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Show ALL Forums  > Over 45  > Define "committed relationship" after 60      Home login  
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 readyornot57
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 1
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Define "committed relationship" after 60Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
I am not too far from that, actually.
In threads with younger people, it is all about marriage, living together, dump the cheaters, etc, etc, etc.
But reading this thread, things seem different. A lot of people over 45 tremble at the mere thought of marriage, and more and more, I see people say that they don't even want to live with anyone anymore, but they are open to a "committed relationship."

This is where I get confused. When young, this is dating, with co-habitation or marriage and kids as a possible goal....but for seniors who want to stay independent, THIS IS IT. Thus my question.....or series of questions.

1) What if one person is unable to have sex? If the most special thing he or she does is a hug goodnight, does hugging someone else goodnight constitute "cheating?" Or taking a friend of the opposite sex to dinner....is it "cheating" because that should be YOUR territory?
2) If there is sexual activity, how do you discern that you are not in a FWB instead of a committed relationship? Especially if you only see each other once every three days...remember, you are probably both retired with time to kill.
No one is going to say, ummmm, Mabel, you do realize we are just friends with benefits, right?
3) Would anybody consider themselves in a committed relationship if they only saw the other twice a week when both are retired and live close by each other? Knowing you won't ever live together? I just see FWB.
 Brownlady1953
Joined: 12/12/2008
Msg: 2
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 2:49:22 PM
Great question. I don't know if I can answer any of it, but I will leave my opinionated comment on the difference between a FWB relationship and a "committed" relationship.

If a couple sees each other only twice a week for sex only, that's a FWB relationship. If they see each other twice a week, and they do things other than "the nasty" twice a week --- like go out to dinner, etc., and are more intimately involved in each other's lives (without living together), and they see each other exclusively, then I would say they are in a "commited" relationship.

You'd be surprised....with today's economy, and other factors, there are quite a few people age 60 and over who are NOT retired, and are working full time or part time, or are actively seeking full or part time work. And that could be the reason that a "committed" over 60-couple only see each other two or three times a week.

Just my take on things.
 moraima
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 3
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 2:57:18 PM
"remember, you are probably both retired with time to kill."

Strange concept "time to kill". Never had it, and work very hard never to have it. Appreciate most people have no idea what to do with their time. That would be a major reason I wouldn't committ to them. Not looking to have someone looking for a parking place on my couch.

If there is no sex involved, it is only a friendship. I have friends I have had for more than a couple of decades. I won't be excluding them because the new person wants our friendship committed only to them................weird idea.

#3 Kind of sounds like committ or else.
 StevieCashmere
Joined: 4/22/2009
Msg: 4
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 2:59:12 PM
Same as Under 60
~sc~
 Mountain Geek
Joined: 2/5/2009
Msg: 5
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 3:07:17 PM
1. Unless that was me in which case I'd drink myself to death -- probably a deal breaker. Oh and territorys cause wars -- we don't own each other.

2. If you are getting lucky at 60 -- thank god every day! Don't fret the small stuff

3. Ah -- the crux of the problem -- Independance. Many people over 60 are never going to change and if they have been independant, they want to stay that way.

Best advice -- be thankful you have someone to spend time with, relax and enjoy life and see what surprises tomorrow brings -- talk to the woman and see what see thinks, but go slow -- no pressure kinda thing.

Oh -- one more thing -- 60 isn't old so don't live like it! It's the new 40 -- go out and play!

MG
 mz taken
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 6
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 3:17:44 PM
imo...the difference with a fwb and an exclusively committed relationship is what so many claim to not need: the talk.
unless all is laid out and openly discussed, then there's a lot of assumptions being made and accepted. no matter what 2 decide to accept and mutually agree on, the words have to be said OUT LOUD that they are in an exclusive relationship, and under what conditions they both accept. same for mutually agreeing to being fwb, get it out in the open and don't assume anything. this is not the same as "dating", imo dating doesn't require a serious talk. claiming "ownership" while dating is not the way to go.

now, showing affection (a hug, etc.) and having a social life with others is when some have their trust and maturity levels tested. if it's a problem, then it needs to be discussed and/or someone needs to pull up their big girl/guy panties and get over it.

yes, if after I've followed my suggestions outlined above and only saw them a few times a week-a month or whatever, I would indeed consider myself in a mutually agreed upon exclusive relationship. I for one, am not seeking a live-in (I know, never say never...), therefore I would not expect to be joined at the hip 24/7.

in my opinion, there IS a difference.
 Moooocow
Joined: 5/31/2009
Msg: 7
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 3:39:19 PM
There is no difference to what you are speaking of, then a long distance relationship where you see each other on weekends.

If your hugging a friend than that's all it is , a hug.

I'm sure when your hugging your SO that your not having sex with, then your hugging and touching much differently than hugging a friend of the opposite sex. I'm sure it's like when you go blind, or when you lose your hearing, all other senses ( touching , hugging, staring into each others eyes, smiling at each other, winking at each other, talking with each other, being emotionally romantic) must become heightened, wouldn't you at least hope?


how do you discern that you are not in a FWB instead of a committed relationship


You just know, and if you don't know at the moment, and you have been turned into an FWB, you are surely going to know. It's a feeling that you cannot get used to, always seek out what your gut instinct tells you.
 ForumFilly
Joined: 5/14/2008
Msg: 8
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 4:01:43 PM
My man and I both want the same thing out of our relationship and that is to live together, under the same roof, for the rest of our lives. For us, we have decided we want to be married. This is how we view a committed relationship in our lives.

Others don't feel the need for that type of legal and spiritual commitment, and they have that right. Still others don't feel the need or desire to live together. I have no doubt that there are many couples who live apart and still feel tremendous love for each other. They are happy living in their separate homes and seeing each other when their schedules permit. If that works for them, that's great.

It wouldn't work for me. If I'm so in love with someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with him, I want to wake up beside him every morning and go to sleep beside him every night. I want to make dinner together in the evening. I want to go to Saturday breakfast with Paul and our dog, Kellie, at the cafe his friend owns. I want to go to the movies on Thursday and Sunday nights together, and snuggle up on the couch and watch TV in the evenings the rest of the week. I want to get up early and make his coffee before he heads out to the train station for work. These are part of what a committed relationship is to me and they are very important parts. I don't want to be really good friends who deeply care about one another and occasionally have sex. I want our lives to be intertwined for as long as we both shall live.

I don't want to spend time apart from the man I love. I don't find him an inconvenience or a bother and I don't see his presence as an infringement on my privacy. Instead, I see him as adding to my life in the best way possible. And I want to add to his.
 bwana217
Joined: 5/3/2008
Msg: 9
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 4:29:44 PM

I am not too far from that, actually.
In threads with younger people, it is all about marriage, living together, dump the cheaters, etc, etc, etc.
But reading this thread, things seem different. A lot of people over 45 tremble at the mere thought of marriage, and more and more, I see people say that they don't even want to live with anyone anymore, but they are open to a "committed relationship."

This is where I get confused. When young, this is dating, with co-habitation or marriage and kids as a possible goal....but for seniors who want to stay independent, THIS IS IT. Thus my question.....or series of questions.


Fascinating idea.

People use terms like "commitment," "exclusive," "monogamous," and "long-term" interchangeably, but they aren't. They are, however, all part of a Package Deal that a lot of people believe in. Trouble is that this deal is only properly defined for people who get married young, build an entire adult life and family together, and never divorce. That doesn't seem to happen too much nowadays, and when it does happen, the participants don't wind up on a site like this at 60, or even in most cases at 30. So we can safely ignore them. Maybe widows and widowers are in another category, but let's set them aside.

Given that the package deal has been broken, the terms have to be deconstructed individually. So what does "commitment" mean? I'll take a stab at it. I think it means "I don't like having my heart broken, and it's a pain to find someone new, so I want someone who will make some sort of plausible promise to be there until I die so that I don't have to worry about that."

Commitment implies long-term, but the converse does not apply. Being over 60 implies a hell of a lot less longevity than it does at 20 (specifically, 40 years less).

Now, about exclusivity. Two possible kinds can support commitment: no exclusivity at all, and total exclusivity. A 61-year-old of my acquaintance holds that exclusivity kills commitment. She had a lifetime (until he died) relationship with a guy who used to pick up men for her and occasionally women for himself. It worked extremely well. He was Greek, and so from a culture where that isn't too unusual. Total exclusivity also works, of course, for obvious reasons, though it seldom happens. In-between never works, because there is always a fear that the partner will find someone better and, by the same token, become exclusive to them and thus break the commitment. It's a Catch-22 situation and quite unstable.

Monogamy, of course, is strictly speaking a formal form of exclusivity with vows.

Now, the Package Deal provides some extra glue that holds (or, rather, once held) this unstable structure together: the bias toward staying together for the children, the difficulty of divorce, the expectation that there will be sex, etc. The second has been changed by laws; and the third is reviled as tantamount to rape. That leaves the second, which only applies to people in childbearing years. Also, if you look at the Single Parents forum, it doesn't seem to be much good in the first place. (Not that this is necessarily bad; the Package Deal built a lot of bad marriages and has facilitated a great deal of suffering.)

In any event, at 60, none of the Package Deal is left. So what does commitment mean after 60? And if there is commitment, what does it imply?


1) What if one person is unable to have sex? If the most special thing he or she does is a hug goodnight, does hugging someone else goodnight constitute "cheating?" Or taking a friend of the opposite sex to dinner....is it "cheating" because that should be YOUR territory?


That's a great point. When I first read it, I guessed that people would miss it. From reading the responses, it seemed I was not mistaken.

People generally justify exclusivity in sex on the grounds that it is something special between the members of the committed couple, and that it would somehow cheapen it if it happened with others. If sex is impossible, therefore, it stands to reason that something else, such as a hug, should take its place. If it doesn't, there's no exclusivity in anything. So in this case, total exclusivity as a prop for commitment goes away completely, unless people do consider a hug to be cheating.


2) If there is sexual activity, how do you discern that you are not in a FWB instead of a committed relationship? Especially if you only see each other once every three days...remember, you are probably both retired with time to kill.
No one is going to say, ummmm, Mabel, you do realize we are just friends with benefits, right?


In that case, one could still use sexual exclusivity as a prop.


3) Would anybody consider themselves in a committed relationship if they only saw the other twice a week when both are retired and live close by each other? Knowing you won't ever live together? I just see FWB.


Again, it might have the prop of sexual exclusivity as a sine qua non of a "committed relationship" as opposed to FWB.

None of these scenarios seem very stable.

The only way I can see of salvaging the idea of a committed relationship would be to base it on mutual decision and love and trust. Most people would crap bricks at the very thought of this, however, because there are no props. People don't want to trust, because when you trust another, they might hurt you. This is why people seem to want the props and imagine that the Package Deal will somehow protect them, even as it has been shredded into nothing. This seems rather delusional to me and much more closely an example of trying to have your cake and eat it too than what is normally presented.
 readyornot57
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 10
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 4:37:25 PM
Forum filly, there is a big part of me that wants what you have and want.
I don't know if I could do the twice a week thing even if it is committed, knowing that it is the desired end result. I would certainly TRY it if it was that or nothing with someone I cared about.....I don't know if it would be enough.
And as I said, a lot of seniors and near seniors want their own place, and I don't know how "official" it would feel.
 flowerforce
Joined: 9/6/2006
Msg: 11
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 4:52:52 PM
Committed relationship is defined by the parties that make the commitment. There is no hard and fast rule as to how a commitment is done. Also both parties need to be in agreement about the boundaries of the commitment. Being a little old fashioned I would opt for marriage. Why would I want to share my life with a person who only wants to live together or to live apart and have a companion to do things with and sex on the side. So My definition of commitment is having a deeply intimate relationship with whom I can live and grow. Having this commitment celebrated by my friends and family through the ceremony of marriage.
 Tarnished_Knight
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 12
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 4:54:55 PM
ForumFilly, very well said.

For myself, I want the same thing as I did at 25. While I will feel "committed" at some point in a long on going relationship, for me the end point will come with the marriage vows. To publicly stand before Family, Friends, and God and make that committment is the end of the beginning and the beginning to the ...

To have intermingled lives is the epitome of committed.

TK
{so easy to say, so difficult to put into practice}
 tallyover
Joined: 3/8/2008
Msg: 13
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 5:19:51 PM

To have intermingled lives is the epitome of committed.


That's it exactly. Whether it's 24/7 or twice a week the merging of lives is what I believe makes it a commitment.
 mz taken
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 14
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 5:21:24 PM
it seems as if the consensus here is if one isn't married or living with their lover, then it's a waste of time and emotion. it's all or nothing. dismissing all other options and opinions.
relationships are not a one-size-fits-all deal. they are as varied as the people involved.
is life really so cut and dried?
is commitment a myth and unattainable under more than one condition?
just as I doubtfully would engage in a ltr with someone I've never had face time with, I don't dismiss that some would. I don't dismiss choices that others make, doesn't mean I have to like them either. it's all about choice and finding what fits for us as individuals.
my ideal is to hear him snore, to share the cooking, to do everything I did when I was married for over 23 years, but not necessarily 24/7, to the exclusion of all other options.

I'm curious as to the definition of "official" in this context. is living under one roof the condition of feeling officially in love and committed to one person?
is marriage the only way to attain this feeling of being official in a relationship?
marriage doesn't always insure the success rate of unions, unfortunately.

just sayin'....
 ItsMargo
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 15
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 5:40:10 PM
Oh thank heavens, I might be a lil too young for this thread (and as I do the run up to 50 that is a very encouraging realization). See, I'm sitting here scratching my head and I can't see what the difference would be in what I want in a relationship at almost 50 with what I would want over 60: to fully share my life with someone I love, to be a part of the on-going duologue of life with he-who-I -love.

Maybe things will change over the next decade and a bit, I dunno, but it's been that way for all of my life and at this stage I can't see how the amount of time one has to invest would change the ROI.
 mirabelle13
Joined: 5/6/2009
Msg: 16
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 6:54:27 PM
ForumFilly,

That is very beautiful!
 readyornot57
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 17
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 7:24:44 PM
bwana, read your post three times, excellent points
and to all the posters
especially Ms. Taken,

We can't really shake the gut feeling of reverting to what we are told a committed relationship entails (during our childhood years)
I know that, for me, when it comes to defining relationships, I am very clumsy when I try to think outside the box, or color outside the lines.
The concept of what is a loving relationship was taught to me with strict guidelines, including things we should NEVER do and things we should ALWAYS do. And even though I don't want to, I seem to keep falling back on those guidelines!
Being open minded is something I pride myself on, but apparently give myself too much credit for because on this subject I struggle to dump my pre-conceived notions.

Margo, I picked age 60 because the people here on POF seem to feel more liberal about this subject the closer they get to 60.
 Lil Brooker
Joined: 6/17/2008
Msg: 18
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/30/2009 7:42:15 PM

Same as Under 60

Ditto!
Committed, to me, means "I want you and nobody else" forever (whether it works out or not). Committment is an intent.
 mokat
Joined: 11/6/2007
Msg: 19
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/31/2009 6:01:57 AM
I think you are right on there. When you are in a committed relationship you date each other exclusively. You both have to be on the same track too. I think by the time you are 60 that you should know what you want and be able to talk to the other person and decide what it is that you are both looking for in a relationship. I would like a committed relationship now. I'm in my early 50's and I know what I want. I just can't find a man that wants the same thing as I want. I don't know if I want to live together or not until that special person comes along. When he does though I will know more what I want for sure.
 LdyofIndy
Joined: 5/25/2009
Msg: 20
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/31/2009 6:37:36 AM
I don't like labels. If I'm in a relationship that involves intimacy, I expect it to be exclusive. But! I'm not committing myself to anything! I don't do the live in thing either. We see each other as much as we want.
Have sex as much as we want.
Go out as much as we want.
No taking anyone else of the opposite sex out, unless it's family.
We keep it going for as long as it's good, as long as it's fun, as long as it lasts.

Just makes common sense that in a relationship where sex is involved, it should be exclusive. FWB, Committed relationship, whatever you choose to call it. Same difference in my book.
 outdoorgirlsunshine
Joined: 8/21/2007
Msg: 21
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/31/2009 9:17:28 AM
I would like an exclusive committed relationship and I think that can be with or without marriage, with or without living together. One thing I do know, no matter what is, that I don't want to be joined at the hip, or would I want him to feel like we needed to be. Not 24/7!
 Twisted Sister
Joined: 6/5/2007
Msg: 22
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/31/2009 4:59:30 PM
separate bathrooms.
 ankkka
Joined: 8/29/2007
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 7/31/2009 5:39:47 PM
Living together.It is a base for relationship.And the rest is daily bread...
 Selima
Joined: 3/28/2009
Msg: 24
Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 8/28/2009 3:31:15 PM

Define "committed relationship" after 60
I don't think a 'committed relationship' at 60 should be any different than a committed relationship at any age. Why would it be something different?
 moraima
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 25
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Define committed relationship after 60
Posted: 8/28/2009 3:54:55 PM
I get stuck on the word committed and locked away comes to mind

My bad.
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