Did I Miss The Boat? Dating Over 40

Will my ship ever come in? What’s the point?

Joe Bee


I met my life’s great love when I was a tender 19, a strawberry blonde sorority belle at LSU. She’d just snagged the title of Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Best New Pledge in ’02, so naturally, she had a bit of swagger.

I held onto her as my life depended on it, but my relationship rookie status, immaturity, and a penchant for wandering eyes drove us apart. In 2002, I knew what I had, and I let it slip through my fingers. Ever since, I’ve been chasing that same elusive feeling of true love, like a dog after its tail — always just out of reach.

It’s always grated on me, you know? The fact that I found “the one” when I was a love fetus, incapable of appreciating her properly. And now, we are, the middle-aged masses, waking up to the harsh reality that our romantic prospects resemble a ghost town. Did we miss the boat?

It’s almost like nature sorts us into two piles — the chosen ones who find love and the rest who seemingly missed the RSVP. Existence has always been binary — you make the cut or fade into the background. Nature won’t shed a tear if you’re in the latter category.

So, if that’s our fate, if we’re not among the anointed in the love department, is there any point in dating? Well, hang tight, folks. I’ve got three reasons why it’s still worth the pursuit, especially for those of us who’ve hit the big 4–0.

1. Nature’s Shifty Character

Sure, throwing in the towel and declaring that you slept through the love boat’s boarding call is easy. But let’s pump the brakes on fatalism for a second. None of us can truly predict the future of our love lives. All the data you’ve collected over the years might scream “single forever,” but remember, change is the only constant in nature. How long are you willing to keep rolling the dice?

Remember, you can’t fail if you never give up. You might never find that special someone, but if you persist, you’ll at least exit this mortal coil knowing you fought the good fight. And hey, you never know — your soulmate might show up at your funeral, sobbing uncontrollably over your casket. It's not ideal, but the universe has a twisted sense of humor.