I’ve survived the dating world two years now, after a five-year layoff. Dating in my fifties, and after divorce, certainly has its challenges. While every meet up hasn’t led to a relationship (for various reasons), I’ve met a few men that I simply enjoy chatting and spending time with. I believe others cross my path for various reasons. Not always as a love connection, but for whatever the soul needs at that time (no, it’s NEVER the booty call so get your mind out of the gutter!). I’ve learned to slow down and wait for the universe to provide answers. There’s something I need to learn from them, or vice versa.
A male friend and I had a friendly disagreement on a theory developed since his recent return to dating (after 20 years, YIKES!). He believes women decline the opportunity to meet men they’ve decided to pass up (based on certain red flags received), because of FEAR. That word is where I have the challenge. For me, it isn’t about that. At 51, I’ve simply fine-tuned my previously dysfunctional picker and decided to bypass making decisions based on emotions. As a young adult, when “in like”, I ignored the red flags thinking they would iron themselves out….WARNING!!!!!!!!
Insert the Tina Turner song, What’s Love Got To Do With It”. If you’ve been schooled by life like I have, you know the answer to that!…
My opinion is that both sexes get involved with those they have no long-term interest in, often to fill a void which will eventually run its course and find us back at square 1. Sometimes there’s an instant spark which fuels excitement because there’s potential. More often than not, however, that feeling is followed by a disappointing “BUT”. My “but” is usually lacking similar values and ignoring the but can lead to making an arse out of myself. When we continue to pursue those red flags, my view is that we are using the other as a place mat. They are “good enough” to simply hold space until the next opportunity comes along. This seems to be common practice, that I don’t participate in. Nothing to do with fear, everything to do with common sense.
By focusing on the wrong thing, I might miss out on the right thing. Simply not a risk I’m willing to take. A side-bar is that attention needs to be paid to when the OTHER person has decided I’m good enough to be the place mat, but nothing more (which often isn’t verbalized until the replacement comes along). Dating is not only inscrutable, but also requires heavy lifting (mental work). Not only must you know yourself in order to find the right match, you also have to figure out what the other person is REALLY thinking, regardless of the words that are coming out of their mouths. Thinking for two seems to be a necessity when it comes to dating!