Lorraine is single, after leaving Bryce 18 months ago. They’d been married for nearly 25 years, and most of that time they’d been more or less happy, discounting the many times he ignored her but happily commented on the way someone else’s wife had made herself look good lately, or joking about getting one over on the weekend if the gold was good, but then being too tired to actually do much more than talk about it for nearly three years. The kids had left home and returned, causing more friction and to top if off, Lorraine had been promoted in her admin job, but no one even bothered to remember, let alone ask how her day was anymore. Yes, she was almost thankful that Bryce had decided he’d rather be with his business partner’s 35 year old daughter and her two bratty teenagers by the time she walked away from her marriage.
Gordon on the other hand, had been married to Trish for 18 years, and since the birth of their daughter 11 years earlier, Trish had shut shop on the intimacy and sex front, was supportive to him in his business, but aside from co-parentng their two children, had practically nothing in common. And yet she still insisted on sleeping together every night, expecting him to tolerate her closeness, her scent, her softness, and the occasional glimpse of her bum or upper thigh, but made him feel like a dirty old man (at 52) if he persisted ever in making an advance of a sexual nature. He finally decided it was time for him to honor his own needs but she’d caught him wanking in the shower and blown the lid off the house over it. So he’d called it a day and they separated a few months ago.
“That ONline Dating Thing is Just Weird – Aint It?”
The biggest challenge for each of these lovely people was how to connect with someone else and start a new phase of their lives with a new partner. Dating however was a nightmare. For starters, deciding which kind of online platform – swipe left or swipe right? “Writing a profile about your self is ‘just weird’ and then there’s the photo thing… It’s just so frustrating.” Especially if you’re not great at writing things about yourself anyway. And what kind of person do you want to attract, and is it a relationship you want or just some casual sex? Everything seems to be upside down from the old days of ‘get to know someone’. Now it’s a matter of all the small talk stuff gets aired on a profile and then you meet – what do you do on a first date with a stranger who already knows so much about you?
Other options such as Table For Six, MeetUp Groups, Dance Classes are almost as hard as online dating options, and expectations seem completely out of touch with reality for most of us now. How to behave, what to say, how to give the right impression… at least when you were younger you could get to know someone through the school community or sports groups. Kids did have a lot of value when it came to meeting other single parents it seems.
The angst of starting a new relationship doesn’t stop there – once you meet up and decide you like each other, the aspects of advancing your relationship are just as challenging. His kids, her Parents, Exs, even where you live are all things to be worked out – but sex… oh, sex in your 50s or 60s is way different than that last time you got naked with someone a few decades ago. Body parts may have shifted somewhat, and many bits work differently. And if you’ve become used to certain ways of doing things with someone over many years, a new sexual experience may not even be terribly successful at first. It takes time to figure this out – and there are no handbooks to guide you through the many parts of the game.
If this is how it feels for you – you can stress about it, talk to your best friends about it, even see a sex therapist if need be. They can be wonderful if there are specific issues sexually that you need to address. Amazon is also filled with books about sex and sexuality by therapists, and a few former sex workers who claim to know exactly how to get you back in the saddle. BUT… wait a minute, maybe you really just need someone to hold your hand more gently through a few things, and sound off to when you need to vent some frustrations over it all. Maybe a way to look at what you really want, need, desire and fear, along with addressing some of the baggage you have brought over from your last relationship(s) is worth considering with a professional guide who just helps you work stuff out.
What kind of classes are there for re-emerging into mid-life successfully?
You may be uncomfortable paying for a therapist (sexual or otherwise) if all you really want is some objective help to get back into the game and avoid some of the challenging pitfalls associated with a new start in the romance stakes.
If you’ve invested in legal fees to divide up the assets and all that goes with that side of ending your past life, maybe some investment of ‘who am I and how do I move forward’ is worth while?
A few years ago, a great little movie featuring Steve Carrel and Ryan Gosling addressed this very thing. Steve’s character was newly separated, and Ryan’s was a ‘Get the Girl’ coach. Ryan effectively told Steve a few home truths about how times had changed since he was dating his ex in College, took him shopping and tidied him up a bit, while Steve helped Ryan move out of casual dating and into a real relationship.
It all comes down to talking – with each other, and first, with yourself to ensure you’re ready, and able to tackle the dating landscape confidently. Maybe what you really need is a Ryan or a Steve to help you figure out the landscape. Easily, with less stress, and more confidence.
#DatingCoach #readytostartdating #horiztonalhappiness #datingafter50
If this is something you’re struggling with… let’s talk about it.