Saturday, September 3, 2022

Midlife Minesweeper

People like to put "life" after something they are posting about on social media... so it's like coffeelife, runlife, campinglife, etc.  Without a doubt, some of the most challenging "lifes" come around mid life.

I've begun to do things around town on my own, not because I don't want more but because dating "life" in the middle years is exhausting.  That's a new reason for me.  In the past if I pulled back it was due to not feeling confident or ready for it.  In reality, it's been years since my last marriage, and the only thing I feel about that situation is seeing it as a cautionary tale of the future.  I don't feel anger or interest there.  The last dating attempt with someone that I had known for over a year likewise doesn't lead me to anger, as I can see all the red flags I passed by in dating and should have known better, nor do I still have interest, as there wasn't really that much between us. It likely would have ended shortly after that, anyway.  It bothers me that she said it was GOD that directed her to end it, but that goes back to a poor past history of Pentecostal groups and such.  Yes, I have a Bible degree under my graduate stuff, but I also have a lifetime of history with those groups and other religious groups that keep me from attending.  I've also broadened my respect over the last decade to those of other faiths or no faith at all... something I am sure those religious groups would condemn.  But, while dating life is difficult in younger years, it's really just those in older years that can fully appreciate the mines that can exist there for them.  

I have had different of my school kids ask me if I have a wife, which I will tell them I do not.  But, they also ask how old I am.  For that question I just say... old. Ha.  But, that is actually one of the problems I face.  I have always looked younger than I am.. maybe not as younger these days, but that's just because I need to get more back into shape (which the kids also let me know... "you have a big belly"... it's not THAT big but yeah).  But, I can attract those that are younger.  Now, I don't have a problem with that, but it comes with certain realities.  I'm going to age faster than them.  I don't know if that was the problem with my last ex or not.  She was 9 years younger, but she also had other .. issues and interests that might have had a problem there.  I'll leave it with that.  I'm not ancient, but I'll say when I say "MID life" you can guess what milestone I reached last December.  That comes with aches, having less energy than I used to have, and saying about a dozen times a day in my classroom, "Where did I put..." fill in the blank.  So, that is one reality that blocks many when they know the age difference.

Another is something that I used to say about dating in midlife.  Often, those that are single in these ages are single for a reason.  It's not always the case (as in my case), but when you see those same faces in dating apps... it often applies.  Between the last few years and the period between my ex's, I have seen and experienced quite lot of the mines in dating on the apps.  There should be a dating minesweeper game.  Remember minesweeper?  You clicked and if you were close to a mine it let you know, but you didn't know until you clicked.... that's dating.  I've seen those that just wanted sex, those that wanted to MAKE me their ex (possibly the last one I dated too), those that wanted to BLAME me for their ex, those with psychological issues, those that just wanted a friend, those that just wanted a relationship with ANYONE, and more.  So, that's part of what I mean with exhausting.  It's like roulette... I like the game in a casino, but it's not that great in dating.

So, while I don't want to stay there, SINGLE life can be a lot more safe, and it's fun to do things on my own.  I'm someone that is drawn to connecting with someone and love deep relationships, so I will keep my vision forward and still have those type of songs in my playlists... just as I will watch romantic films and such.  But, as Demi Lovato speaks about in a song, sometimes you just need to give your heart a break, and that's where I feel myself until I feel safe to change that.

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