The backstory -
I am a 53 year old single mama, with 2 teens still at home. I have been single and celibate for 12 years, and generally OK with this state of affairs. Prior to a couple disasterous relationships many years ago, I never really dated. YoungSon,15, with special needs, homeschooled BigGirl,16, 2 therapeutic level foster kids, and my elderly Mom have happily been the focus of my life. Until about 6 months ago, my plate was too full; life was too chaotic to add another person. Life has now settled into a pretty great routine - I have a job I love, the kids are doing well, Mom moved into a facility where she gets more care than I could provide, and I am no longer a foster parent.
For the first time since I can remember, I would like to have someone to share life with. I don't feel needy or desperate to be partnered. I don't even really feel lonely. I just feel ready to be in love in a healthy way. Or maybe just go out and play!
But I don't have a clue how or where to start. My social life is limited to work, and all my co-workers are 30 years younger than me, and fun to go to happy hour with, but not the source of the love of my life. Professional boundaries limit friendships with my clients.
I volunteer in a couple places (at a food bank and teaching adult literacy), but neither of these are venues likely to provide the "love of my life" or even a fun Friday night date.
I don't know about online dating - the idea scares me, as well as seeming a little, well, pathetic. No offence to anyone intended - but to me it seems sad.
So the eternal question arises - how do I start dating? Any suggestions would be welcomed. Aren't there books on the subject? Or are they all intended for the younger set? What would you do?