It ended up being easier than I had expected. I had been unhappy in my old relationship for a long time, so the absence of the relationship's negativity in itself felt like happiness. And there are big positives to being alone. I like planning trips to France without considering what someone else wants to do, and I like always getting to pick the movie.
A friend of mine who is in a happily committed relationship keeps telling me that I should enjoy the process, which makes me kind of hate her. Meeting new people is anathema to an introvert, and it is only made worse by the inherent vulnerability of trying to find someone who will like you enough to want to share your bacteria. The best I can do so far is view this as a means to an end, and if I survive the process without hating it*, I will consider myself to have handled it well.
When I first subjected myself to this hell five years ago, I didn't really think about money. I was a solid five figures in debt, so I didn't worry that someone was going to pursue me for my wealth. But now, things are...different. I'm on pretty solid financial ground for a forty-year-old, and assuming the stock market stops imploding, my finances are going to keep getting better very quickly. My financial situation removes a lot of ordinary worries from my life, and it also lets me do a lot of things that most people can't.
One of the first things I've noticed with online dating is how different my travel history is from most people's. "Where have you traveled?" is a common conversation starter online, and I feel uncomfortable listing off all the places I've been lucky enough to visit. I abhor bragging, and it feels like that's what I'm doing when I say "Oh, I've traveled to all the places you have, but also 20 other places, because I am a rich doctor." (I'm not actually that awkward online. Hopefully.) I know that this is a really nice problem to have, and this is not a complaint but rather a reflection, but it is still weird to me.
The bigger issue that arises with online dating is financial compatibility. My city has a pretty shallow lesbian dating pool, so picking a partner isn't like customizing a sandwich at Subway. What if I find someone who is cute and funny and nerdy but is terrible with money? Or who wants to stay at home and play with the cats while I pay all the bills? (Note to the internet: If you are a queer woman who would like to pay all the bills while I stay home and play with the cats, my email address is on the sidebar.)
Dating is so frustratingly difficult.
*I was going to make a joke about being murdered, but have you heard about the horrible murders in Toronto's LGBTQ* community?