Now that Valentine’s Day is in our rearview mirror, it’s probably safe to say that most of us single women aren’t mourning its passing. As a divorced woman who’s not currently dating, I can hardly believe it was my idea to have a “Love Issue” this month. What was I thinking?

We’re all told we have to love ourselves before someone else can love us. That’s why I spent this past year alone, getting over my divorce, focusing on my career, trying hard to love myself and learning to enjoy my own company. It wasn’t easy. Having been married for 23 years, and a serial dater before and immediately after my marriage, being alone was a challenge. Besides, I thought, a middle-aged woman doesn’t have much time before she reaches her expiration date. Taking a year off was a risk—who knew what I’d look like by the end of 12 months? I decided it was a risk worth taking.

And as the months went by, it got better. Little by little, I felt myself changing. I enjoyed spending time with my friends and family. It was a great deal easier to be present for the people in my life when I wasn’t obsessing about whether some guy I barely knew was going to text me. I enjoyed going to the movies by myself. (Nothing beats skipping dinner and having a big bucket of popcorn washed down with a plastic cup of wine from the tapas place next door to the Charles Theatre.) When it felt hard and lonely, I got by “with a little help from my friends,” as they say. By the time nine months had gone by, I could honestly say that being alone was preferable to being with someone who wasn’t the right someone. That might seem like a given. To me, it wasn’t.

Now, I’m in the home stretch. I keep waiting to get to the point when I don’t care if I ever find my soulmate. But that hasn’t happened yet. I’m still looking forward to meeting someone who brings joy into what I’ve come to realize is already a very good life. And incidentally, my year is over at the end of March. So all you yentas out there, if you can help me to avoid the dating sites, I’d be most appreciative. Here’s what I’m looking for: Straight male, late 40s-mid-50s—tall, dark, handsome, Jewish or not, fit, good sense of humor, artsy, but gainfully employed, though I’ll make exceptions for musicians and men who’ve been in therapy. Only serious candidates need apply.

Simone Ellin, Associate Editor

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