New to the Dating Scene at 50 plus, I have navigated my way through past failed relationships to find what it is I’m really searching for. Part of this discovery is what led me to write my new book; Communicating To Win,in Life, Love and Business!
You see, I truly believe we are where we’re suppose to be but so many fail or are afraid to see and accept that reality.
Determined to be defined by who I am and what I truly want, I embark on the decade of Honesty and Candor, hopefully sprinkled with tact and diplomacy! Turning 30 and 40 were easy yet not without their life, career and marital challenges. Turning 50, honestly, scared the shit out of me!
Finally, I had figure out some of the mysteries of life and my proverbial clock was ticking, reminding me I am not getting any younger. I felt like a golfer on the back nine, whose time was running out, and I don’t even golf! Clearly,I am on the back nine of life and have so much more to accomplish and a legacy to build and leave for my 6 beautiful children.
Somewhere, shortly after the age of 50, after much soul searching and talking to friends who had already ventured over to the dark side, I realized that my 50’s needn’t be all that bad. It was time to grab life by the horns, embrace my success and failures and try to put it all into perspective. This would certainly be a new and interesting way of dating.
Imagine that, being open and honest about what I really want, out of life and a potential life partner. When my second marriage ended, I didn’t date for two years. Not for lack of interested and available suitors but for sheer lack of interest and a desire to focus on me, my children and my work. I needed a break. After all, I had hoped that none of my children had to grow up with divorce, now all of my children do!
What I did know was that I did not need or want a woman in my life to define or validate me. Like many other casualties of failed relationships, I did not need someone to tell me I was pretty, nice, smart, or any other intrinsic qualities or characteristics I knew I did or did not possess.
These discoveries had to be mine and mine alone. That reminds me of one of my favorite verses from an Adele song; ” next time I’ll be braver, I’ll be my own savior.” Profound words not many can put into practice. The longer one is out there on their own, the greater the beauty and the self discovery in that isolation to help you heal and decide the next chapter.
While not diving head first into the dating scene,I did put my big toe in that water. For the most part it has been a learning process, a fabulous experience, good and bad. I’m reminded of one such woman I dated, longer than any other before, and a conversation I felt ready and able to have.
Like me, she had at least two failed marriages/relationships, that seems to be the norm once you near or enter your 50’s. Almost like the practice one, now I have it figured out one, and oh no, this isn’t working out either one! Since the ” new ” me listens to his gut and the little voices inside his head, I felt ready and excited to to try out my new found security of being open and honest.
I asked my friend if we could talk. Her immediate, if not explosive response was,” I knew I should have ended this before you did.” What the hell are you talking about was my knee jerk reaction but after composing myself, I simply said, ” did I say that? ” Did I say anything about ending the relationship? Can I please finish, was my next comment.
What I wanted to say to my friend, whose company I very much enjoyed, was that I had a lot on my plate and would only be able to devote 20%-30% of my time to our relationship and that if she needed more, I totally understood. Wow, did that feel good to have that off my chest, removing the burden of over promising and under performing. I told her I thought she was terrific, smart and beautiful and that if she needed more right now, she deserved that and I did not want to hold her back from what she deserved.
Somewhat relieved, at least I thought, she said she would rather have 20% of me than 100% of someone else. I assumed we were now on the same page. That lasted a few weeks before the ghost of prior relationships and not saying how you truly feel, raised their ugly heads.
On Christmas day I received a text telling me she did not think we should continue to see each other. Gracious in my response and understanding, I told her this was fine and felt no ill will, hopeful we could remain friends, another challenging task once a relationship ends.
This series of conversations, interactions and events was a real breakthrough for me. Internally and silently, I applauded my ability to express my freedom of speech without fear of rejection, embarrassment or recanting what I said and rushing back into the relationship.Walking away is a very healthy place to be if in your gut you know it’s not what you want or where you need to be.
Listen to your gut and hold yourself accountable to your own happiness as no one else can do that heavy emotional lifting for you!