You can’t hurry love

Dating after 60 can be a stressful time but, as our community contributor Janeene points out, there is a way to get the most out of it.
Opinion

For those of us who are searching for a soulmate in our retirement years, there is pressure to establish a connection. Therefore it is difficult to end an unhappy liaison. To be alone.

I’ve been on several online dating sites over the last decade, resulting in only one serious relationship, during which we acknowledged that although our chemistry was powerful, the downside included misunderstandings that seemed to escalate out of all proportion. So we called it quits, but remain friends.

An earlier relationship was slowly crippling my physical and mental wellbeing. A number of issues concerned me, particularly his forceful tongue kisses.  Acceptable in an established relationship but certainly not in the early stages. Gently does it.

I am not a cold fish, rather a sensuous woman, as are many of us. However, we don’t want to be assaulted like a hormone-filled teenager. Okay, guys, you may feel that time is running out. Perhaps you think this might be your last run in the sexual stakes. The expression “If you don’t use it, you lose it” comes to mind. We females occasionally feel likewise.

So what’s wrong with easing into a connection, taking the time to know your intended partner. In the case I’ve focused on here, his forcefulness told me that he might be far too persuasive in other ways. His repeated vehemence made me wonder whether he was trying to convince himself of a great relationship, as much as trying to influence me. I felt manipulated. And I didn’t like it.

He attempted to wear me down, to agree wholeheartedly with his protestations of sharing a life together. He wanted me to move to isolation in the country – and I hardly knew the man!! I had several similar proposals over the years from men I’d only just met. Desperate? Enough to scare off any woman with an ounce of sense.

Online dating at our age has become the norm. I could write a book about my experiences  -interesting, painful, with some humorous occurrences. Check out the profile names – you’ll have a giggle. Are they boasting or have they simply not considered their choice of name? Some women also have unflattering profile names. Choose wisely.

I’ve had some good times, enjoying the company of some lovely males. Mostly coffee dates, with some second and third meetings over a meal, movie or outing. But there have been elements that didn’t gel with my own expectations. Spare me, please. If I don’t feel comfortable, why should I continue to date you? Why would I want to enter a relationship unless I felt there was a reasonable chance of happiness?  Some say that I’m picky. Not true – I want connection, enough similarities to sense the possibilities of a worthwhile partnership.

Honestly, should it be that hard? Especially now in our golden years. Sure we’re set in our ways, much more so than younger people. However, there’s always room for compromise.

Most of us dislike confrontation that can thwart our ability to communicate honestly.  Allowing each other to speak openly is truly the only way. My personal experiences highlighted the need to occasionally step back and consider what I wanted from the relationship, also what I would not accept. To honour my feelings. And his.

Check your levels of stress or unusual tiredness. It could well be your body telling you that you don’t wish to pursue that relationship. If you’re not honest with yourself, your health will suffer, just as mine did when I ignored my instincts, endeavouring to make it work.

I have taken the time to list the five most essential characteristics that I want in a relationship, also the five deal-breakers. Reminders. Bottom line – being true to myself.

I understand that at our age we might think time is running out. Some men I’ve met project this urgent need, given the intensity of their initial approach. I don’t want to be pushed and hurried along. In fact, most women simply want to communicate, to be accepted, respected, romanced a little, and to enjoy that wonderful transition from friendship to love, to sex – the natural way. Having experienced it before, I know that’s what I also want the next time around.

So if you’re in a no-win situation, end it now. Tell them you cannot pursue a liaison in which there is a pretence. Wish them well in their search for someone else!

You will be doing yourself a huge favour. Being alone may not appear conducive to happiness. Neither is misery within a partnership that should never have developed. Be true to yourselves. Don’t force the need to be with someone simply to avoid being alone. Go out and enjoy your pastimes with a radiant, positive glow. You never know – you just might attract your sensational soulmate.

Do you agree with Janeene?  Do you have a story about trying to meet someone that you’d like to share?  We would love to read them in the comments below.
 
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  1. Tina  

    Love it so true..Iam just reaching 60..my x dident like the things I started to want from life ..I don’t like being on my own ..but I starting to see one shouldn’t stay with some one just for company ..I miss that spark and living holding hands feeling ..I’ve not yet met a new romance but one never knows what is around the corner *

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