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!

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.

How Much Clutter Do You Have?

Clutter2What is clutter?  Merriam Webster defines clutter as “a crowded or confused mass or collection.”  So what does that have to do with dating?  A LOT!  While most of us think of clutter as something we have in our home, what we may not realize is that we all carry around mental and emotional clutter – the collection of  life experiences that clogs our brains and prevents us from moving forward with our lives in a healthy way.  Think about it this way – what often happens in the home of someone who has a lot of clutter?  They tend to become complacent and the clutter starts to accumulate.  This can happen in our brains, also, if we are not paying attention.

In verb form, to clutter means “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.” With this definition, it is easy to see how clutter would prevent us from successfully finding the right person for us.  Our brains can be scattered and disordered, which prevents us from moving forward to the right person.  Did you ever notice that some people date people who are very similar to a previous partner?  The same issues arise in the new relationship as they did in previous relationships.  Well, this is because they are not moving forward and are stuck in their own clutter.  Having a lot of clutter absolutely reduces our effectiveness in finding the right partner because there is no room in our brains to properly process the reality of the other person.  Our brains contain so much chaos, excess, and frustration, and it overwhelms us to come to the right conclusion because we cannot even find room in our heads for all the information we need to make that decision.

Clutter Cloud

So what is all this clutter that is clogging our senses and making us unable to logically find the right person?  Some of it is baggage from our past and emotional baggage we gain throughout our lives and have never dealt with.  Some of it is from our daily lives, which tend to be a lot busier than they were a few decades ago.  We are so busy today with so much on our plates, we rarely take the time to assess all the “stuff” we are carrying around that is preventing us from living our fullest lives.  Some never even give this a thought.

I know when I was younger, I never realized all the emotional baggage I carried from my childhood.  It took me until well into my 30’s to understand it all and where it all came from.  But once we realize that it is there and what form it takes, we need to understand it and recognize exactly how it is manifesting itself into our lives today.  Some of us may need to seek professional help to really get to the core, but if that is not an option, understanding that it is there will at least help some.  I challenge you to assess what your clutter is.  Write it down!  If you are not finding the relationship you want, more than likely you are carrying around some kind of clutter that is preventing you from finding what you need!  It is important that you take time to really be alone and honestly assess the emotional clutter that is preventing you from living a happy life.  You only have things to gain by truly understanding what is blocking you from your dream of a healthy and fulfilling relationship!  Throw as much of the clutter out the door as you can!  There may be some left, but we will explore that. too!