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Show ALL Forums  > Over 45  > Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?      Home login  
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 Bladesmith81801
Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 1
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I find myself stumped. I didn't expect to find myself dumped, divorced and single at 48 (now 49). After a decade long relationship and a couple of kids, now disabled through no fault of my own, yes, I find myself single. I'm not bitter, just....confused.
Things change in the dating world quickly, and the going out /bar scene is something better suited to younger men with more disposable income, and much more free time.

Not to sound cynical, but men and women my age by default, unless they've just escaped from a locked basement, HAVE to have baggage from their 30-40 years on the planet. They have kids, and in some cases, grandkids. They've had mulitiple relationships, marriages, been burned and burnt bridges. We're in the middle of our lives, supposedly an era when we're supposed to be stable, comfortable, even complacent. Yet here we are, starting over, without a real clue of how to get started, and yes, a little afraid of what we face. We're not young and fresh anymore. We've slowed down, gained a little weight, and are dealing with physical issues from living a life of hard knocks.

But we (I) have a positive outlook. A happy personality. Wonderful kids. But we crave the company of an adult. The touch of another adult human being. Knowing that despite the rejection of someone we invested all our emotions and dreams into, that others still find us attractive and desirable.

Am I the only one in this age bracket that feels this way? Where do you start (For lack of a better term) "Hooking up" again? How do you re-insert yourself into a dating scene that has passed you by while you were blissfully married?
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 2
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/11/2011 7:06:46 PM

Not to sound cynical, but men and women my age by default, unless they've just escaped from a locked basement, HAVE to have baggage from their 30-40 years on the planet.

No, they don't. Baggage isn't what you've done in the past, it's what you haven't left in the past and are still hanging onto from the past.

They have kids, and in some cases, grandkids. They've had mulitiple relationships, marriages, been burned and burnt bridges.

Or maybe even no kids. I'm about your age, I met my fiancee here and she's perfectly sane and baggage free. She has been divorced once, and certainly had multiple relationships but her exes are totally out of her life. I've been single my entire life, so I was not willing to accept all sorts of baggage, either. I'm not sure what your objection to burnt brdges is though. Burning your bridges is how you ensure you've left your baggage behind.

Am I the only one in this age bracket that feels this way?

I dunno, but I certainly didn't feel that way. I'd say you aren't bery positive despite your claim to the contrary.

Where do you start (For lack of a better term) "Hooking up" again?

By contacting women and meeting them.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 3
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Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/11/2011 7:34:15 PM
Hoo boy, talk about a done-to-death, redundant subject.

I have learned a HUGE amount about myself, and dating, and ALL the areas of concern you are griping about, by READING these forums. I STRONGLY suggest you START be doing that.

Right now, you just come across as depressed, and unwilling to recognize that the world does NOT owe you anything for your pain. This is a stage that all of us have had to go through who deal with divorce. All of us. You wont be ready to truly look for a new mate while you are in this stage, I know from my own direct experience.

So spend time now, just reading here. You will find first of all, the answer to your own VERY common question "Am I the only one in this age bracket that feels this way?"
 Write Time
Joined: 12/29/2008
Msg: 4
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Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 2:10:32 AM
Y'know, a lot of it is just a matter of perspective.

You use terms like "baggage," "without a real clue," "afraid ..." Those terms have negative connotations, and they can't do anything but put you in a tough space as you go out into the world and try to start a fresh relationship.

I'm close to your same age, but I still feel excited for every new day. Instead of baggage, I carry experience. Quite the opposite of clueless, I know more now about how people think and react than I ever have. And instead of fearful about the future, I'm hopeful.

There's so much in life to be excited about, and at our ages we should be smarter than ever and bring a lot more experience to the table when we start our next relationships. This should be an exciting time in our lives, not frightening.

Again, it's just a matter of perspective.
 Brian091960
Joined: 8/5/2011
Msg: 5
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 4:26:11 AM
I agree with the other replies, leave your baggage at the door and replace it with carry on luggage. Those kids and grandkids aren't baggage unless you make them baggage. Some of what we're dealt in life is not easy to deal with but ya have to put it all in the past.

You may have an optimistic side but it's not showing here. I became very cynical about this online dating but have realized it's not worth worrying about. If you're not actually bitter then why rant about it? We all get frustrated at times, let it roll of your shoulders and move on!
 UptownJimbo
Joined: 12/23/2009
Msg: 6
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 3:50:02 PM
I began living with the philosophy of: "The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." Gautama Buddha

This helps to cut the cravings we tend to have as human beings. It has also helped me to do things I have been putting off like chores that need to be done, etc. For me, living in the moment, allows my mind to quieten down a lot. I don't expect a lot from dating because I've learned that I'm so different from most of society. It is what it is, and I accept that. I've chosen to not be on the hamster wheel, and that also means in the internet dating arena. I grew tired of the games long ago and just state it like it is in my profile. Would I like to be snuggling instead of typing, yeah. But I would rather snuggle with someone I trust and understands me than to be snuggling with someone who there is no future with.

Hang in there, Blade. You have a lot of courage for typing some of your thoughts. If the romance world was so easy for us, many of us would not be here. Granted there are plenty of players here to have fun and just play, but I'm over that stage. I would rather read, watch a movie, etc. than waste time dating someone who I have nothing in common with outside of a good time.
 infennario
Joined: 5/24/2011
Msg: 7
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 4:11:13 PM
What I've done after a brief stint trying this out, was- stop. I got confused and went out of my comfort zone because the internet element of it was so foreign, and, well, seemingly intimate and friendly without really being intimate and friendly. Heck, when I learned how to date, Stevie Nicks was on the AM radio every hour and there weren't even answering machines for phones! I think Igor is very right- watch, read and learn. And I think, wait- wait until it isn't confusing and discombobulating. There's no hurry.

Also, one thing that I've noticed (probably common wisdom, but new to me) is that the internet is a shield and people aren't necessarily kind or caring when they aren't part of your personal or professional community. Don't expect anyone to have any compassion for your (our!) nerves or naivete.
 woobytoodsday
Joined: 12/13/2006
Msg: 8
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 4:55:57 PM
OPie, it's so hard because you're not ready. Being the dumpee takes enormously longer to recover from than being the dumper. You are about at the stage where you're wanting to prove to yourself, your ex, the world, that you ARE TOO a fine catch. I.e., about ready for a transitional relationship, which is gonna also hurt a chitload. Gonna be a couple more years likely before you even find out who the heck you are.

Right now, your profile reads exactly like who you are/where you are. When you're not there any more the references to baggage and broken hearts will be gone. The reference to nobody's sugar daddy will be gone. You won't have "retired" as a job. &c.

Dating HASN'T changed because PEOPLE haven't changed. Situations change, but anyone can adapt to that. Online dating sites make things a good bit easier for me, because I'm geographically isolated, and can serve any number of purposes you wish. But FIRST you have to be ready. And you're not. PITA isn't it?

Just be patient: you'll be okay. AND DO YOUR WORK!!!

 Moonchild51
Joined: 3/11/2007
Msg: 9
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Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 6:28:28 PM
You guys are simply simply awesome with your advice! Blade, listen carefully to what a lot have said here as they are spot on. We all have our transition periods and alas, they take time. Time for us to heal and move on to brighter things in life. Sometimes, it may not even be another someone. It may just be to ourselves, who we really are. Now is a time to sit back, take stock and get to know you for you. You could be surprised! Please don't feel though that you are any different than those of us who have made the transition. I wake up daily thinking about how happy and peaceful life is for me now. How much fun I have, how much I enjoy the company of others. All things I never had married. I am still growing and that, my friend is something that we should always do! Wishing you all the best!
 shakeitupbaby2012
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 10
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 7:04:42 PM

I find myself stumped.


Then I suggest taking some time to reflect and observe, & figure it out before you subject a woman to dating when you haven't figure it out-


Not to sound cynical, but men and women my age by default, unless they've just escaped from a locked basement, HAVE to have baggage from their 30-40 years on the planet.


No they don't. Baggage is a metaphor for dragging unresolved crap around,,,and it's also buying into the establishment. See the above, get figured out, have your baggage cleaned and donate it to a recycling center.



Am I the only one in this age bracket that feels this way? Where do you start (For lack of a better term) "Hooking up" again? How do you re-insert yourself into a dating scene that has passed you by while you were blissfully married?


Apparently you haven't read much of the forums.

You start from the beginning. Meet someone and ask them out.
 shakeitupbaby2012
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 11
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 7:06:35 PM
double post-
 Bladesmith81801
Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 12
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 8:18:28 PM
You lot give excellent, (If pointed) advice. Course, if I wanted soft, gentle advice, I wouldn't have posted here, would I?

I'm obviously not ready for a relationship, this I know. Dating either, from the looks of things, financially or emotionally. I know rebound relationships end up sucking for everyone, and I need to stay clear until any relationship I end up in isn't a rebound.

Still, it's hard. I'm an outgoing and garrolous person, but am confined to home for too much time because of finances. These are slowly improving. But I guess I'm impatient. I've grown accustomed to being there for someone, and it's fulfilling to me. I'm very used to putting myself last.

Good advice from you all. I just have to suck it up and drive on, as we used to say in the Army.

These forums will make it easier. It'll be nice to have someones to chat at. Many thnx.
 LRB1962
Joined: 11/13/2010
Msg: 13
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/12/2011 11:53:09 PM
You have said it so well,
QUOTE "I find myself stumped. I didn't expect to find myself dumped, divorced and single at 48 (now 49). After a decade long relationship and a couple of kids, now disabled through no fault of my own, yes, I find myself single. I'm not bitter, just....confused."

I found myself in a similar situation in the year 2000 and suddenly becoming single after 17 yrs of marriage with 2 young kids, I chose to remain single to focus on being a mother to my kids & do the best by them during a difficult time of adjustment without Daddy around. I had to deal with 2 very confused & hurt kids as well as recoving from a bad accident on my own. I had to move nearer to my parents for support at the time. So we moved house, I lost my job, interest & hobbies and the friends I had made over the years in Sydney

What a hard road it has been to even find a social life now my kids are grown up & don't need me much, there is nothing I can find for my age group (now 49) unless I want to go to the pubs where all the young ppl hang out. Dealing with the insecurites of how we all have aged & are now in different shapes & sizes, not knowing the expectations of a person who contacts you & decide to meet up with.
I have just about given up trying to find someone where I live & am looking forward to when my kids move out in a couple of years & I can get back to a city where there is so much more social life available. None of the internet dating sites have social events in a place like Nowra, instead they are held in the cities & Sydney which would be the closest place for me to go.

Is anyone else finding it hard to meet likeminded people in a small town or is it just me not looking in the right places.

Oh well back to another lonely Saturday nite on my own at home, maybe one of the kids will be home with his GF for dinner so I have some company or the cat will want a cuddle on the lounge watching a movie with me.
 shakeitupbaby2012
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 14
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/13/2011 12:05:42 AM
OP,
I'm coming off of a nearly year long stretch of not dating, but I've been on my own a while.
There's no reason why you can't socialize.
Have friends and family over for pot luck dinners, cards, games, and movies, etc.

Hang out in groups of friends- mixed genders or not. If mixed, this allows you to meet women who are 'safe', STP, friends of friends. Just get used to chatting with them and becoming friends. You may find someone who's also just out of a relationship and the two of you can hang out with other friends or on your own.

It's very common to build a network friends post relationship. Get out and enjoy time with them. The rest will fall into place when you're ready.
 Bladesmith81801
Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 15
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/13/2011 2:01:24 PM
Therein lies the rub, Sowrite. We'd just moved to Tennesee, and we'd been here less than a year. We barely know anyone. She rediscovered a high school chum in Seattle, and Facebook over a long cold winter, and well, lets just say it was downhill from there. We both made mistakes in the relationship. But I never cheated. She on the other hand....

So, all of our savings went into the move, not knowing anyone, and having to live on a fixed income makes socializing extremely difficult. I'm actually coming out of the dark days, and things are looking up socially. I have a buddy (My ex next door neighbor) who is a super outgoing guy, knows anyone who is anyone, and is determined to drag me into local society. Things can change without notice. I'm encouraged.
 SunnyGal42
Joined: 2/15/2011
Msg: 16
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/13/2011 2:17:01 PM
Velocitysonic - Your post about putting the emotional baggage in a storage locker and not paying the fees was so funny
 shakeitupbaby2012
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 17
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/13/2011 2:25:08 PM
Therein lies the rub, Sowrite. We'd just moved to Tennesee, and we'd been here less than a year. We barely know anyone. She rediscovered a high school chum in Seattle, and Facebook over a long cold winter, and well, lets just say it was downhill from there. We both made mistakes in the relationship. But I never cheated. She on the other hand....


It's all in how one perceives and thinks about things.

I moved 2 months ago. The second week here, I invited my closest neighbors to a pot lock dinner and they all came. I've met some great people here- all of them actually.

I started hosting a weekly 'drive-in'movie on my place and moved it indoors when the weather got too hot. I'm hosting a pool party soon.

Just get out and meet people.

Join meetup.com and find some activities you like. No more excuses.

Good Lord, man, Tennessee is beautiful--very much so in the Eastern areas. I'd be hiking the hills and having a big time.
 haywiresue
Joined: 9/27/2006
Msg: 18
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 8/13/2011 11:50:01 PM
Personally I think getting back into dating if you are 40+ can be hard because things are different, and we are different than the last time we dated 20 or whatever years ago.

I would like to believe that we all are more intelligent about life in general and can feel left behind with computers and new technology. I had absolutely no plan to do online dating but my daughter bugged me till I did, and I have found out, its not that bad. I have met some wonderful people on here both male and female who have become friends.

The older we get, the more defined we are as people. We know ourselves, our good and bad points, and have a better idea of what we want from a partner, than we did 20 or whatever years ago.

I just keep telling people to continue to kiss the toads/toadettes on your journey to find the right one.
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 19
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 10/21/2012 9:54:41 AM
OP, “baggage” can have many meanings.

I’ve never been married and have no kids; no psycho ex’s or potential spoiled brats to worry about. All you get is me. But most women find the very fact I “haven’t” been divorced or have a passel of kids makes me suspect. It’s a baggage of a different sort. I don’t get credit for avoiding bad marriages or having kids from multiple women just to have kids. Instead I'm a commitment-phobe and hate kids....lol.

I live responsibly and within my means; I can take care of myself. But I’m apparently not independently wealthy enough to attract smart, attractive women. I can’t and won’t pay for everything in the dating process. I won’t go on expensive trips if I can’t afford it. Fine, they say, but then say if I can’t keep up with their more demanding, expensive lifestyle I’m not for them.

I’m in good shape physically. I don’t have any health issues that stops me from pursuing an active lifesyle. But I’m not a marathon runner or addicted to pilate’s, so highly-active women my age go after younger guys that are.

I feel I “do” have something to offer, but like many men I seem to just fall short of all the prerequisites most women have on their relationship checklist to pass muster for relationship material.

In my experience, "this" is the true state of dating today.
 Giggles10000
Joined: 6/17/2011
Msg: 20
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 10/21/2012 4:30:20 PM
^^ Actually I think your distance limits might be an issue.

I have dated men who have not been married and those without kids...for the right person ...you should be enough.... for the wrong person no matter what you have ...it wont be enough....

I guess my issue in all of this is very simple...why do so many feel they need to have so many different options?

If I dont click with someone--no harm done...if I clicked with everyone then I would wonder about myself...finding the right person isnt easy but just because you try with a few and it didnt work doesnt mean it is all them and doesnt mean it is all you--just means you need to do an honest evaluation of what happened, look at it from all angles and then decide what is going wrong or more importantly--what is going right and keep doing it.

As an example, I met a guy on here 4 years ago we had the same type of cancer and became friends and then he told me how he had this high paying job and how he made a ton of money...and that basically he wasnt looking for a long term relationship cause he didnt want some woman getting his expensive house in the right part of town ...when he started to like someone he would move on to someone else...when I asked him why-- he said that his last wife got so much of what he feels was his he didnt want to risk losing anymore to a woman...

Today he was online and we started talking (I should have been studying!!) and he told me he lost his job in February and now he is losing his house..just imagine if he hadnt had his own agenda about relationships he might have met someone who could help him keep that house..but now he will be unemployed and homeless but i think he will have a better chance to find someone cause he wont have an agenda anymore.

Any women he dated had to wonder what exactly was up to with him...there was no lack in them only him...so why would anyone let themselves be defined by the individuals they are meeting on dating sites...
 1388SmartBlonde
Joined: 5/15/2011
Msg: 21
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 10/21/2012 10:02:30 PM
OP, I am close to your age and have an ex-husband who is gay and an ex-fiance who was a gold-digging cheater. I should have a whole set of Samsonite by now, but nope...I do not. Carrying a grudge only breaks the back of the one carrying it. I'd rather have fun, wouldn't you? The ex's problems are just that...their problems...and no longer yours...celebrate that.

Starting over does not have to be a downer...it can be a wonderful new place to begin a better life. Take some time to sort through your grief, then get out there again and start meeting new people. If dating is too scary, take a night class, join a gym, volunteer for charity, etc. to build your confidence and communication skills. Then start a conversation with someone you might wish to date. See every bad date or rejection as a learning experience on the road to success and you'll do well. Good luck to you!
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 22
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 10/22/2012 6:18:08 AM
The problem with baggage can be two fold. In the one hand you have Samsonite, or the obvious baggage. That is easy to detect and to put into place. We can be angry about what someone did, or how we handled a particular situation and so forth. We can reconcile those issues, forgive others or even forgive ourselves and we are done with that. But then there's the baggage that is hidden, that you didn't really know you had, or that you took it as being part of your normal being. Yet is the type of crap that keeps lurking in all your relationships, things that are not so much about you, but the type of person that you keep attracting over and over again. The woman that constantly finds emotional or physical abusers. The guys who end up with high maintenance women. Or the ones that find people that are completely emotionally unavailable. This type of baggage is sent to you as layers upon layers of what constitutes your emotional past, your family of origin, how you grew up. You think it's irrelevant because it's in the past and you like to pretend that you live by the present alone. Yet until you reconcile all that, things will keep pooping up again and again. Only then when you face it, can you then put it to rest and truly move on into a happier life.
 VolcanoKing
Joined: 8/6/2012
Msg: 23
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 10/22/2012 8:45:10 AM
Get onto meetup.com and see if you can find some events in your area that sound interesting...there's lots of people that get together just to go to different restaurants, or to share a hobby, or to talk about a mutual interest. It doesnt have to be "singles" oriented. I joined a hiking group and have met and dated a few men that way.

I also found myself tumbling into the singles arena after a 9 year relationship. I am now in my 40's. No kids, but that doesnt make it easier. I had no idea how hard finding a relationship was going to be. But, as others have said, the "dusting off of oneself" after exiting a long term relationship that you put alot of energy in/emotional investment is crucial. Do not put any pressure on yourself at this point. Or try to rush into something else because you are lonely.

I worked on, for a long long time, just being happy by myself..for now. I determined that the quest to hook up, find affection, someone who loved and adored me again would have to wait. I had to learn to be happy on my own. I decided to close my online dating profiles and focus on "peace and quiet time". I developed a daily routine that ensured I had enough "me time" in it. Proper breaks, little pleasures, shopping, having lunch with friends, completing projects of my own, and lots of exercise. I am not saying these are substitutes for love, these are part of the process of "being OK' with, for now, just myself. And when I do go out on a date, my expectations are completely different. I am more objective about the whole thing. I've learned to be OK with the idea that I have to walk away from most possibilities, because they are not the right possibilities. I'd rather be alone than being tormented with all the crap that goes along with being with a jerk, etc because I want it to much to work out.

Eventually, when you get yourself into the right place, the anxiety about being connected again ceases, and you start to look at the process differently. Your autonomous nature will be a source of strength for you, not something to dread.

Dont worry..you will find your way. Unlike in the movies, it usually takes longer than 90 minutes. :)
 1388SmartBlonde
Joined: 5/15/2011
Msg: 24
Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 10/22/2012 12:01:12 PM

But then there's the baggage that is hidden, that you didn't really know you had, or that you took it as being part of your normal being. Yet is the type of crap that keeps lurking in all your relationships, things that are not so much about you, but the type of person that you keep attracting over and over again.


This is true...Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I saw my mother marry 2 alcoholics in a row...and it was because she was crazy to look for husband #2 in a bar. You have to learn the lessons that each relationship can teach you before you move on. Getting professional help to understand your choices might be an option if you need objective help doing this.

IMO, you will do better dating after you have found peace with the past and have a clear vision of what you want going forward. You cannot avoid all trouble, but if you have a good understanding of yourself and your needs, you will be able to avoid a lot of it and recognize it sooner when you encounter it.
 Sciencetreker
Joined: 2/13/2012
Msg: 25
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Going back into dating...why is this SO hard?
Posted: 10/22/2012 3:55:58 PM
We've slowed down, gained a little weight, and are dealing with physical issues from living a life of hard knocks.
.

Not me. I'm a decade older than you and make a point of keeping active and fit. If you have a disability then you should be even more conscious of your weight and fitness.
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