Q: Hi Meredith,
I'm a longtime lurker on Love Letters. Now I find myself looking for some good advice.
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 live in the suburbs and most of my friends are married, so online is one of the better ways to meet people.)
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, we were going to get married. But we realized we just wanted very different things out of life and broke up. I was in my 30s then, and it was actually the first time in my life that I thought I might want to get married. 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. Anyway, that break up was mostly his doing and I was devastated. But after a while, I realized that he was right and we would have made each other miserable and wound up divorced and hating each other. Now I'm happy to have dodged that bullet and to still be able to cherish the good memories from that time.
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?
Thanks for any insight you can offer.
– Still checking off the single box, Quincy
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.
Readers? Will people care that she's never been divorced? Does every profile have a potential red flag? Should she explain her status in her profile? Would her history look weird to you? Thoughts?
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.