It’s a bitter pill for many women 40 and over to swallow. Men in their age range probably aren’t looking for any kind of a formal commitment. If they are they’re dating women in their mid thirties or younger.
I hate to put it so bluntly but I think you need to accept that most of the men you’re meeting don’t plan on dating anyone for very long. Your focus now should be finding someone you’re attracted to and whose company you enjoy and forget about his living quarters and portfolio. – Yoram
Soooo….let’s see how this comment goes over.
I’ve mentioned before that my attitude towards commitment has changed a bit over the last year or so. While I’m not opposed to marriage, I don’t feel that it is a reasonable expectation for me right now. Maybe when I’m older and there are fewer issues that might interfere like sex drives and career goals. Right now, I’m focused more on my own individual life plan than anything else. It’s has certainly taken some pressure off me and allowed me to just enjoy a relationship without worrying about where it’s going. I don’t like the idea of dying alone or getting sick, but it’s a reality.
Because of this shift in my thinking, I’m less concerned with finding someone who will be a good provider for us. As long as he can provide for himself I’m satisfied. I don’t plan on merging finances or households for some time. I have a Bachelor’s degree from a decent school, but nowadays a Bachelor’s doesn’t mean much. So a man doesn’t have to be “well educated.” (Though I do prefer he have at least one degree.)
Basically, all the things I considered important in my thirties don’t really factor in to my decisions anymore. Is he happy and an honest/kind person, am I attracted to him, can he support himself. That’s really all I care about.Credit scores and renting vs. owning and financial security don’t really play in to my decision any more.
At our He Said/She Said event the other night, one man of 40 asked whether the fact he was 25K in debt as well as had a mortgage to pay was going to be a deal breaker for a woman. Another man interjected and said that he felt a man his age with that kind of debt was “a loser.” Translation? “I’m not that much in debt. I’m better.” (Keep in mind that the man who asked the original question was in attendance. Filters, kids. They’re you’re friend.)
While watching the movie Shame with a friend last night, we both remarked at how horribly awkward one particular first date conversation was. The woman, who was recently separated, asked the main character how long his longest relationship was. He said 4 months. She seemed horrified at his response, ignoring the fact that her brief marriage failed and that she wasn’t even divorced and she was already dating. Guess what, folks? She still had sex with him and wanted to see him again.
The point I’m struggling to make with these two scenarios is that I believe we come up with a list of must haves and standards that, ultimately, are worthless. These bullet points are just our way of selling ourselves. The woman in sceanrio two could look down on her date because she at least got married. The guy in the first example could tell himself that the men succeeding where he had failed were “losers.”
We don’t really require that this criteria be met. I think we use them more as a shield more than anything else. They serve as an excuse for us not to settle because we need to believe we “deserve” better or have more value. That, and not an actual relationship, seems to provide many people with comfort.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I agree with Yoram’s comment to some extent. I don’t think anybody should give up on wanting to find a life partner. I do think that as we grow older we need to shift our focus and expectations a bit. A person of 40 or 45 who has never married or settled in to something long-term probably chose that path for themselves, consciously or unconsciously. So it seems futile to expect that person to change for us. That seems unrealistic, no? If they’re divorced, are they really eager to give that a go a second time?
I know people will say I’m being negative or that I’ve given up. I haven’t given up on having a relationship or on love or anything of that kind. Maybe I just accepted the fact that if I had truly wanted to be married or settled in to something by this point in my life, and not just told myself I did, that I probably would be. Is that such a horrible realization? Or are we only supposed to think that but never say it out loud?