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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13 thoughts on “Frustration Nation

  1. People lie about their age when dating online because they don’t want be shoehorned into the typical age patterns (men dating slightly younger women) and because the dating pool is larger for both sexes at younger ages. Many people rationalize lying about their age because they believe they look younger. (Usually they really don’t.) A women with whom I had a wonderful 18-month relationship posted her age as 38 when she was actually 43. I could tell something wasn’t right on our second date when she remarked on her memories of the Bicentennial. But other than that one exception, she was scrupulously honest through many sensitive conversations and circumstances. But my suspicion of that fib did occupy a lot of mental space until she told me her true birth year five months later. I’ve noticed that many women will post one age in their header data and state their true age in the body of the profile. I’ve heard of some people who confess to be a couple years older upon a first meeting, rationalizing it by explaining how online profiles can be so restrictive in classifying people. So, a little wiggle room on age is possible, which I recommend clarifying as soon as possible, but integrity and honesty are still essential.

    1. Mike, you are definitely more lenient than I am. I really do not think it is wise. People can set their age parameters on who they are interested in. If they look younger than they are, propel will still be interested regardless of age. In my mind, I cannot rationalize lying about something that is nto objectionable, However, I do acknowledge that this is an individual thing and others may not feel the same way as I do on this, and other subjects. Also, I imagine it matters how many years of age the lie is. The worst thing is when you think you are meeting one person at a certain age and you meet a completely different person you never would have wanted to meet. Why waste each others time like that? It just does not make sense to me.

  2. My gripe is that men in my age group (I am 66) tend to state they only have interest in women much younger than they are. That leaves me out. Yet I, too, feel many men my age act and sound prematurely old so am tempted to only consider men younger than me. I am so much younger now than I was before….It feels wrong to lie. I won’t lie as I am honest and I am happy to have such a youthful spirit. So my only option is to simply be upfront about my own age and to set my search parameters for a wide range of ages, as in 60 to 72.
    It kinda makes me feel like a real Cougar. That part is OK, as I am seeing a few possibilities.
    However, when I read a profile of a guy my own age or even a few years older, my delight in finding him and thinking he is Mr. Possibility is often snuffed when I see he is only seeking women 50 to 60 years of age.
    Since a few such men have been widowers I am guessing they might want to avoid the possibility of another love dying before they do – having to go through it all again. Still, there is more to consider than simply chronological age. Overall health, inherited genes, lifestyle, and so much more factors into when and why a person might develop a terminal illness.
    Then there are those guys who must think all women of their own age are just washed up and not worthy of their attention. Those are the guys who annoy me the most. I console myself by thinking “they don’t know what they are missing”. Still, it irks.
    Remember the John Lennon song “Give Peace a Chance”? My version is “Give me a Chance”.
    Please. Cut some slack and “Take a Look at Me Now”.

    1. I can definitely relate. In my 40’s, sometimes I feel like I am competing with 20 somethings for men, and I definitely cannot compete. It is frustrating, and at times maddening. However, I try to justify it with the fact that these men are probably not for me anyway if that is how they are. In my mind, they are looking for arm candy and not substance.

      It is funny that you mention a man worrying about someone dying before them,. That is exactly one of the reasons I tend to date younger. Men do not have the longevity that women do and I want my special someone to be here as long as me. Since women do live longer, I would imagine it does get more frustrating as the pool of men gets smaller and they want younger women. Really, they just do not know what they are missing out on! There is something to be said about sharing moments in history and being able to relate to each other on that level. Hang in there and keep the faith. Be confident and know that you should not settle. You deserve better than that!

      1. That’s right! I never tried any kind of dating site before, but found this one in a horse magazine I subscribe to. I thought that if we had a passion in common, it might work?

  3. I can only say that for the most part the truth is subjective but some facts and figures do not lie. Birthdate is one of them. People lying about there age is right there with only posting pictures that are more than 2 years old or as in many cases 10 years old. The fact is eventually the truth always finds the light. If people aren’t being honest about who they are, how would you know they are being honest about the kind of person which they are looking for in a relationship. Maybe they are not even being honest with themselves about what is on their list of who they want to build a future with? Men who are only interested in women twenty years younger may be interested in having children or may be immature. So for independent women with grown children or who do not want more children, their choice to date from the younger pool is saving us time. Keep in mind it is a two way process and the match is supposed to be both ways! Many younger men like to date older women because they have decided they don’t want anymore children and don’t want to enter into a relationship with someone only to find out that they do. The biggest issue with online dating is that from behind a computer anyone can say that they are anything they want. So the point would be to meet relatively soon after the initial contact is made. Also, until you have decided that you are in a committed relationship with someone continue to make friends on line. It creates balance and keeps you from focusing on someone who may be a one and done in your dating career.

    1. Well said, All very true. I totally agree with keeping communication open online until you are in a committed relationship. At that time, all communication with others must cease in order to give the relationship the attention it rightfully should have.

  4. I remember the night I met my now-boyfriend. I thought he had a youthful energy and a cute smile, and we quickly found out we have many interests in common. After some months, he told me he was older than he looked (he’s six years older than me). He was reluctant to tell me that, because he thought I’d reject him. What a shame…of course I didn’t care about his age – six years is nothing anyway! My two cents..the most important thing in my opinion is compatibility. If you want someone exciting, fun and open to new things, then seek those qualities. If you want someone who shares life goals and values (religious views, having children, living in a certain location, whatever), then seek that. The right person might be older or younger, and in the over-40 group will probably have some baggage, so what as long as it’s not too heavy. Yes, some of the guys in their 40’s will chase young women but that’s happened since the beginning of time, just wait till they’re 50, they’ll outgrow it. 😉

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