Take it from someone who’s dated for many years (too many), go on any date being skeptical and your level of success is very low. The same happens when you go on a job interview skeptical: you get passed over based on attitude. Articles like this will have people (women) nodding their heads, but it doesn’t change what’s there before you: Any date—and I mean any date—can potentially be someone who could make you very happy. Our problem today is putting judgement first. We judge based on what we’ve read, what other people in similar situations have gone through. We go: “God, this date is just like the one Shani Silver wrote about—I’m doomed.” I don’t mean you’re the problem, Shani. What you’re saying is true and we all love anecdotal accounts to make us feel better. But it doesn’t in the long run. Saying we’re part of the “disappointed” dating population allows us to bury ourselves deeper in what we predict will be disappointment. Dating is work, and I’ve dated, wished I hadn’t, wished I had, gone home and watched the Big Bang, etc. One day, though, and I say this as someone over sixty, if you really try, and be optimistic, and give people a chance, it happens. It happened for me at the ripe age of 64. As a writer living and working in a small town, statistically, it shouldn’t have happened, but it did. All you can do is try and leave the skeptics to “tune out, turn off, and watch The Big Bang.” Forget the disappointed. You never stop being disappointed until you say “This is getting me nowhere.” Then, like writing, you go out and try, try again, try many more times. We wouldn’t be writers if we didn’t stop trying. Dating is the same.

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.