I'm just calling this "Thoughts" because I need to work through them and have always processed better out loud... and will likely have multiple themes to the post.
A few people recently questioned why I had the blog, one afraid that they could find themselves in the blog and another feeling that dating and relationships should remain private in general. While I appreciate their input, both would be misguided. My blog has been years building. In all that time, I have never spoken the name of anyone to whom I have been married or for that matter family members. No one would know them. I also don't blog or post about everyone I date. There remain some that I have dated and with whom I did not click that became friends and remain off post. The ones that do find their way to the blog or post in an anonymous ways are those that warranted it, either by treating me badly or being a new example of a red flag for which to be cautious. Both are mentioned anonymously, afterwards, as a learning lesson for others. I don't want others to have to learn things the hard way, like I did.... and I have been given a life full of such lessons from which to talk, unfortunately. The times in my life where I had relationship success, I also posted about dates and romantic things about my mate, until that trust was misplaced. It's not a vent blog.
On the point of dating and relationships being a private affair, I would say that people don't really believe that, either. They go online to mention the happy moments in their relationship, and they go online to vent about their mate/spouse, ex's, "men," "women," and much more. I am definitely not alone in speaking the things that I speak, and my posts are often popular. Indeed, since the start of my blog, there have been almost 132,000 views of the blog... there is a counter on the right panel under the songs.. and that's just the blog. My social media is small, only because I deleted the past ones because they contained political opinions of parties that I no longer endorse. Before deleting them, the Instagram had 4 thousand and the twitter 1 thousand followers. The reason people read my posts is that I approach things in an informational, learning way that is not about hate but elevation... thus the name of the blog, Forward to Happiness. What I have learned over my years is that many of the people that want you quiet about your life are those that either are feeling guilty about their own motivations or feel limited in their own life from being able to say what they need to say. In both cases, their own "ban on the personal" lifts the moment they have a good thing to share or a heartache to express.
I'm a little quiet the past few days, because I am honestly feeling a little defeated and depressed. You know that question they have about depression, "Have you lost interest in doing things you used to like to do?" Well, I've spent much of the last few days just laying here, thinking, without motivation. It didn't help that there was a threat of a storm that shut things down, as it provided lots of time and little distractions. It's just... I'm not as confident as I used to be and have seen new blocked channels that I felt were open to reach my goals.
I've known for a long time that dating in older years is hard. There are MUCH more mines in the dating minefields than used to exist. I've quoted it before, but there was a study in the middle of the last century that was published that said that a woman in their 40s-50s had a 1 in 18 (I think) chance of finding someone and remarrying. I used to think that was an old study that didn't account for increased communication. But, I'm thinking it might actually be an understatement. Why? Here's some of the realities that affect dating in older years.
1. People are not looking for a mate for children. By this point, they either have their own children or are not looking to have any children. So, that is not a motivation.
2. People are "finally free" to do things... or that is the perception. They feel they were limited by their past marriage from getting out and doing what they want to do. So, DOING THINGS is often the primary motivation and may be the ONLY thing they desire. This is a new point to this blog, but it is something that I have found to be true. They want activity, not someone with whom they can slow down.
3. They spent years reading about or watching perfect romances, so once they are free that is what they seek, forgetting that those stories are just "romanticized" versions of reality that do not exist. Rather than seeking to CREATE a romance out of less, they abandon what they have or could have for more.
4. I used to say that those that are single past a certain age are more likely to be single for a reason. It doesn't mean that there are not great picks out there, but we've lived a long time and have had a lot of opportunities... and tragedies. Some were the cause and have not changed, others were the one harmed and have not healed. I was recently talking about the red flags out there with someone, and they noted that looking for red flags can be a red flag. Honestly, that is true, but not looking for them can lead you to make poor choices. So, there is no real strategy, other than to move with cautious optimism.. desire but wisdom.
So, I'll end with that little nugget to help myself. There may be no safe path or group, and the risks are many. However, you either move forward or are like a shark that remains still and your hope runs out of air and dies. As Finding Nemo says, "Just keep swimming."