Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Forty-Five (45)

 I suppose if you read this blog from start to finish you would find my love life runs in cycles, and currently I am in a trough. A giving-up sort of a trough.

If you imagined dating as you would investment, then dating after 45 for a divorced woman is a very poor strategy. A much banded statistic is that only 3% of  divorced women over 45 will re-marry (apparently I can soften this a little because it means  in any one year). However, if a woman does acheive this feat 60% of second marriages fail.

As a divorced mother of school aged children..

hiring a babysitter,
squandering precious time with these children,
introducing instability into the lives of these precious children,
following loss leaders such as the emotionally unavailable, sex addicts, free loaders and otherwise emotionally, morally or actually bankrupt....

...in the hope that you will form a meaningful (married) bond, is akin to putting your life savings into an offshore pyramid scheme. Why would you? wouldn't you read the warning signs?

Forty five is a watershed for women in many ways. I think it is pretty much the mean age where men lose interest in you in a primordial fertility based sense. We all know women who have happily re-partnered after 45 and we probably know women who have given birth in that age range as well, but they are rare.

I suppose I might assert that by the time you get to this age there is still a stock of ova in your ovaries/men in your social ambit... but of this stock only a few are viable.

Alternatively I might assert that the  reasons for this low remarriage rate is not the tragic croning of the women in question, or the lack of men, but the fact that in many cases marriage suits men better than women. Just as women frequently don't want babies over 45 many of them don't want men either. (I won't insult your intelligence by spelling out the enslavement and drudgery that bad marriage can involve)

but I do suspect that men like marriage more than women do.
 Turning to myself for a moment, the last 6 years have been tumultous and traumatic for me with a divorce, repartnering, separation from new partner and two financial settlements.

But, Knowing the facts above, I think I was entirely correct to put energetic efforts into re-partnering at 39 because at that stage there was still a chance of forming a family with someone. Now I believe that time has passed.

I think my "money" is best invested in ensuring stability and happy childhood memories for my child and intellectual and spiritual growth, physical health and emotional stability for myself.   Luckily for me being born in an age where women are afforded equal rights to men I also believe that I have the resources and am capable of this.

I'm a crone at 45, I'll still be a crone at 60 when Connor is off my hands. What's the rush to go out and repartner really? I am an attractive and amusing woman, I'm sure I'll get laid in those 15 years should I wish to.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some thoughts about Internet Dating

In response to the interest generated at "The Plankton" on Internet Dating

I first tried Internet dating just before my 40th birthday. I recall being grateful as I set up my profile that I was under 40 as that was the cut off for most of the men I was interested in. In fact many men of my age were citing 35 as the upper limit.

I don't have bad things to say about Internet dating, but I haven't met a soul mate that way either. Only about 3/10 went beyond the first date

The men I met were broadly divided along these lines

(1) Focussed on sex/bit-a-fun and at some level why not? many of them have come out of long sex-starved marriages, some others are bachelors who have veered into the sex-addiction spectrum and can't commit,

(2) Great on paper with looks, interest in things cultural/sport, intelligent but actually chronically depressed, needy, usually unemployed or in patchy employment. Having come out of a crazy co-dependent relationship with a depressed person I myself was not strong enough to take this on,

(3) So rich and set up that they are afraid you will come and fleece them.

Men in the same boat might classify women as

(1) Crazy - vindictive about their ex-husbands, Overly happy and bubbly to cover their nerves (ie you never see the real them) mis representing themselves - old photos, glamour photos, talking themselves up...

(2) Desparate: focussed on dubious get-rich-quick schemes to pull them out of post-divorce poverty or worst looking for a meal ticket

(3) Not interested in sex.

My husband and the three men I have been in relationships with since divorce were all, my age or younger, I didn't meet any of them internet dating. Realistically at 46 I think my internet dating market is 55 upwards. In the real world however I may still meet someone who could've played in the same sandpit.

When I think of the effort it would take to present myself appropriately for this market - nails, eyelashes, bikini wax, take up extreme sport/cooking/triathlon to be more interesting, I tend to think the time and effort would be better spent on improving myself for my own purposes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Closed II

Rather than commenting on my own posts. I will give this one its own special post. I'm sorry there will be a couple of post-Hamish post-Mortems. This is what I wanted to say with the wisdom of Dr Jordan

many middle-aged singles are still trying to settle how they experience themselves on the inside while not allowing those unsettled feelings to interfere or complicate their love relationships. Quite frankly, the most defensive way of doing this is to keep oneself alone and seemingly free of confusion. For some middle-aged singles, these unsettled feelings get concealed behind a very busy work or social calendar. The deeper problem, however, is being unprepared to handle the psychological issues that will most likely arise if the plunge into love is taken. So the individual remains “closed” to love, no matter how involved he seems with dating and social activities.

I realise this closed theory is only one of a number (ie yes he may simply have found someone else) Anyhoooo... nice fellow as he was letting something like this drag on as long as it did. Being totally locked down while somebody tries to love you is a type of toxic behaviour, and has ended with all the hurt ( he possibly suffered through previous lovers or FOO) being transferred to me.  I am in total agreement with Rachel Wilkersons Rule #15.

Love that which lets you love it

Addendum 09/02/2012 The ire is starting to bubble up. However much "it's not me its you" he served it with and the pleasant departure (with a huge act of service) does little to detract from the core truth here. He didn't say "I don't fancy you, don't want you etc" on the contrary, he demonstrated that he really still does fancy me. The part he wanted to reject was my love, care, life situation and personality. That stinks.

Addendum 09/02/2012 That took 10 months out of my life. There was a huge investment in babysitters and time away from my child. As projects go, building up a relationship with a boyfriend is a risky one. All lost in one evening. I would've built more social/emotional capital helping out at an old folks home and be no worse off financially. This definitely points to an argument for taking my love elsewhere - if only I could embrace celibacy properly.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


I started this post earlier in an attempt to understand and heal that little emotional bruise I am carrying...

I am trying to put myself in the shoes of Hamish and imagine how it would be to date a man for 10 months, sleep with him, and act like his partner at social occaisions whilst all the time knowing I could never commit to him, or possibly have a rising fear I could never commit to him.

I have done this once, for about a month, with an intenet date (although we only once appeared as partners and that was excruciating for me, I certainly wouldn't have sought him out for this purpose). The man in question was, whilst being attractive, extraordinarily needy, out of work, depressed and had mummy issues
and was a bit of a dud in bed. I can't remember exactly what I said when I tried to end it gently, but I think it was "I am not ready for a serious relationship" which meant I am not, and will never be, ready for a serious relationship with you"

It's hard to think of myself in this lame-duck role.

I certainly didn't say (to the internet guy) as Hamish did to me "you are a sexy fantastic person, you have done nothing wrong, there is nothing about you that offends me, you are smart. I really fancy you in fact I would like to take you to bed now, I'm not ending it just pausing it...blah blah"

I guess its just another example of how men are different. Sex is really so very very important that someone could be quite wrong for a man, but if she comes up with the goods in the bedroom, he will keep her on.
However, the statement that I have heard from Hamish, and other men that

"...men are really very simple they just want a pretty girl on their arm, who will look after them and have lots of sex with them"
Is an oversimplification because I know for a fact I covered those bases

Then after reading The Plankton I came across a link by a commentator that seemed to explain a lot about middle aged dating in general, and Hamish in particular.

Basically Dr Jordan explains quite kindly that some of us actually shut off to love as a defensive strategy. I don't think this is me. I have another dysfunctional strategy which is to fall in love easily and then shave a little bit off my meagre self esteem when it doesn't work out.

Watch this space but I think I really will try to have a bit of genuine Single time now. My true belief is that this is well-nigh impossible with a demanding 8-year-old in tow, but I'll try. In addition not a helluva lot of time has been freed up by Hamish's absence. I was thinking wryly as I walked to work. Friday 8-midnight, Alternate Sundays and maybe Weds 8-midnight at a pinch. Will quite likely use the Sundays working and the weeknights sleeping!!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

[Guessing] Game Over

Yep after a long agonising evening of smalltalk Hamish finally plucked up courage to tell me he wants to put "us" (not even our relationship) on pause. Luckily there was quite a long chat and opportunity for me to get the things out I needed to say.

(1) That I have come to love him over these months
(2) That I won't be waiting around on a string until the pause button in unpaused
(3) To ask if my child got in the way (which apparently it didn't)
(4) To ask was part of the problem that  I am probably too old for us to have children together (apparently it isn't)

I was bemused though, he still apparently had every desire to take me to bed. I also pointed out I didn't want to be an FB as it "wouldn't be good for my self esteem" none the less I wouldn't have minded carrying on as we were, and I have lost a putative partner.  All the feelings of loss, abandonment, reduced self worth, fears for the future, that were there when my college boyfriend called it off, I realise, are still there - they are just muted, or suffocated, and, although I didn't know it then, I had more options in those days. Still having pretty skin and working ovaries. And I can't be properly single due to having Connor in tow. It is a very stifling feeling. That's for sure. I was never more than a bit of fun. Really.