Love Online: One Woman’s Swashbuckling & Cautionary Tale

Rebecca Brockway

(DGIwire) — What does it mean when your blind date is missing a top incisor?

How can avoiding a suitor’s kiss cause trouble with police?

Do only bad girls wear stilettos?

Find the answers in Miss Matched at Midlife: Dating Episodes of a Middle-Aged Woman (North Loop Books, 2016) Rebecca Brockway’s poignant, funny, and fascinating new book. Astonishingly, the author admits to going on at least 150 first dates as well as chalking up several ultimately ill-fated romances.

Younger women will be drawn to this spirited and admonitory read but it will especially resonate with boomers – women in their late 40s to mid-50s – the author’s age at the time she began her post-divorce dating journey – with four young children in tow.

Brockway explains what her book is and is not. It “is not a manual on how to land a man after age forty-five. My book is a collection of the tales and the wisdom I acquired throughout my time dating online and in ‘real life.’ I have always dated with a singular goal in mind: to discover authentic love at midlife.”

Miss Matched Cover copyWait: authentic love at age 49 with the 21-year-old college kid next door? Well maybe not so much . . . But the multitude of age-appropriate men she met through a variety of online dating sites turned out to be dead ends – or worse. Ms. Brockway’s suitors included a Peter Pan-type who lived in his van, a gigolo, a con-man opportunist, an alcoholic, a narcissist, a closeted gay fellow, the founder of a local sex club, and an irrationally jealous boyfriend. Brockway says: “My journey has been a wild one.”

One of the features that set this book apart from any other book about online dating – or about the midlife search for a new love – is the author’s willingness to admit her own mistakes. Ms. Brockway wears vulnerability like a shield and openness is her sword. In each chapter she swash buckles her way through another date. Like the time she brought a first date home for sex, and the next morning her teenage daughter opened a door to find the nude “guest” doing what comes naturally in the home’s only bathroom. Did Rebecca learn a valuable lesson from that misstep? You’ll have to read the book to find out. We can tell you this: Brockway’s book is not only about a woman who went on more than 150 first dates. It is also about how Brockway learned 150 – or more – life lessons.

One such lesson: Don’t judge a man by his name. In an opening chapter Ms. Brockway confesses she is a name snob. “I just couldn’t imagine pillow talk with a man named Bernie,” she says. So when “Mateo” pops up online, she’s all over him. Mateo has gorgeous green eyes framed by heavy dark lashes. He also has a red truck, a bald spot-concealing beanie, the poor manners to arrive at the restaurant two hours late, not enough money to pay for more than his half of the dinner bill, and alas, Mateo proved himself a bizarre conversationalist. Maybe Ms. Brockway should have responded to name-forsaken Bernie?

Miss Matched at Midlife is a perfect match for anyone participating in, or thinking of participating in, online dating. Or, for somebody who has had dating experiences comparable to Brockway’s. By the time you finish reading this 218 page-turner you’ll feel like you’ve made a new friend, one who has shared her hard-won insights about the types of men you may encounter online. And how, throughout the dating process, you’re likely to develop a keener sense of self worth, and perhaps, discover your very own Mr. Right.