Recently, I tried another dating app. This time, I took the name of the app literally. In my mind, we’d have a first meet over a cup of coffee and a bagel, scone, or croissant. Easy-peasy right? Not so. In my first dating article: Dating in My Late 50’s, I was shocked at how hard it was to meet someone. Now I’m even more convinced.
At 58-years old, I decided to include an age span of 56 to 65 to meet guys. Here’s where the ‘fun’ begins. The algorithms matched me with guys in their late 20’s and early 30’s. I’m not a math whiz, but there’s some discrepancy here.
There were a few guys closer to my age category. Two so-called matches wrote about their sexual needs, which sounded like an Olympic sport needing one to be exceptionally bendy. I’m not bendy.
Another guy’s bio stated that “he is what he is; arrogant and not willing to compromise.” At least he is direct and knows who he is. However, I’m done with arrogance and an unwillingness to compromise.
A third ‘match’ was: “currently in an open marriage and looking for extra action.” I read this one twice because I thought I misunderstood. Nope. He wants a ménage à trois.
Relationships are complex enough with one partner. But a trio? Not for me.
Honestly, I’m too old for this bullshit.
. . .
In the poem, A Summers Day, Poet, Mary Oliver wrote, “tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
One soft voice keeps telling me, start by being a partner to yourself.
Over the past weekend, while chatting with a dear friend, who also happens to be an astrologer, she mentioned that I’m in my second Saturn Return. After a bit of research, I learned, Saturn Return is about notable change and maturity.
By the way, your first Saturn Return is in your late 20’s and into your early 30’s. If you are at that age right now, you are probably ready to change up your lifestyle. Maybe you want to settle down. You might want to get serious with your future, start/end a relationship, secure a decent job, start saving for retirement. Whatever it is, you are most likely tired of the party-party phase, which frequently happens in your earlier 20’s. You realize you are getting older, and Saturn (the father of time and lessons) is tapping at your metaphorical relationship door.
In my late 20’s and into my early 30’s I did a drastic shift. I went to graduate school and trained to be a licensed mental health therapist. I broke off a relationship with a guy who couldn’t decide whether we were dating or not. And shortly after that, I met my future husband, who is now my ex, but nevertheless, we got married, bought a house, and soon started a family.
Here I am in my second Saturn Return. Once again, I’m clearing the ground around me and setting boundaries in relationships with others and myself. I’ve also been asking myself, am I bound to be single for the latter half of my lifetime?
. . .
I really understand Robson’s assessment. We see, hear, and read about long-term romantic relationships as if they are the holy grail and only goal in life. What’s not being directly said is this: if you aren’t in a fantastic long-term-romantic-relationships, there must be something wrong with you.
Ouch! I disagree.
There’s nothing wrong with being single, but it is hard when society adores, elevates, and recognizes couples.
Having been on both sides of the relationship equation, I can fully say, being single has taught me more about what I need and who I am than when I was a couple. I also know I don’t need anyone to complete me. I’m already complete.
. . .
What love is and what it is not
Romantic love is hard work. There’s the day-to-day stuff such as the grunt work: who takes out the trash, who stays home when the kids are sick, what’s for dinner, sharing daily chores, and more importantly, lowering our guard, and being vulnerable. Trust and respect are key ingredients that lead to being emotionally intimate with each other.
Committed relationships are crafted from realness, not artificially inseminated sugary sweet, perfectly poised couples taking selfies.
Relationships that give off a persuasive feeling of hey! Look over here! We’ve got what you want. It is shiny and pretty. We like to overshare our vacations and tell you what you are missing out on — they are often insecure and full of hot air.
Being with someone romantically is a partnership and companionship where two people steer the wheel, and the compass is full-on respect. Your way isn’t the only way, and my way isn’t either. There’s give and take as well as kindness. The type of kindness shaped like a warm latte or a cup of tea just because and not — if I do this for you, what will you do for me? That latter type is built on pressure and expectation, which misses the point.
Love is about telling the hard truths mixed in with gentleness. Love isn’t about who is always right or wrong. For sure, it isn’t about walking on eggshells just to get through the day without an argument or fearing the other will explode because dinner isn’t served at precisely 6pm.
But what if, and I believe this to be true, love isn’t found by a swipe right, swipe left on a dating app. Love isn’t a web bot deciding the algorithms to match you to a love interest.
Instead, love is loving you for who you are: with or without someone.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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