I am using mature in the loosest sense possible, what I mean is over 35, age too often has nothing to do with maturity level. The sad thing about that is if one person is mature and the other is not it will cause problems in the relationship, if both are immature it will cause drama, and no one needs that.
The biggest problem with dating is unclear expectations. When is the right time to sleep together? If ever? Who pays for what? How often do you make plans? When should you be exclusive? How many texts or calls is too many? When can you let him (or her) see you without make-up? So many options, no one answer that is right or wrong. I think the answer is when you both feel comfortable with it, you have to be on the same page with what you want, need, expect, and with what your partner wants, needs, expects. The only way to do this is by open, honest, communication. I know, no one wants to do that, but it is essential.
The other big problem around my age is that the vast majority of men in my age range are A) already happily married B) have never been married & want kids C) have kids whose ages are vastly different from yours D) recently divorced and wants to trade one 40 year old for 2 20’s or E) is so damaged by the demise of a relationship or a spouse that the love stuff is off, just the companion button is on. I have read many stories about the people in E & the one not as in love suddenly realizes how full his heart is & rushes off to the tower to rescue his love and they ride off into the sunset, I have never seen it happen. I don’t care how much he says he loves you, if he is married run, don’t walk, away as far and as fast as you can, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. The ages of children can be worked out, if you are both very clear about the role you will play in their lives, again, open and honest. I have no desire to parent a small child all their lives again, but I have love in my heart for lots of kids and am willing to be their friend. For the 40ish who have never had a child, they should get that chance, they should marry someone who also wants a family, that chance to be a parent is a lot to give up.
If you are thinking that as the Queen of Failed Relationships I should not be giving advice about dating, you’re wrong. In my last 10 years of single blessedness I have dated a lot, and have the scars to prove it. I have dated good ones and bad ones, ones I could have fallen for and some that have fallen for me. I have not yet, however, dated the one to end all dating, maybe someday I will, hard to say. I am a very practical person, as well as honest, and someone should get to learn from all my experience.
If a person is cheating on someone else to be with you, they will cheat on you too. You are not that different, nor that special, I’m sorry. A cheater is a manipulator who will say anything to get what he or she wants. If you feel like you are being manipulated get away. If the person you are dating has no respect for you, belittles you, yells at you, or hits you this is dangerous behavior, get out now while you still can. Chances are very high that you are not going to fall in love in one or two days on the internet, although you may fall in lust or fascination. Love takes time and closeness to grow. I become fascinated by certain people and desire to know them better, hopefully I get to over time.
Most importantly, use common sense, if something feels wrong then it probably is. If someone seems too good to be true they probably are. Be honest, communicate what you are feeling, be willing to compromise. Don’t pay for everything, but don’t let everything be paid for either. Be willing and open to let love enter your heart, but let it take its time. Keep your own friends and hobbies, your partner should as well. Have a little fun! Some of my favorite dates have included mini-golf, a picnic, the zoo, and cooking together then playing card games. The rules are up to you, you can have many or none, just don’t compromise your values for agreed upon rules. Be yourself, lighten up, and for heaven’s sake never leave 8 voicemails in under an hour. My rule of thumb is one email or text, if it is not answered in several days I will attempt one more. Quite often people do get busy & are working a different schedule than you so it just didn’t work out to call back, don’t take it personally. If you don’t hear anything after the second message move on. There really are more out there! Enjoy yourself, enjoy getting to know each person, relax on timelines and rules, things progress. Even if a relationship is progressing steadily downhill it does still progress and change. Oh, and take the initiative and make them dinner once in a while, or treat, a girl can send flowers to a guy too, although I wouldn’t unless it was a serious relationship. Happy dating!
About the author:
MamaSteph has 2 kids by birth and several by love, she is a nurse and enjoys finding healthier ways to make comfort foods, gardening, enjoying nature, and living life to the fullest…For a list of her blogs please click here.