Expectations For Middle-Aged Dating

 Middle aged dating can be challenging and yet fulfilling. The singles counseling program at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in Dublin & Oakland can help you navigate the challenges of dating.   Photo by    Gus Moretta

Middle aged dating can be challenging and yet fulfilling. The singles counseling program at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in Dublin & Oakland can help you navigate the challenges of dating.

Photo by Gus Moretta

Middle-Age Dating: Expectations, Honesty, and Preparation

Written by Dion Lorah

How I Ended Up Dating in My Forties:

My marriage was over in its fourth year. I hung on, wanting for it to work, wanting us to attend counseling, wanting us to actually fulfill the vows we took on our wedding day, wanting to grow old together. And, yet, two years later it ended anyway. Fast forward two additional years and there I was in my mid-forties entering the dating scene.

What Were My Expectations?

I expected men my age, and older, to be:

·         Able and willing to openly and honestly communicate;

·         Emotional stability;

·         Independent/self-sufficient/financially stable;

·         Have reliable transportation;

·         Willing to actually date, and;

·         Ready to settle down.

What I Found Over Three Years of Dating:

Over the next three years I found myself facing a harsh reality, a sad reality. My expectations were unrealistic. I found men my age, and older, wanted to have me over to their home after the first date. I've had a sporadic second date and an extremely rare third date. The third date guy, I respected him for his honesty. He admitted that he couldn't build a friendship, leading to a relationship, without sex being included.

Primary Challenge I Experienced:

·         A lack of honesty:

o   Why did I respect the third-date-guy’s honesty? Because the one- and two-date men would disappear soon after the last date, having asked me to come over and me declining. My reason was always the same: "We've met in public once (or twice) so far and I don't feel I know you well enough yet, to come to your house. If you're having a social function or something similar, I'd love to come to that." I'd never hear from them again.

·         How to Successfully Deal with Dishonesty from Others:

o   Pay attention to what the person says i.e. saying they enjoy traveling and later saying they’re a homebody, say they like dining out and instead keep inviting you over to watch them grill in the backyard, etc.;

o   Pay attention to what the person does i.e. a single person calling or messaging you at odd times as if there’s a significant other in the home;

o   If you’re corresponding via text, email, or social media, keep those messages to refer back to; and

o   Ask the person for clarification when something sounds contrary to what you’ve previously been told.

·         How to Be Honest:

o   Understand what you want from a friendship/relationship

o   Be able to clearly articulate what you desire

o   If your desire changes, communicate that to the person you’re dating

How to Prepare Yourself for Middle-Aged Dating:

o   Think about where you've been, what you've done, who you are as a person

o   Decide where you'd like your life to go, what you'd like to do, and how to improve who you are as a person

o   Be willing to take your time and not rush into a relationship, particularly a sexual one.

o   Find someone with similar goals, hobbies, outlook on life, personal philosophies as you do. If you're a casual sex person, or satisfied being “friends with benefits”, this may not matter much. However, if you're a relationship-sex person it matters a great deal. Compatibility includes more than just sexual preferences. It involves the entire person.

o   Set clear goals for your dating life and don't detour when the road becomes dark, long, and lonely.

How Relationship Counseling can Help:

*Provide clarity for what you’re willing to do for a potential love interest i.e. relocate, blend families, engage in their hobbies that you may not necessarily enjoy, etc.

*A counselor may be able to help you pin-point what you’re willing to do, which in turn helps you realize what you’re not willing to do – what your deal breakers are.

*Figure out what direction you want to go in i.e. do you want to casually date, are you polyamorous, monogamous, do you want children, would you accept other’s children, etc

*A counselor may be able to help you objectively view your life as well as help you set goals to achieve desired outcomes.

*Decide what characteristics are important to you in a partner i.e. sense of humor, kind to others, generous with charitable work, family-oriented, pet lover, etc.

*A counselor may be able to help you realize what’s important to you and which character traits are or aren't acceptable to you.

*Hold you accountable to your words i.e. you say you won’t date a smoker and then you do even though you have asthma, you have a history of being in abusive relationships and you vow to not ignore warning signs of abuse and you do.

*A counselor may be able to help you identify and overcome negative patterns of behavior and possible self-defeating thoughts so as to prevent a continued cycle of engagement in unhealthy relationships.

About the Author/Guest Blogger:

““Dion Lorah” is a pseudonym used for my relationship, dating, and kink-related articles. I have a BA in Psychology; a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice, and; a Doctorate Degree in Psychology, specializing in Addictions. I worked as a counselor, clinician, therapist, clinical evaluator, and Executive Director of an Addictions Program during my 15+ years in the field. I provided services to individuals, couples, and families. I retired myself from the clinical field in 2014. However, I continue providing counseling on an as-needed basis as well as manage two websites.”

Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. offers a counseling program for singles. If you are currently dating and facing certain challenges or would like to explore how to avoid unhealthy patterns of your past relationships, relationship counseling can be extremely helpful.

Call 925-400-3541 or email doctor.nvclark@gmail.com to schedule a free 30 minute phone consult or fill out the contact form and you will be contacted within 12-24 hours.