Owner of unpopular opinions. Love letters, hate mail, and story ideas: elleissilver@gmail.com

Good things don’t necessarily come to those who wait.

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Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

I was excited about my meeting with Justin. As a recently divorced woman, I was eager to slip into a new relationship. No, that wasn’t such a good idea. In retrospect, it was a very bad one. But who can argue with a broken-hearted, middle-aged woman fresh out of a difficult marriage, desperate for a new partner?

Besides, Justin was handsome, creative, and had a natural sense of humor, which made him easy to talk to. …

I refuse to dress my age.

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Photo by Joseph Kellner on Unsplash

The blasting techno and mannequins dressed in the latest fashions in the store windows lure me in through the doors. As I enter the vaulted expanse that is fill-in-the-blank, mall-bound, junior-fashion emporium, I’m like a kid in a candy shop.

Yes — even though I’m fifty.

As the beats vibrate through my body and the shiny lights spotlight rack upon rack of clothing in so many vibrant colors, I suddenly want to buy up everything on the floor.

Sure, this store targets young women in their teens and twenties. I don’t care.

I’m fifty going on Forever 21.

Don’t ask me to shop at Ann Taylor or Chico’s so I can buy sensible clothing and comfortable shoes. No thanks. I don’t want to dress my age because I don’t feel my age. …

I used sugar to self-medicate my depression. My sugar crashes just made it worse.

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Photo by Ryanniel Masucol from Pexels

The first time I realized sugar could make me happy, I was working at my first job after college. I hated this job. I worked in the proofreading department of a major publishing company, carefully scanning the copy of a myriad of magazines I had zero interest in.

The magazines focused on subjects such as hunting or the world of knitting. The job was boring and yet also required an intense amount of concentration.

I had to scrutinize the copy to comb it for all the tiny errors that maybe wouldn’t have eluded me so easily if I weren’t reading so many pages every day about subjects I cared so little about. …

I was afraid to leave, but I could at least remove the symbol.

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

I wanted the ring off my finger — but it wouldn’t budge. What did I expect? I’d been wearing it for ten years straight. I’d gained weight since my wedding day, especially after giving birth to two children.

My finger had grown. The size of my wedding ring had not.

So now it was stuck on my finger. I couldn’t slide it over my knuckle.

The ring was like a shackle I couldn’t remove. That was an apt metaphor for how being married made me feel at that point.


My seemingly-perfect husband had become emotionally and financially abusive over the years. …

As my husband’s mental state worsened, so did mine.

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Photo by Gabriela Pereira from Pexels

My husband’s fist came down hard and fast on the box of juice packs sitting on the dining-room table. I’d purchased the juice earlier in the day but had yet to move the box to its proper cupboard in the kitchen.

Under the force of his fist, the cardboard crumpled and purple liquid squirted out the sides. I watched in shock as juice spilled to the beige carpet below.

I rushed for paper towels to sop up the mess. The rug didn’t wait for me. It absorbed the juice as if it were drinking it.

My husband didn’t stick around to help me to clean up his mess either. He stormed out of the room, leaving me alone to deal with it. …

I might have liked my date if I could recognize him.

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Photo by Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash

“Hi, are you David?” I asked, scrutinizing my date’s appearance. At least I assumed this was David standing before me. He was waiting outside the restaurant as we’d agreed on, at the specified time. As I approached, he’d waved frantically at me.

He clearly recognized me. However, this man didn’t look anything like the photos of the David I’d been chatting with daily since we matched on Tinder two weeks ago.

That David had a full head of brown curls and very few creases around his eyes. He was medium build. This David was at least twenty pounds heavier — and what had happened to all the brown curls? …

And other challenges in setting boundaries

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Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

“Mama, we found Dad’s butt plugs!” my ten and twelve-year-old children cried in unison when I arrived to pick them up after a day spent with their father.

We’re divorced, but this is exactly what kept me in my marriage so long — I was afraid of losing control over our kids’ upbringing. Once you divorce and establish separate households with your children’s other parent, you do lose some control over your kids.

Like your ex might mistakenly leave his sex toys out on his bed for the kids to find, and there will be nothing you can do to stop this from happening. …

Why this question is a good determinant of compatibility in dating.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When I was dating online after my divorce, I was surprised by one of the questions I was asked to answer when setting up my profile. Is it important to me that a potential mate makes his bed every morning?

Really? Do people actually base whether they’ll date a person on this?

I found it ridiculous. Then I remembered what life was like with my ex-husband. My ex is a slob. He never cleaned up after himself when we were married. He definitely never made his bed.

Whereas I wouldn’t say that this was the sole factor that led to our divorce, it definitely helped kick that can down the road. …

#7: Tall, dark, and jobless.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I dated men from Tinder for roughly a year after I left my husband. Some of these dates were bad experiences. I remained undeterred.

Going out to meet men after my divorce helped me find my footing again as a newly single woman. There was something exciting about wondering whether I’d be pleasantly surprised by the guy I’d swiped right on or shocked at how wrong I’d been.

Here are thirteen of the most memorable men I met on Tinder (a few of whom I’d actually prefer to forget).

#1: He really does just want to have dinner.

I once read in a dating guide for women that a gal shouldn’t go to a man’s abode too early in the relationship or he’d get the wrong idea about her. It’s too easy to fall into bed that way and then a man would lose interest. …

Here’s why it felt so violating.

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Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

I’d thrown on the shorts that morning without thinking much about it. That’s how you get dressed when you’re rushing out the door first thing to get to the farmers market in time to buy a tray of homemade lasagna before the vendor sells out.

I put on the shorts because they’re comfortable for bike riding, perfect for the short trip to the market.

Here in L.A., even in mid-October, it can still feel like summer. The shorts help keep me cool.

They used to be a pair of jeans that I cut by hand. Sure, I probably cut them a little too short — at least for a middle-aged woman. …

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