Dating in My 40's: What a Learning Experience...

9:00 AM

"Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love." ~ Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

This year I started putting myself out there on the dating scene after taking a break to take care of myself during my grieving. And let me tell you, dating is not easy, especially when you're looking for a relationship after 40.
This is me on a daily basis when it comes to dating
I've been single for about two years and decided I was ready to jump back into the dating pool. I started putting myself out there more and decided that this time I would do things differently. 

I have spent years, one failed relationship after another, not really knowing why things never ended well. And after losing my dad and brother and going into therapy for bereavement counseling, I actually learned more than I thought I would.

I became more self-aware and more accountable for my choices in life. I realized that I wanted love so badly that I settled. And I stayed with men that I should have left as soon as I saw the first red flag. From cheating to being stood up all the time to even owing me money, these are the men I ALLOWED into my life. And if my ex is reading this, I still want my $150 back. I'm still working on letting that go because I know I will never see that money.

Sure, they were jerks BUT I chose to be with them. And we NEVER have to be with someone who doesn't treat us as we want to be treated. I learned that I always have a choice. Making those choices may not seem easy but when you get to a point in your life where you know you're worthy of a great partner and deserve that, choosing who you want to be with becomes very easy.

When you're secure with yourself and are not trying to be with someone just because you're lonely or afraid of being alone for life, you make better choices in who you choose to be with. Because you will not stand or settle for any less. 

I'm fine with being alone. I don't NEED to be with someone. However, I WANT to be with someone. I want to share my life with someone. I even still have hope I will have a biological child. Some people think I am crazy since I am 45 but I believe anything is possible. I do plan to adopt as well but having my own child has been a dream in my heart since I was a teenager.
I always thought I'd be married with a couple of kids by now. And for a very long time, as the years sped by, I started to feel like a failure. My dad never got to walk me down the aisle or see his future grandchildren. And I sometimes feel like I am the only one who is single in my world. 

But in therapy, I learned that acceptance is key. Everything happens for a reason. I've had a pretty good life despite the failed relationships and no husband and kids. I've traveled the world. I've seen amazing things. Honestly, I look back and know I could not do a fraction of those things if I was married with kids. This I know now and I had to be honest with myself. We don't always stay on the path we start on and we have to go with the flow and just remain hopeful.

I went back on the online dating scene six months ago and it's been okay. I've met some nice guys and some not so nice guys. However, instead of meeting my soulmate, I instead continue to learn more about myself and how I deal with men. I've learned that sometimes being too honest upfront is a bit much for men. I also learned that words mean nothing when it comes to actions. Someone can tell you everything you want to hear but if they don't make time for you or show interest, they are not interested.

I put a lot of value into words and sought that validation that comes from words. Sure, it's nice to hear how beautiful you are or how much someone is into you, but I realized that I was hearing more words than seeing actions. And after a while, words are not enough. You want to see action and thoughtful gestures, which if a person is really into you, no gesture is too grand.
I learned to not stand still and give too much of my time away when a guy is not interested. Just because I like him does not guarantee that he will like me back. And I have to accept that. Me getting frustrated or feeling hurt over a guy not being interested is a waste of negative energy. I just accept it and move on. No hard feelings. It just wasn't meant to be.

That was a MAJOR change for me because I was that girl that would be so frustrated and upset when a guy I liked didn't like me back. And I spent a lot of time in my feelings, having a pity party and refusing to accept it. Meanwhile, he has moved on to the next girl who he does like. 

Sure, I've been disappointed but it's beyond my control so all I can do is put myself first and keep it moving. Rejection is part of life. At least I gave it a chance to see what would happen.

I also learned that I don't need to try too hard or chase a guy or even jump through hoops to prove myself to him. All I have to be is myself, because I think I'm pretty awesome, lol. And know my worth enough to know that I am a good woman and any man would be lucky to have me. The right man will see me and accept me for who I am.

I recently met someone who I think is amazing - not perfect but such a nice guy. Who knows what will happen? What I do know is that my life goes on no matter what. Life never stands still so I won't. I will still enjoy all the moments I can, whether I am single or not. Because we never know when it's our time to go so I don't want to waste or lose a single minute. It's like what Mandy said in the above quote... I will never put my life on hold to wait on love. Hell no.
All I want is to be loved by a good man who's honest, loyal, funny, humble and romantic, preferably in the tri-state area (lol). Now I have other attributes I look for but at the same time, I have come to accept that I will never find the perfect man. But if I can find someone who has most of the qualities I am looking for, that's good enough for me. 

So for now, I will put myself out there, hitting my favorite spots, traveling, interacting with the world and still checking out my options online. We'll see what happens. I have a feeling my Mr Right will show up when I least expect it. I just hope my hair looks good when that happens.

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2 comments

  1. Oh my goodness, you and I could be twins- my thoughts on dating/men/love are exactly like yours! I do have the perspective of a few more years (I'll be 60 in another 5 weeks- yikes!)that's a little different than yours (and was married w/kids), but I've been single for 12 years now and am looking for "Mr. Right". I've only, in the past year, been finding out that if I'm not okay with loving me, I can't be okay with loving a man. I have been a giver in relationships, but rarely a receiver. And like you said, you can only be satisfied with words for so long- actions mean so much more! And if all you get are promises of good things to come, but they just never seem to materialize, those promises mean nothing. And the relationship is too one-sided to be satisfying. So, that's where I am now- alone, but not lonely. Wanting a man in my life, but not needing one. I'm so happy to have found your blog- keep up the positive approach to your life, as I will try to too! I look forward to reading more from you!

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