Challenge Your Dating Beliefs
Mary from Montreal, Canada asks:
Recently, I’ve gone on many dates with men I meet on Internet dating sites. , I am 54 (people think I am 45), well traveled, sophisticated, a business woman, a former model, who has been married and lived with men before. I like living alone, and have high self-esteem and a decent life. In fact I have had many interesting, accomplished, men from different careers, with great wealth of intellect, accomplishment and money in my life. My problem is this: How can I tell as early as possible if the man is interested in a long-term relationship? I’m not into a casual fling (been there, done that). Right now, at this age, I’m looking for the right fellow. Biology, age and youth aside, are there still some mature men, about 49-60 years old, who would like to date and be with a beautiful, sexy, fun-loving and not a superficial woman of 54? If so, how can I quickly tell without wasting my time?
The reason I’m asking is that I dated a handsome man twice recently, and the chemistry was great. I got hurt, because I had expectations of a potential long-term relationship. He was confused (divorced, not ready for serious dating and not ready emotionally). We ended it. We were on different wavelengths, but the chemistry drew me in, thinking it could be more. Chemistry is not everything; a mental and emotional connection is important, also. Do you have any advice?
Greetings, Mary, thank you for writing. Your perception of the modern American game of amore is not unlike the one held by many independent and successful women; including a rather elitist contractual structure whereby we make lists, take notes, and line up mutual points of education and income. In days of yore, we’d also have insisted that the matches include the appropriate family background, theological disposition and so forth. On the surface, it seems a reasonable and sane way to go about the complicated task of making a match… we nutty apes are forever creating illusions for ourselves about how it all works. You’re not the only one who bought the bill of goods society sells when it came to entitlement and reward based attitudes.
There is a major misunderstanding among women that social attainments and material attributes attract men to relationships. That’s what attracts women. Men work like lunatics all their lives to get the education, the status, the money and the power all for the sake of attracting women. The more competitive and competent a man is in his business and material endeavors, the more opportunities he will have to take lovers and to trade in his current model for a younger, better prospect. Even the corporate executive, who extols his conservative family values, will more often than not have a secret girl (or boy) toy on the side. The men you are trying to land, the ones you insist you deserve by virtue of your own attributes of looks, money and education, are not interested in accomplishments. These sorts are far more apt, by the nature of the beast, to couple long term with women much younger and far less accomplished than you. There are always exceptions, thank heavens, but in general, highly successful men do not want to couple with their equals. For the most part, they will seek young women who can be shown off like ornaments and cater to their need to protect and defend.
That sad fact of life is encumbering enough for women like you. But even more so, is this self-imposed list of social standards you carry around in your head. You seek a man of character, but end up passing many of them by without realizing they are even there, because you’re more interested in what college they attended and what their income bracket is. It’s female nature to seek the best and the brightest but don’t let society determine for you just “what” the best and brightest is. There are lots of men out there who are bright and charismatic and more in alignment with your real relationship needs… They just happen to be the blue collar, working class Joe’s rather than the Donald Trumps of the world. Now, blue collar fellows are no more or less loyal than any other, but the very nature of the working class mandates a more monogamous social philosophy. You’re a woman of refinement and cultured tastes that the typical beer and bowling guy couldn’t interest—but the artisans, the craftsmen… men with no degree, perhaps, but loads of passion… I wouldn’t count these out so quickly, if I were you. Remember, the man who fought for power over passion is the one much less likely to be singular in his affections. His life was spent attaining accolades for the sole purpose of winning female mates aplenty and he deems that his hard-won right. But a fellow of trade, of focus and precision, he might be more the order of the day.
So my advice for you to take or leave, is forget your lists and start meeting people to meet them; to have an experience, not to find a man. Men are generally simple, it’s true, but they are not stupid. The men you’re currently dating see your game and, frankly, and they don’t want to play. Try liking someone for who they are instead. Go live your life for yourself and enjoy the fruits of what you have earned. The rest will come in time.
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