A lot of first marriages break when people reach 40, unfortunately. In your late 30’s and early 40’s most people who were married in their 20’s and early to mid-30’s have children. There are many family obligations when your cuhildren are dependent on you. You still interact with your ex, and sometimes that is a source of conflict for the new boyfriend or girlfriend.
Merging familes is not a piece of cake. It is much easier when one of you do not have children and are willing to become a step-parent figure; as long as you don’t demand exclusive attention from your partner. If both have children, it is easier to understand the demands that parenthood entails. It is easier to arrange your routine around the children. However, it can also create a whole slew of problems, namely because you are trying to integrate two families with different values and habits into one. There is also interference from the other parent. No easy task, and I don’t envy couples in that situation.
When you become single in your 50’s though, a lot of the complications with children are generally gone. They may still be in College, but they are not dependent on their parents on a daily basis anymore. That is a great phase for dating again: you both have time, freedom to travel when you wish and lot’s of energy-you are still young. I see the greatest harmony in couples that age.
Finally, the maturity they have achieved make the petty stuff not so important; jealousy is not so much an element any longer, a sense of calm and understanding prevails, a sense of “we don’t have that many decades ahead so let’s make the best of life”, a sense of accomplishment, may it be professional or having successfully raised your children, an interest in causes and other bigger things than worries about money and kids, less need to impress, more personal confidence, less attachment to material things and less sexual addiction-relationships are more based in common interests and companionship than lust. Hopefully, 50 plus folks get to find someone who they want to spend their old age with, since being single and isolated in your later years is one of the biggest causes of early death.
Something happening in the dating world today: the Sunday Girls and Guys.
I have a musical male friend who has been in one of these “Sunday Man” situations and even wrote a song about it. Basically, it is to date someone who always has “plans” on Thursday-Saturday nights, the evenings when people usually go out, only to be invited to see them on Sundays. Why Sundays? Because Friday and Saturday nights are reserved for “fishing and hunting”. The boyfriend who is flaky and not in love with you, the girlfriend who is looking for the bigger better deal, they all want to be free those nights to get lucky with someone else. On Sundays they wake up alone, and remember you exist. They call you, and you are happy they are giving you some crumbles.
It takes several of these weekends to realize you have become the “Sunday Girl” or “Sunday Man”. You try to be the cool one and give them their space. It is so uncool to show jealousy and suspicion right? After several weekend nights left alone, you start realizing they are totally looking for someone else, and you are the just good enough option for a lonely week night or a quiet Sunday. That also happens when the bigger better deal they are after is not giving them the time of the day.
My advice: love yourself. Tell your “boyfriend”, “girlfriend” or date-the one who can only see you on Sundays that you are only available on Friday and Saturday nights-and watch what happens.
Our country has been going through a period of intense political divisiveness for quite a long time now. The recent years remind me of the late 60’s when you were either a conservative or a long haired hippie. Nowadays Republicans and Democrats may look the same, but their opinions or “wissenschaft” (worldview) could not be further apart. Red States vs. Blue States. Pro-life vs. pro-choice. For marital equality or against gay marriage. Pro-government or anti-government. It seems our political realm is split in half, with little choice for a middle ground.
How does this impact the reality of dating in the new millennium? Well, when it comes to online dating, we readily know if someone votes Republican or Democrat (or is a Libertarian or a Communist) based on information from their profile. It is our choice to contact them or not. Decades ago, the chances of meeting someone with a completely different view were smaller, since people would usually date within their circles. If you were dating in College, chances are your love interest would have similar views with you. If you were dating your parents’ friends’ son, chances are you and him shared a similar viewpoint too.
When it comes to dating someone with a very different view of politics, society and religion, not everyone can pull the James Carville-Mary Matalin card. These very essential issues can become a sore point, and avoiding any talk about politics is quite impossible in today’s information loaded world. Not only you need to exert a lot of self-control and respect for the other person, you cannot gloat or make your point of view the only one acceptable. If you are passionate about politics, this might prove to be mighty difficult.
Online dating provides a wealth of information into human psyche. There is so much you can learn about people just by reading their profiles and preferences. If you are trying to find love through online dating, here are some interesting observations:
1) People lie. A lot. White lies too. Investigate, use Google, White Pages and online court information for your State. Unfortunately, none of the paid dating websites screen candidates for drug use, alcoholism, domestic violence, sexual harrasment or mental illness.
2) People who say their kids mean the world to them. “I have the most wonderful kids”, “I have two beautiful daughters/kids/sons”. Of course you do, but to you! Every parent thinks the world of their kids. Not only that is obvious, it makes you wonder if they will have any time for dating and if their kids will always come first. Beware of potential problems with moms and dads who are over protective.
3) Remember that most people who you meet you will not have any chemistry with. If your expectations are very low, you won’t be disappointed.
4) Make sure you understand the deal breakers before you sleep with someone. If someone wants to have children and you do not, it’s a waste of your time. If you want a serious and monogamous relationship and she does not, why go on? Sometimes people overlook things like that and end up getting hurt later.
5) Political preference and religion. Make sure you can have an intimate relationship with someone who has such a different worldview than you.
6) Excess action: the generation “I don’t want to be like my mother generation”. Their profiles are a succession of trips around the world and endless adventures like jumping out of planes and climbing Mount Everest that makes you tired just to read them.
7) Bad spelling, bad grammar. Makes you think why would someone post a dating profile without even trying to get their smarter friend to review it or use plain spellcheck..
8) The “I can go from casual to a tuxedo”. When did that become a selling point? Almost any human being can!
9) The coffee date. Guys, most women do not want to have coffee at 7 PM. And they don’t want to meet you at broad daylight first thing in the morning. Don’t be cheap-buy her a drink. It is much more romantic to go to a nice bar or small restaurant or outdoor cafe. If you are not sure she deserves a proper date, don’t waste your time.
10) Don’t string people along. Don’t ignore their text messages and emails or calls after a date. That is insanely rude. Just tell them the truth: you are not interested in them romantically.
11) People who take 10 years off their age hoping no one will notice. Don’t delude yourself.
12) People who talk non-stop about their “evil” ex. That is so off-putting. Go get over them first and then try dating.
13) People who try to be too “hands on” on a first date. See if the other person is also into you. And guys, a second date does not mean a woman will sleep with you.
14) People who put pictures of themselves with other people. Don’t you know how to crop pictures or just upload a picture of yourself? Do these people know they are on a dating site for the world to see? We do not want to see pictures of you, your baby, your grown klds, your pets or sunsets. We do not want to see pictures of your friends and buddies. What if your friend is better looking than you, will you give us their number?
15) Overweight women trying to hide behind their friends or objects…
16) Men saying how they want to find a woman to shower with love, flowers, trips and attention. Guys, you will do that for a couple of months. Than you will become your lazy self…and take us for granted when you notice how much we are into you!
17) There are so many men saying they look and act younger than their age, or that people say they look younger (people are nice…) and when you look at their pictures, or worse, look at them up close, they look EXACTLY their age-or even older! Men don’t have mirrors at home..women are usually more aware of their physical shortcomings.
18) Expectations: when you go out of your way to meet an online date-getting ready, driving sometimes several miles-you expect you will meet the love of your life. Most of the time though, you will just have a standard date which may be pleasant but uneventful. People expect instant attraction, bells going off, an encounter of souls..but it’s just one more person you are not excited about. We want perfection, and perfection doesn’t exist. It is not a natural way of falling in love. It’s forced. It’s artificial. Isn’t it a lot better to meet someone in real life and feel that instant connection? To read the interest in their eyes? That is why I think online dating has a low rate of success. The best romances happen by natural circumstances.
19) Far away photos: what’s the point? Pictures of sunsets, pets and your kids: who cares? Pictures of your trips around the world-too late, you won’t be going there with us. Pictures with loads of friends-we get it, you’re popular. Pictures with your exes-yes, there are some completely clueless people, especially men, who want to show off how pretty the ex was to step up their game, and it so backfires…
20) Widowers. This one is from an actual profile: “I lost the love of my life to cancer last summer. We were married 25 years. Nobody could replace my wife, Kathy”. Well, how many women are willing to live eternally with “Rebecca”?
My readers can provide me with more funnies from online dating…
- Being a mother
- Being a woman
- Dating world
- Difference between cultures
- Social Media
- World Events/News