From marriage, to divorce, to then breaking up a long-term relationship, I realized I had little-to-no actual dating experience. I decided it was time to try something new and have a little fun exploring the online dating world.

I asked all my friends about their dating experiences before I gathered the courage to attempt it.

I reset by celebrating my accomplishments, acknowledging my hard life lessons and giving new consideration to what my desires are in a mate. I gave thought to what worked and what didn’t. My reset was a time for reflection and consideration of who I was, who I had become and who could match that.

Late one night, I took my newly bolstered self, mustered up the courage and created online profiles on five different sites. I figured if I made one, why not try a few? After choosing a few current pics (casual, with friends, dressed up, etc.), I was launched. Once I was posted, I went back and made thoughtful adjustments. I also took myself off a few sites after realizing they were just plain silly.

Drawing hard lines in the sand was difficult, but very necessary. Like choosing your status — are you separated or divorced? Having gone through a long, arduous divorce for more years than I thought possible and still not getting officially divorced, I considered myself worthy of the “divorced” category. And I chose not to engage with any potential matches that chose “separated.” Some would say I was lying, but that’s the world of online dating.

When it comes to age, it is automatically assumed you are lying and, yet it is something you are required to declare, as well as your desired age range for your partner. Often times in the description you will read proclamations of this lie with statements such as “age is reduced by five years, which is customary for online dating.” Age has never been an issue for me, so I put down my actual age, which makes me an assumed five years older in the online dating world.

One must choose which “truths” they tell carefully.

The result of all this was 10 dates in two weeks, which was exhausting. But I did find one worthy of a second and a third date. Is he the one? Over the years, we change and life changes us all. So, maybe he is the one, but only time will tell.