Dating is not what it used to be when I was in high school and college, in other words pre-marriage. Dating, now, is hard. Dating is always hard but there are reasons dating the second time around is a bit more difficult. Dating in your 50’s is an added layer of hard.
First off, you all have baggage by the time you reach your late 40’s or your 50’s. If you were married, there is the baggage from that relationship. There is, most likely, damage from the divorce. There may or may not be children to consider. If you were not married, chances are there has been at least one long-term relationship. Again, there is baggage from this. There is pain and damage from the end of it.
Second, you are most likely set in a lot of the ways you behave. When we are younger, we are more willing to try new things. We do not have a set bed time or a routine that explains how we live our lives. Of course, being younger brings its own set of challenges to dating that I do not want to think about in this current dating climate.
Third, your life experiences have given you lines in the sand. We all have our “deal breakers.” I know I have them but in a recent relationship, I added a new one to my now list of two deal breakers. My original deal breaker was violence. You touch me in anger or with violence or malice and it is over. There is no going back.
My new deal breaker, and I do not ever think I realized this one until recently, is health as in you must care for your own health. I have watched one parent ignore doctors’ advice and just ignore health issues. I watched as this parent basically ignored doctors to death. It is not pretty and evidently made an imprint on me. When faced with a just recently ended relationship where health was an issue, I drew the line. I gave some time for him to act on the issue. When he didn’t, I ended it. I cannot be with someone who ignores his own health.
Fourth, sex. Oh my God! There is so much to say about this that is different from when I started dating in high school in the late 70’s. Now, before having any kind of sex, it is like getting a credit report. Are you clean? When was the last time you were tested? Have you had sex with someone since then? Was that person clean? How do you know? It’s almost enough to make me want to be celibate the rest of my life but not quite.
I cannot imagine what dating as a 20 year old is like in this particular climate. I know I think twice about it some days.
Are you currently dating? What do you think about it? What is your “deal breaker?”