by the online dating world. I see many of the same faces over and over. I go through lists of potential “matches” every day, and tick them off as “already went out with him, didn’t go well”, “too old”, “too young”, “too far away”. Yet, I continue to willingly go on adventures just for its own sake.

Young stroke survivor, mother, champion equestrian, tambourine player, storyteller,

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