Why Has Dating Men In My 50s Been Such A Nightmare For Me?

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Why has dating men in my 50s been such a nightmare for me?

Philippa describes loneliness as crippling, and it may cause you to lower your standards.

The inquiry I’m a 54-year-old woman who has been divorced for three years. For the most part, my experience with men has been negative. I feel used and manipulated. I’d like to ask you about the role of mobile phones in relationships, specifically how they can be used to allow people to cheat. They didn’t exist when I was in my twenties, and communication with my then-husband was straightforward, and I truly trusted him. Only since my divorce have I witnessed such heinous behavior.

 Is this something to do with my age group? It seems that men my age think it’s OK to treat women like sweets in a shop, not giving any care about feelings after initially pledging very convincingly that they do. The last one, who I thought was all right, lied about being supportive and used me to help him through some kind of breakdown, then feeling much better went away on a cycling holiday and slept with someone he met, telling me quite proudly about it and his plans to take that forward. What’s going on? What’s wrong with me and what do I need to learn please, as I feel lost with this? My foray into internet dating has been so dire that I’m reluctant to try again. Is there any hope for women around my age?

The inquiry I’m a 54-year-old woman who has been divorced for three years. For the most part, my experience with men has been negative. I feel used and manipulated. I’d like to ask you about the role of mobile phones in relationships, specifically how they can be used to allow people to cheat. They didn’t exist when I was in my twenties, and communication with my then-husband was straightforward, and I truly trusted him. Only since my divorce have I witnessed such heinous behavior.

Re-entering the market for love in mid-life is multifaceted. The people – including you – will be more complicated characters than you were in your 20s with complex histories and the problems that go with them. You may also be more likely to be lonely and therefore more vulnerable. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any hope. There is plenty of hope.

When we are younger, it appears that it is easier to fall into relationships; we try more new things and meet more single people. Going out becomes more difficult as we get older, we become more set in our ways, and some flexibility of attitude may be lost. I believe it is more difficult for two older people to form a strong attachment, whereas young couples can mature together. When you get together at an older age, you’ve already formed, so bonding will be a more difficult process. However, it is far from impossible.

Thinking about that man you helped get through his breakdown, he was probably feeling understood and thus more confident because you had helped him. He appears to have taken your attention as a gift rather than realizing he was supposed to reciprocate. Perhaps he mistakenly thought you’d be happy for him! Another thing he was doing was sharing a shared experience with new friends on his cycling vacation, so they had something other than dating to connect them.

The main issue with internet dating or blind dates is that they begin without the foundation of shared experience. When your only interaction with them is drinking coffee or having sex, there isn’t much to bond over. However, if you work alongside people or belong to the same group, such a relationship may have a more solid foundation than simply sharing loneliness. Loneliness is crippling, and we may seek solace from the internet – but the potential companions there may also be lonely. Loneliness may even cause you to lower your standards, so look for groups of people to join rather than looking for one other person to make you feel better.

Lots of potential companions are out there and everyone is in a different psychological space, entering the fray with a different set of attitudes and wanting different things. You’ve been hurt and I’m sorry, but it isn’t because there is anything wrong with you. It’s because you may have had different expectations and assumptions about the relationships and encounters you’ve had so far. I expect you have been open with the men you’ve met and that means you are doing things right because if you’re not open, you wouldn’t be giving yourself a chance.

Have as much joy and connection as you can get into your life. Join everything. Use your spare time to do what you find satisfying. When somebody worthy next shows up, check out your and their assumptions about life, sex and companionship then compare and contrast. Expect setbacks, expect time to pass before you find what you want, but remember there are good people on your wavelength in the world. You are more likely to find each other when you are doing what you love and enjoy.

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