Saturday, January 01, 2011

They are right, but they're wrong too

So I was hanging out with my friends at the New Year's Eve party, and one of my friends is sort of asking advice about dating. This person doesn't date much. After having an account with eHarmony, she is switching to, because it is less money, and because in her opinion eHarmony takes too long.

Except for switching to a different dating website, it seems like this person had this same conversion last year and got mostly the same advice from mostly the same people.

This person doesn't date much, but I suppose that she's decided if she's ever going to have someone special in her life that it is time to do something about it. I'm guessing that she decided this a few years ago, but she still hasn't found anyone. And she hasn't dated much in the past, so she's a bit worried about dating now. She's also worried that if she does meet someone that she wants to be with that they will get married and she won't like being married after being single for so long. She has quite a list of things that she is either worried about or just flat out does not want.

I haven't seen her list. I haven't heard much about what is on the list. But I don't see that having a list is a bad thing. You probably go out on fewer dates if you have a list and stick to it. But I don't see that as a bad thing either. How can it be a bad thing if you don't date someone that you already know you wouldn't want to end up in a serious relationship with.

Everyone else seems to be telling her that she's doing this all wrong, and that she should just start dating and enjoy meeting different people, and that she shouldn't be so worried about what might happen. They tell her to stop worrying and just let it happen. She's not going to have a good time dating if she's always thinking about getting married.

I think that is the whole point of dating, so I think that they're wrong. Maybe it isn't as much fun, but if she's really looking for a husband, shouldn't she stop dating someone as soon as she's decided she wouldn't marry him? Wouldn't it be better to not date at all rather than waste time with people she doesn't want. And I'm guessing that dating isn't all that fun for her anyway, or she would have done more of it.

And I do think that she has valid concerns about finding someone nice, getting married, and then not being happy after finding out what actually living with this other person is like.

Maybe she has such a long list of things that she wants and does not want that she will never get a date, and maybe she should shorten the list, but I don't think that she should be talked out of having a list or even told what things she can have on that list. If she's that worried about ending up with someone who snores, why can't she be honest about it?

1 comment:

Absurdist said...

Okay. Personal experience here.

I am exactly like your friend. Not much dating, had list. Started dating online in 1996, and did it off and on for 12 years. Mostly on.

First, let me say this. As you get older, your list gets shorter. Also, you change as you get older, and your list changes. As you become more comfortable with yourself, and you become more set in your ways also, your list changes. When you are completely self-sufficient financially, and have a career that precludes your need for any financial assistance, your list changes. When you are completely confident in your own abilities, your list changes, etc. So be willing to be flexible in that list, and realize it is going to change over time, and recognize it's going to get smaller over time.

Why will it get smaller? Because the pool of available men is going to get much smaller.

Here is why.

Men marry around 25. Then, their first divorce is around 31. Mostly, the only men that will hit on you between 25 and 31 will be married. So you won't have much opportunity to find men between those ages. The pool is small, except for gay men.

Your next opportunity is between the ages of 31 and 35. Recognize that they will already have children, most likely, and may not want anymore.

After 35, most likely they are married for the second time. Believe it or not, men have more of an issue not being married than women. Again, I have learned this because of my age and through insight and through watching and learning.

If you missed your opportunity during those ages, you are pretty much screwed. Why? Because any man who is single afterward is going to want a very young woman. It is the RARE man who is really confident enough with himself (NOT arrogant) that is looking for a real woman. Or is not gay.

Now, your list has shortened a couple of times at this point.

But here is where your list changes. Because by this point, your career has changed, you have become a different woman, and, due to circumstances, you have become comfortable with yourself, quite confident, and you have changed. Your list will change dramatically. You will no longer look for a man to take care of you, or someone to give you children. You will look for a man that can give you compatibility, and be a partner. But you won't be looking for that dreamboat man who whisks you off your feet, that doesn't snore, etc.

After 40, you just start looking for someone who breathes. Kidding. No, here, you are coming into your own for the first time in your life. You decide that if a man comes into your life, wonderful, but you give up the chase. You recognize that if they are single, they want the 20 year old, and you can't do anything about it. Or, they are going to stay married, and they are going to proposition you as a married man.

Now, let me go back to that 25-31 thing. ALL of my friends who were married at that time (female friends) who wore wedding rings, including huge ones you couldn't miss, were propositioned by men who were married. Men do not care. If you think to wear a ring to keep married men at bay when you go out, forget it. Sometimes, I would wear a ring when I didn't want to be bothered. Nope - well, it may have been my generation (gen X), but men will ignore it.

Anyway, if you want more advice, you know where to find me.


Absurdist, the old fart who has been around the block. Bigtime!