Frustration Nation

I had several conversations this week with people about Dating After 40 and online dating and I wanted to address several things that came up in the conversations.  Most of the single people I know have at least dabbled in online dating with varied degrees of success.  This weekend I was speaking with some men on their experiences with online dating. They have many of the same complaints as women do, but take a surprisingly more tolerant view on some issues than I do.  We were discussing how some people lie about their age.  To me, this is a major issue on two levels:

1) I cannot start a relationship with someone who is not honest about something so basic as who they really are.

2) I generally do not date much older than me because I find the men look and act much older than me.

To me, this is wasting my time. The men I spoke with were surprisingly a lot more tolerant, to a point.  They did not place the same emphasis on starting with a lie as I do.  I found this interesting.  While I do not think either view is wrong, I do find it to be something to consider. What are we all looking for out here?  It seems like many of the same people are on the dating sites year after year.  How could they possibly not have found someone who is compatible and who they enjoy spending time with?  This has been an ongoing point of contention with me because I love meeting people and genuinely enjoy the dates I go on.  I love getting to know someone and learning new things and new perspectives on things through the conversations I have.  There are many times that we really want to know more about our dates, but we never hear from them again.  We could have the best date, and the phone never rings.

So why is it so hard to get from online to an actual relationship?  It is something I have thought a lot about.  One point I would like to make is that online dating is kind of like ordering dinner – it depends on what mood we are in.  I am convinced that many view this form of dating as a smorgasbord of choices – and they are either afraid of making the wrong one or they take advantage of the choices and never take the time to know one person.  One thing is for sure – we cannot develop anything lasting from one date.  That is only where it starts.  We need to really take time to get to know someone if we are to be successful in finding a potential life partner.  First dates are kind of like job interviews – people can present themselves a certain way, but it is hard to really know what they are all about from one date.  If you use online dating sites, more than likely you are talking to more than one person – so are men.  From my personal experience, when I have been interested on someone I do not bother going online and/or answering emails from other prospective date.  I focus on the guy I am interested in.  Again, from my experience, the men I have dated continue the conversations they are having because they are afraid of what they may be missing.  To this day, I do not understand what they think they are missing.

So what are we all looking for that we are not finding?  Is it that we are not taking the time to really know people anymore?  Relationships do take time to develop, and it seems like everyone is in so much of a hurry with the demands of their lives that we cannot slow down long enough to develop proper relationships anymore.  Based on my interviews, online dating is frustrating for both men and women.  We all want love in our lives.  We go online with high expectations that maybe, just maybe, that special someone is there.  We leave there frustrated and jaded.  But yet, we all know someone who found their ideal person online, so we do know there is hope and we keep that hope alive in our hearts.  As frustrating as it is, we put ourselves out there and guard our fragile hearts with shields of armor. We may not all find our Mr. Maybe, but even if we don’t we need to enjoy the journey.  There are many great and wonderful men out there, even if they are not the right one for us.  I, for one, genuinely enjoy meeting them and getting to know them.  Sure, there will be the occasional nightmare date (hopefully not too many), but if we look at most of our dates with an open mind, we will know in our hearts that meeting wonderful men along the way is not a bad thing, and they are really the pebbles we leave along our trail to our destiny.  So stop being frustrated!  Enjoy the journey!

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Identifying Sources of Conflict

By the time we reach our 40’s, most of us are fairly set in our ways.  We have lived full lives and experienced many things, both good and bad.  Dating at this stage in life and beyond can pose some interesting challenges as we try to blend lives together that were very set by themselves.  When I am evaluating a man, I think a lot about lifestyle and personality.  While I am fairly active, work out, like to do outdoor activities, someone who is at the gym every day, is an avid attendee and player of sports, and likes camping may not be the right guy for me.  While there is nothing wrong with having some differences here, each person really needs to evaluate how lifestyle and habits can create conflict, and just how big that conflict could potentially be.  While we cannot avoid some conflict in relationships, if we are honest with ourselves, we can certainly avoid major issues that could destroy a potential future together.  I tend to take a more practical and systematic approach to this than many people, so if you choose to loosen the reigns on this one a little, go with what you feel is right for you.

Some things to consider when thinking about conflict are  ethics, values, and integrity.  This is basically the core of who we are as individuals, and very important when considering a relationship with someone.  For instance, I once had a man lie on his online dating profile about his age – and not by a little, either!  He was 8 years older than he claimed to be and he was already 2 years older than I usually consider date material for me at the age he told me!  I was at the restaurant a full half hour before I realized he had been standing right next to me and looked nothing like the guy I thought I was meeting.  Men (and women), really, if you are intending on meeting someone who you want to potentially have a future with, you cannot start out with a lie before you even meet them!!  And please, please, please look at least somewhat like the picture you post on your online profile.  My philosophy on this is I do not have time to waste on dating someone I would not consider a relationship with, so why waste my time and theirs.  It does not make any sense.   Starting off with a lie cannot lead to anything promising.  Beware if this happens to you and they try to explain it away with well concocted stories.  I would not buy it, and you should not either.   Honesty and integrity are things we all want in a potential partner, and there is just no excuse for blatant lies.

We also need to look at how ethical someone is.  For instance, how do they deal with their bills?  Are they paid on time?  Are they conscientious of making sure that happens?  Do they spend frivolously?  Do they have car insurance (in some cities this is something you may want to consider checking).  If someone is always looking to get over on the system, is that someone you really want in your life? Is it a lifestyle you would consider living?  All of these things are just some examples of some basic core values. There are many others you may want to consider.

 By taking the time to identify potential sources of major conflicts now, you are saving yourself from potential future headaches and heartache.  We only get one life, so why not spend it with the people who are headed in the same direction as you are?  There is no race to find your Mr. Maybe.  It may take some time.  The important thing here is that you do not lower your standards to live a life that compromises who you are and does not make you happy.  Dating after 40 is hard!  We all have some sort of baggage at this point, but there are some really wonderful men out there and they are worth waiting for!  Run through life with a smile on your face and happiness in your heart.  Take the time to weed out the things you know will create conflict.  Live a better and fuller life – even if that means for now you are spending it with your girlfriends!  Mr. Maybe is worth the wait, don’t settle for Mr. Wrong!

Radio Interview

Radio Interview

I will be interviewed this evening at 7PM EDT on WTER Talk Exchange Radio.  Here is the write-up by the host from Facebook:  

Laini Bianculli writes:
Join me tonight on TALK Exchange RADIO at 7:00 p.m. for the launch of Ready-to-Wear…Are you ready to wear the custom blended version of you?Lisa Balthaser a/k/a Ms. Maybe is my guest and we will be discussing her blog and book titled Dating After 40: How to Weed Out Mr. Wrong to get to Mr. Maybe. Her blog has struck a cord with many as she discusses her experiences and systematically looks at solutions for weeding out Mr. Wrong and getting to the man who could ultimately be Mr. Maybe. Her goal is to help other women who find themselves in the same circumstances, and help them realize they should never give up on the dream of finding Mr. Maybe, if that is really what you want. — with Lisa Balthaser.