Single At 50

First, my apologies for being away so long. It’s been a taxing and busy few months sharing a house with my ex and navigating the new world of living under the same roof but not being together. It was a mutual decision to split although there was alot of pain and drama in the beginning. Now it’s just kind of lonely.

But I’m not here to talk about my new living arrangement. Instead, I want to talk about what it’s like being single in your forties and beyond and what it feels like(from my perspective, of course) on being a never married(legally, that is, because my ex and I considered ourselves married for the years we were together and didn’t need a piece of paper to tell us) single female.

For the past few days I’ve been researching this topic online. Every article is pretty much the same just reworded and regurgitated. Most of the articles tell the women that if they aren’t finding Mr.Right then it’s something they’re doing wrong to drive men away. And sometimes they are. But that can also be the farthest from the truth. Like most things I have a few opinions or rather conclusions I’ve come to in my many years of dating and relationships. It may seem jaded and cynical but I speak entirely from personal experience.

First, I’m intelligent, loving, loyal, attractive, healthy and a good woman and there’s absolutely no reason for any man not to be with me. In fact, I had a male friend point out that he didn’t understand why I’d never gotten married and couldn’t understand the men I’d been with(because I have many good traits). Well, that makes two of us. Let me explain what I’ve learned. My relationships didn’t work out not because there’s something wrong with me, they simply didn’t work. It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t their fault. The men obviously wanted something I couldn’t give them. I spent years trying to find Mr. Right only to be disappointed. Well meaning advice says, “change yourself,” “be the woman men want.” There’s only one problem with that advice, you must change for every new person you date. That is tiresome and stressful and sooner or later the real you has to come out. When? After the marriage ceremony? Not in the days of same day divorces. There’s nothing wrong with making changes to improve yourself. But do it for you. Not because some advice columnist says to do it to “catch a man.”

After my mother died when I was 37 I decided to let go of the hunting and start living for myself and no one else and determined to be happy without a man even if that meant never finding anyone. Which is a very real possibility. It’s scary to think of hitting very old age(nursing home old age) and never find that one person to spend the rest of your life with and never having kids makes this prospect even scarier. But kids don’t visit their elderly parents anyway.

My mother died when she was only 65. I made a decision that I was going to live life and stop this frantic searching. I don’t know what the future holds. I could die young too. I started traveling and got interested in photography and haunted places and started living for myself. Many people ask if I travel alone. Some don’t understand it. I’m not going to sit around waiting to visit all the places I want to until I find a husband. If I never find it I would miss out on all the great places I’ve been and all those memories and pictures. Yes, I did it alone and I’m glad I did. I had a male friend tell me this isn’t normal. Other women don’t do this. No they don’t because they’re saddled with children and jobs they can’t take with them. And ex-husbands and families. I have none of that. It’s just me. So I can do what I want, when I want. I’m sure some men like my friend find this daunting.

The point here is: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today because tomorrow is guaranteed to none of us. If you want to travel do it, write a book do it, skydive do it, whatever it is do it. Don’t wait because you’d rather have a partner to do it with. Because in all honesty you may never find a partner and if you don’t then you will have missed out on alot. You may also find you like the freedom of doing things by yourself even more. I did. I decide where I want to go and when with no input from anyone else. Of course, this can be a drawback when married. Getting too used to certain things can be problematic. My male friend found this to be an issue with women he was interested in. By the time a woman is in her forties she’s used to doing things a certain way and isn’t too receptive to change. That was a complaint he had. We talked at length about how hard it is to incorporate two lives into one when you’re older because by 40+ we are set in our ways(as he put it). It’s an old-fashioned term, one my grandmother used frequently and I hated it but to a large degree my friend is right. We’ve already been running our lives for a long time on our own and if we’ve been single a long time we won’t know as much about living with another person. Both people have to learn to live with another and if one person has kids it stands to reason the one without kids is going to be the one compromising the most because parents aren’t going to completely upend their children’s lives. If both have kids it can be especially problematic. Some people are quite flexible while others are not but if kids are involved it’s much harder to be flexible because the parent must think of their child first, always, no exceptions. I’ve never had a relationship with a man with children(not because I mind children) so I can’t really speak on parenting and dating.

The point here is: finding love after 50(even in your forties) is hard and I don’t think I have to tell any woman in her 40’s, 50’s and many younger women this. I hope what you take from this is to live your life like there is no tomorrow. Don’t put off doing the things you want because there is no partner. If there are improvements to be made make them. Make them because it’s good for you not because it will be good for someone else. Not because it will help you find Mr. Right. And above all else, celebrate your strengths, love yourself and know you are a good person and if men don’t want that, it is their loss not yours. And lastly, know that just because a man looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean he is as good as it seems. One thing I learned from my last boyfriend(who was seemingly a great guy and he is a good person) was any man who doesn’t want a good woman has issues. And not all good men want good women. This is something that no one is going to tell you. He may say he wants a good woman but the reality is he doesn’t.

With that, happy hunting and good luck!!!

Christian Dating Advice For The 21st Century Part 3

In this third installment I talk about just falling into relationships. Here is an article I find helpful: Dating:God’s Best Or All The Rest and a video Principles For Christian Dating. The video offers some really good advice as does the article. The pastor who does this video does a number of videos.

You can read part 1 of this series here. Christian Dating Advice For The 21st Century. You can read part 2 of this series here. Christian Dating Advice For The 21st Century Part 2.

This is something I’ve struggled with for most of my dating life. It’s not that I’ve intentionally fallen into these situations or that I didn’t try to find good christian men on the same level as me, I just didn’t for whatever reason meet the best men. Some were downright bad and others were just not right for me meaning we were on different levels when it came to our belief system. Nonetheless, I ended up in the relationships and they didn’t last. It’s not that these men were necessarily bad men they just didn’t share my beliefs. So instead of getting into a good relationship with a good, God fearing, loving man I got into these less than relationships. Some were verbally abusive, alcoholics, mental issues and some needed a Mommy. This is certainly not the kind of man I should have ever given the time of day to but I did. I don’t regret those relationships however there was alot of time wasted. I don’t mourn that I could have met a good man if I hadn’t been with these men because I now realize there’s something within me that needs to be fixed. I just don’t know exactly what it is or how to fix it. And at close to 50 it’s unlikely that I’ll ever figure out what it is. With alot of therapy I may be able to find out the root cause and repair it so I can one day meet the good, loving man that I so desired when I was in my twenties. But I know my chances dwindle as I get older. The good men are all pretty much taken when a woman gets into her fifties and sixties. This isn’t saying it can”t happen because men start losing their wives to death and disease opening up a new avenue of single men. This wasn’t my idea of finding a husband. Waiting until men lose wives. But love can strike at any age.

I’ve accepted that I doubtfully will meet anyone acceptable. And have chosen to pursue a life of singleness filled with travel, photography and doing the things I want to do. People ask me if I travel alone. Some ask if I don’t have someone to go with me. I don’t have anyone to go with me and if I want to explore new places I must do it on my own. I’m not going to sit around hoping that one day I’ll have someone to share this passion with.

This all said, if you find yourself not meeting the right man or when you do meet a good man that you have chemistry and share similar interests with but he doesn’t ask for a second date then you need to reassess your life, yourself and what it is exactly you want. Could your body language be telling a different story than your words? Once you’ve assessed the whole situation either make necessary changes so you will be more attractive to the man you desire or if you’re at a loss as to why you aren’t attracting the right man then it’s time to seek the guidance of a therapist who may be able to help you uncover what is holding you back from the loving relationship you deserve. Be prepared to devote anywhere from 2 to 5 years in this self discovery. The downside of this time is to shy away from relationships until you’ve truly found out the source of the cause.

Be prepared to accept reality. My last therapist said dysfunctional attracts the same. And this makes sense for me. I grew up in a dysfunctional home without any spiritual guidance as a child. My only guidance came when I was a teenager when I attended a private, christian school. By this time all the damage from my childhood had already been done. Much later in life I realized I probably needed therapy but at the time I couldn’t afford it so it was several more years before I got it. And by this time I’d left my ex husband. Since then therapy has been sporadic.

As for online dating, I’m not really a fan. I’ve used it in the past over the course of several years until I met some men at my church singles group. It’s hard to believe that’s been over ten years. Those men didn’t work out and turned out to be game players. That’s when I learned about church hopping. A man would go to one church for the service but to another to pick up women. Most of the men I met online were liars, married or downright psychotic. I realized I was giving my money away but not getting anything in return. For me it was a waste of time and money. I used match.com which I liked okay as for layout, etc. but didn’t really get any responses there. I used several others as well. What I learned about the online dating experience is that it’s almost a must to lie. If you want responses, that is and they’re not worth your time.

I will go more into the reasons why online dating failed for me in another post.

To close, it’s better if you can meet people offline but if that has failed you then you may be looking at online dating as a solution. It works for some but many others it doesn’t. If you go into it with the attitude of just seeing what it’s about and expecting nothing you will be less dissapointed if you don’t meet anyone. And if you do, good for you. You’ve walloped the statistics.

Visit my other blogs at Haunted Abandoned CarolinasSassygrrl32-PhotoBlogger5Ve for my old haunted blog and Life990 which is my old personal blog. You can read my articles at Hubpages. Peace….

Christian Dating Advice For The 21st Century

One might wonder how this crossed my mind in the scope of travel but this is the cool thing about a personal blog, I can write about whatever crosses my mind. You can read Part 2 Here.

Not feeling so well today I opted to do a little reading on my smartphone and came across a couple of very interesting articles. The first When Friends And Romance Mix is a great article about how friends can influence your relationship. There’s one pivotal point not covered here and one in my opinion that is even more important and that is family. I think most people know how good or how bad it can be if family approves or disapproves. If not, let me clarify. Many years ago I was engaged but his family nor mine approved of the relationship and not for reasons you might think. His family wanted someone for him that had parents and grandparents that were college educated with degrees. And if she had siblings they too needed to have a college degree(that wasn’t an issue, I’m an only child) and she had to come from a good family that lived in a nice upscale neighborhood. Essentially, they wanted her parents to be well off. My dad had done very well for us. My Mom was a stay at home Mom doing only minimal outside work instead taking care of the family. This didn’t sit well with my fiance’s mother. She had a full time job outside the home and expected the same for any woman her beloved son was going to marry. My parents disapproved of my fiance from the beginning. Their argument, they didn’t like his job. To make matters worse his brother didn’t like me and my extended family wasn’t fond of him. As you can well imagine the squabbling and fighting soon began and it was bad. My fiance thought I needed to be away from my parents who were possessive and controlling and his parents were the same way. Neither one of us were willing to tell our parents where to go and break contact. It’s hard to break blood ties regardless of how dysfunctional they are. Our parents weren’t the kind of people that allowed limits to be set and they didn’t accept responsibility for their actions. Eventually we broke up. The pressure was too much. But that didn’t end our parents dysfunction. It just translated to someone else.

Another good example: My ex husband and I met a few years ago after my Mom passed and finally parted ways two years ago due to his alcoholism. In this scenario my dad really liked my ex and that heavily influenced me staying as long as I did. My ex was the first man my dad ever approved of and liked. After my dad died my uncle confided that he didn’t like my ex and tried to tell my dad nor did an aunt. My ex once said that while my dad was alive he was the glue that held us together and he was right. Albeit a very dysfunctional relationship because when I got tired of the drinking I’d leave for days at a time. Somewhere deep I thought he’d change.

The point being, that family have an even bigger impact on the relationship than even friends. They’re truly the ones that can make or break it. Whether it’s good or bad. It’s easy to get rid of a negative, overly pessimistic friend who is bringing a good relationship down and if you have such a friend it’s wise to talk to her about the reasons for her dislike. If they’re unfounded tell her you can’t tolerate the negativity and if it persists discontinue the friendship. But make sure her reasons are truly unfounded. If she is a best friend she may see things that other friends might not.

But what do you do when family refuses to accept a good relationship? I have no real good advice for that one. My parents didn’t live long enough for me to have to exercise it. Most men that met my parents ran for the hills as soon as they met. You can tell your family that you won’t tolerate negativity and if it persists you will abolish the relationship. There’s a good chance they won’t listen. The downside is you have to make good on the threat if they refuse to listen. The other downside is if the relationship doesn’t last you could be estranged from your family for years or maybe until they die. This is something you have to tread very lightly with because you don’t want to make the wrong choice. This is a situation where you might want to not only seek pastoral counsel but a private therapist as well. But understand they are fallible. A therapist helped me alot when it came to dealing with my ex husband as well as a roommate. It helped me reign in some of my angry outbursts and hotheadedness to deal with them in a more civilized way. And believe me dealing with my ex husband civilly is close to impossible.

And of course aside from counsel, seek advice from trusted friends, try writing down your thoughts to keep you on track when talking to family and if they try to engage an argument(my mother did this repeatedly especially after her stroke and would go on four hour scream fests) stick to your letter, stay calm and on point and walk away if they refuse to have a courteous conversation. And pray for guidance.

Visit my other blogs at Haunted Abandoned Carolinas, Sassygrrl32-PhotoBlogger5Ve for my old haunted blog and Life990 for my old personal blog. You can read my articles at Hubpages. Peace…..