Missi felt ready for a serious relationship again, so she made a profile on Our Time.com, a dating site for people in middle age.
The offer wasn’t all that appealing to Missi—“I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom again,” she says—but she took it as a sign that things were getting serious.
The longer they kept dating, though, the more problems cropped up.
Among all the duds—the desperate and depressed and not-quite-divorced—a 45-year-old man named Richie Peterson stood out.
He was a career naval officer, an Afghanistan veteran who was finishing his doctorate in political science at the University of Minnesota.
Missi Brandt had emerged from a rough few years with a new sense of solidity.
At 45, she was three years sober and on the leeward side of a stormy divorce.
Missi sat in her living room, alternately furious at him (for letting her down) and at herself (for getting her hopes up enough to be let down). He’s probably at home, hanging out with his wife and kids,” she says.
At 10 p.m., she sent him a final message: This is completely unacceptable.
When Missi “liked” his profile, he sent her a message right away and called her that afternoon.
They talked about their kids (he had two; she had three), their divorces, their sobriety.