- Posted May 11, 2014 by
Wasting Time in the Over 40's Dating Game
Wasting Time in the over 40’s Dating Game:
by Lucy Connor
“The trouble is, you think you have Time.” Buddah
In these days of “50 is the new 30”, we are all lured into the disillusion that we have plenty of time. Even though I have four grown children and three grandchildren, I believe that I have an entire lifetime ahead of me. I am a middle-aged woman in denial.
I was married for most of my life. Much of that life was miserable, much was beautiful. I have seen both sides of love. Before we divorced, I promised myself that if I ever got out of that marriage, I would never…no… NEVER, marry again. After I was out of the house and established in a new town, the dating commenced. I knew I did not want marriage, but I wanted validation. I wanted to feel like I was worthy of love, and somehow believed that if a man wanted to be with me, it would prove that worth. Looking back on those days, I see a grown woman behaving like a teen-ager, casting caution to the wind and searching for validation in the form of “love”. A hint for all new singles….this strategy does not work. You have heard it your whole life, but let me repeat this worn out but true statement, “If you want to find love, you have to love yourself first”.
It may be foolish of me to assume that anything is universally true about the over 40’s single world, but my guess is that most of us that have been through a divorce come out licking our wounds, hurting and struggling with our value as a person and partner. We have just shown the whole world that our promise of ‘til death do us part, was something we could not manage and we are unsure of our ability to be a decent partner. In this state of mind, a vacation from relationships is probably the best option, but many of us run straight into the arms of someone else.
I am no exception. I got together with the first man who showed an interest in me. He was a nice guy, but was he my forever? No way! We were to the “I love you” and seeing each other every day stage before we figured out that this was not a good plan. It was a learning experience for me and I gained a friend through the experience, but it was a back-slide on the road to wholeness for me. I am not using this article to hash through all my dating mistakes, but let me just reiterate that what I needed after divorce was to find self-love and all of the forays into romantic love, basically wasted time…precious time…on the journey to know and love myself.
I have been single for almost six years and only recently do I truly believe that I am ready to find another life-long partner. I have spent time learning who I am, what kind of life I want, what I am ready to compromise on in the love journey and what I must hold on fast to in order to stay true to who I am. I have become a better, truer, more honest version of myself than I ever was in my first marriage. I know who I am and what I need if I am ever to commit again.
What does all this have to do with time? Let me circle back to the beginning. We all think we have more time than we probably actually do. Wasting time is fun for a while, but in the dating world, we can do much more time wasting than we actually have time for! I am finally ready to get out there and find someone to share my life with. I have spent plenty of time finding myself again and I am happy being alone. If I never find him, I know I can still be happy and that, I believe is the key. I am committed to cutting my losses. If someone is not right for me, I know that within the first couple of dates and I will end it. If, however, I do find my forever, I do not want to waste time playing games and tiptoeing around the realities of our relationship. We are adults. Two grown people with pasts we have worked through, presents we can enjoy and futures to look forward to. There is no reason to spend years proving to ourselves that we can do this again. If I am going to waste any more time, I want to waste it by just being with my love…as much as I can, not by sitting around wondering if he is going to call today. Life is short…If he is out there and I find him, I am ready to give my time, my life and my love to finally experience what I have waited for. As Thomas Fuller said, “He lives long that lives well; and time misspent is not lived but lost.”