Q. I’m a woman in my 40s and I have never been married. And I think the fact that I have never been married is a red flag for men when it comes to the online dating world. I have been in several serious relationships and have had my heart broken a couple of times. In one of my serious, long-term (three-plus years) relationships in my 30s, we were going to get married but realized we wanted very different things out of life and broke up. Up until then, I was trying to get my career on track, enjoying my independence, and trying to work through some rather messy family issues.
My last serious relationship ended two years ago, again with me heartbroken. Since then I’ve dated a few people, but nothing that has clicked and evolved into a relationship. So, now I’m thinking about trying online dating again because I would like to find love. But as silly as it sounds, I feel like there is a stigma attached to being in my 40s and not having at least one divorce under my belt.
Am I off-base in thinking that this is a red flag for some men? How do I go about addressing this issue in a profile without sounding bizarre? Should I bother to address it in the profile?
A. Everybody’s dating profile has a few potential red flags. You’re worried about the fact that you’ve never been married. Meanwhile, many of your peers fear that they’ll be judged because they’ve gone through a divorce. Women in their mid-30s worry that people will assume they want to have a baby right now. And 20-somethings worry that they won’t be taken seriously.
You’ve had a number of relationships that just didn’t work out. If people have questions about your marital status, they’ll ask and you’ll explain. Really, if the box stops them from contacting you altogether, they’re not right for you anyway.
If I were you, I wouldn’t address your relationship history in your profile. People don’t talk about their divorces in that space. Why should you have to justify your own history to a bunch of strangers? Use those paragraphs to talk about what you do and what you want. That’s what people care about — who you are right now and what you’re looking for. Your status isn’t a big deal unless you want it to be.
My stepmom was 55 when she married my dad. She had never been married before either. Things just didn’t work out when she was younger. No big deal.
If a guy judges based upon relationship status, he’s some shallow dude not worth knowing. There are plenty of guys out there looking for something real.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you and I certainly don’t see the point of putting that in an online profile. If I were reading a caveat already before having met you, that would be a red flag.
GOLDIE31Column is edited and reprinted from www.boston. com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.