Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Too cynical for the dating world....

I'm too cynical for "dating".

Last night, a friend from Los Angeles called and we had a rather long conversation. She is ten years younger than me. At 45, she has a lot more energy ~ and I think a lot more stamina. She hasn't reached the level of utter disgust that makes the idea of arranged marriage look like a viable option.

She has been doing her Round Three of eHarmony, Match.com and a few other services, the ones expensive enough to be deemed worthy. In her way of thinking, if the service doesn't cost at least 30.00 a month, it will be full of "losers". I balked a bit at her terminology, given that there are actually low-income people who are not "losers". She is not a mean-spirited person in any manner but occasionally she frames things in a way that sets my teeth on edge. She knows exactly what she wants and has no reservations about "claiming it", as she says. In her opinion, we get what we claim from the universe like it is some kind of cosmic vending machine. We just have to put it "out there".

Well, if that's the case, why is she spending so much money on dating services? She should be able to sit in her livingroom and wait for the guy to come to her door, arm full of roses and a High Character Pedigree.

I sat and listened to her tales with a little bit of interest but not enough to generate much sympathy. It sounded like Horror World without the blood, gore and chainsaws. I get a mental image of tired women on a catwalk, hoping they will one day be "chosen" by someone in the audience. In my not so humble opinion, the whole dating ritual is bullroar.

I admit it. I'm totally cynical. I no longer get butterflies and revel in the ups-and-downs of mating. Unless I know someone is interested and he follows through, I don't give it more than a baht's worth of thought. And I'm still old-fashioned enough to believe the pursuing is up to the man. I will let my interest be known ~ once. I do want to get married again one day. Being alone gets very, very old.. especially in a coupled world. The unspoken words at my age are "why are you alone? There must really be something wrong with you."

People my age come with baggage. Many of us have kids and complications. Most of us have had bad relationships in the past and carry doubts and fears about trusting at that level again. It's our job to get over it. It is not up to the person coming into our lives to "prove" themselves. That's just the reality of mating after 40. None of us have been hiding in a nunnery, waiting for our Prince. We've been "out there" with varying results. The good news is that if we take the time to do our own internal work, we are pretty clear on what we want or need ~ and what we are willing to give to another.

My advice to my friend is to be very clear about that for herself before wasting time and money on expensive dating services. My standards are simple: He must be kind-natured, have good character, be able to commit (even when things don't feel good) and have the courage to stick around, even when things are rough. The human heart isn't a used car, not something to be traded in when the paint fades or it gets a few dents. People over 40 have limitations. Love is a behavior, not just a feeling... so I want someone with the maturity to understand that.

She kind of hemmed and hawed at my statement. Sometimes she doesn't always appreciate my Dr. Laura style bluntness. Maybe it felt too harsh for her. I'm not really sure of that until I get the next seven-page email, sharing another horror story from the dating pit and telling me she wants a phone check-in.




dawn said...

I recently turned 40 and haven't ever been married. Many of the things you talk about here, I've thought about and written about myself.

My life is rich and full but yeah, sometimes being alone does get really old. I'm choosy, though, and that's ok. I won't settle for a relationship that won't work for me.

QT said...

While being alone can get old, being in a couple can be hard work sometimes, even with the right person ~ I know YOU know that, but it is worth repeating.

Have a wonderful New Year Chani!

Starrlight said...

Very well said, and the bluntness was a refreshing change of pace from the usual ROMCOM crap out there!

meno said...

"Love is a behavior" How i wish more people understood that.

I wonder if your friend will listen to your wisdom.

Tina said...

Love your blog Chani.

Pam said...

"Love is behavior", it takes a certain maturity to understand that.

Bob said...

with a divorce rate of over 50%, I think there are a lot of people who need to learn the lesson you're preaching here. Love is a behavior indeed.

Anvilcloud said...

It is possible. A friend of ours eventually tried this after several lonely years following the passing of her husband. While it looked abyssmal for quite some time, she eventually found someone quite nice. They're not married nor even engaged as far as I know but are enjoying each other's companionship.

jen said...

there are so many sides to this. greener grass everywhere, I suspect...but there are no simple answers.

i'd rather keep holding on to you never know what's around the corner...and most of that can't be forced.

Stephen Newton said...

As someone who has always taken his relationships for granted, I have been thinking a great deal about the subject of love and coupling recently. I agree that living alone takes its toll after awhile, but what price do we pay being one side of a couple and what advantages are there in gravitating toward a coupled relationship? The universe teaches about yin and yang and how each is important, but I have been told by an astrologer that I will be alone in the last part of my life. It will be interesing.

My Heart Runneth Over said...

Well I am 35 and never married but obviously enough baggage to be single still. It's not easy... not at all no matter what the age. Thank you! ~M

Granny said...

What a wonderful post!! I remarried at 51 and so far it's been a good 17+ years. I finally got it right.

Just dropped by from Homesick Home to say hello to someone who remembers Josephine.

Ann (aka granny)

UU Soul said...

I wasn't sure that I wanted to be married. My mother who didn't marry until 38 (quite late for her generation) seems to be happiest alone, so my view is skewed. That said, I've been married for 11+yrs and haven't had to deal with the dating thing for a while. One thing I know, love is hard work. If you think it is supposed to be easy, you are getting off on the wrong foot.
~lovin your blog!

Thailand Gal said...

Dawn, I didn't get married until later, either. Unless you want a gaggle of kids, it doesn't make much difference. I was 30-something when I finally jumped the broom the first time. :)


qt, Oh, yes.. I know. Sometimes we get lonely and make bad choices. I would hate to see my friend do that, just because she wants to get out of the dating grind.


Starr, thank you. :) I try to call it the way I see it, unless it would be hurtful to someone. There is a lot of crap out there.. and most of it is divisive and kind of destructive.


Meno, me too! :)


Tina, thank you.. so much :)


Pam, I'm not sure why it seems to be a difficult concept.. but it is for some.


Bob, thanks for the affirmation. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not all wet, too (something). It seems to me life would be easier if I didn't think about these things. LOL


Anvil, I have nothing against dating services per se. They are a rather logical solution, in many ways. I do believe they need to be used correctly though.. as in being at least somewhat realistic. It often provides a forum for outrageous fantasy.


Jen, it is the same thing, in a more focused venue. That's all. It's a way for those who don't have an opportunity to meet a lot of new people to go to a place where the goal is ostensibly similar.


Stephen, it will definitely be interesting. If you've always had it come easily to you, there could be a very definite lesson in being alone.


Heartrunneth, it is hard. You're right. The sad thing is that it shouldn't be. We all want the same thing, eh? :)


Granny, congrads on your remarriage! We can all do it. It's a matter of having the understanding that we are all imperfect people, making a commitment and sticking it out anyway. :)

Glad you came by.. and, yes, I remember Josephine. LOL


UU Soul, amen! It is work.. but it doesn't have to be hard. In my relationships these days, I use kreng jai as a springboard. "What can I do to make this person's life better today?" It brings out the cynic in people but that's not my burden to bear. :)

Love your blog, too! Awesome!


Thanks, all. I'm glad to be able to answer comments again. Blogger has been weird for a few weeks now. Sheesh!