I’ve been at this a few years. I’ve tried online dating and dating friends of friends. I’ve tried dating people I’ve known for years and people I’ve just met.
I’ve learned a lot from the experience, including that just because he says he’ll call doesn’t mean he will (Yes, I realize perhaps that should have been obvious).
So here are some of my insights in case they help any of you who find yourselves dating during the years when some cultures relegate you permanently to “your own hut” or label you with the “spinster” title.
For the record, I resent both of those practices.
10. Don’t do it. Kind of. Okay, dating can be fun, but it can also be really really hard. So if you’re comfortable being single or if you feel strongly that the Apostle Paul’s words on marriage are to be taken seriously, I recommend you heed them. It will save you some pain and embarrassment, plus you won’t have to read the rest of this post.
9. Be prepared for baggage. Specifically be prepared for the kind of baggage that comes in a sixteen-piece matching set that includes bags that make no sense except to carry multiple yoga mats. We all come damaged and scarred and bruised at this point. So you need to be ready.
8. There will probably be children. You need to know how you feel about them – not just as esoteric entities but as potential people who could share your bathroom. Then, once you know how you feel, honor that. Just because you don’t want to marry someone with children doesn’t make you a horrible person. It really doesn’t.
7. Never married is not necessarily a good thing. One must ask the proverbial, “Why?” here. Travelling the rainforest to find life-saving medicines before they are extinct – acceptable. I’m looking to replace my mom – not acceptable.
6. Nor is twice married always bad. Perhaps the person is twice widowed. Perhaps his wife cheated. There are reasons that make this fact quite reasonable . . . again, the “why” comes into play.
5. Know your thoughts on hair. If bald and/or gray are not options for you, then perhaps you need to re-evalutae #10.
4. Staying in needs to be an option. If your date thinks every Friday and Saturday plus the occasional Thursday should involve dancing shoes or a bar stool, reconsider. We’re too old for that mess.
3. Sharing food is only acceptable on the third date or later. Especially if he puts his seafood –covered fork in your pasta. Okay, maybe that’s just me. But seriously, at this age, it’s easy to see intimacy too quickly. Be leery and let time tell.
2. Change can happen, but not just because you want it to. Find a person you want to be with as they are, not as who you hope they can become. At this point in life, most of us are pretty secure with who we are. Honor that and let the person change only if s/he wants to do so.
1. Live forgiveness and grace - because you too have baggage and hair in varying stages of decay.
Question: Any dating tips you’d care to share?
EdiTOR’s Note: Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together – away from this blog. I’m deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!
Today’s guest post is from Andi Cumbo – a writer, editor, and writing teacher who is currently working on a book about the people who were enslaved on the plantation where she was raised. She is currently single and okay with that. She blogs daily at andilit.com.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons – John Fraissinet