I Won’t Compromise Just to Be ‘Coupled.’

Susan Kelley
3 min readJan 10, 2022

I’d Rather Stay Single, Thanks

Photo by call me hangry 🇫🇷 on Unsplash

In some regards, I was always a ‘picky dater.”

Or, maybe it was just that I was someone who had a “type.” That categorization, though, was mostly just a few checkboxes. Guys had to be taller than me, which was a pretty easy standard to meet, since I am a whopping 5'2" if I stand up very straight. I tended to favor brunettes. In fact, I’ve never dated a blonde. Not ever. I had a brief dalliance with a cute Irish boy back in college who trended toward auburn, but other than that, all of my beaus were at least chestnut-haired. Most often, I dated athletes, although that wasn’t a strict criterion, since I did marry a music teacher whose only real athletic prowess was playing bar league softball and shooting some impressive pool.

I have always been attracted to intellect and a sense of humor, too. I’m not just all about looks, but let’s face it — humans tend to base these things on initial attraction and take it from there. We begin courtship with our eyes. If only we thought more clearly, we’d likely be better at it.

Alas, I found that although my younger dating life was fun, and I indeed made three good-looking children out of a marriage, the thing I lacked in my choosiness was choosing someone who treated me really well.

In a recent episode of Ted Lasso, team captain Roy Kent tells AFC Richmond owner Rebecca, “You deserve someone who makes you feel like you’ve been struck by lightning. Don’t you dare settle for fine.”

Talk about a eureka moment.

I can’t say I’ve never had those lightning feelings. That simply wouldn’t be true. But In the dates and encounters I’ve had since becoming a single, middle-aged, dating woman? Nope.

What I’ve felt instead is much like Rebecca’s character does. A sense of: “fine.” “He’s fine.” Or worse yet: “He’s sub-par, but…” I’m not even sure what comes after those ellipses, and I don’t want to find out.

There are some fun dates, and there are some really enjoyable conversations, and yet the pool of men with whom I would consider continuing a relationship is abominably shallow. And so are they.

I don’t know (yet) whether it’s because now, at just a tad bit over fifty, I’ve…



Susan Kelley

Susan is a runner, a mom of 3 grown children, and an avid traveler. She writes about humans, and wrote a book about false accusations of sexual assault.