The concept of "Age" is mysterious to me. Other cultures seem to "respect their elders", seek advice and guidance from them and demonstrate loyalty and pride for the older members of their families and communities. Only in our American culture is age considered
1) a condition to be avoided,
2) an inevitability to be hidden and
3) evidence of decline.
Age as it relates to romance is particularly perplexing. In the western cultures, romance is an inalienable right of the young. Flagrant displays of affection and public romantic gestures are tolerated and expected of youthful lovers. Media portrayals of impulsive and careless romantic encounters are the norm and "falling in love" is the implied explanation. On the other hand, if young folks pause to ask the biological question, "Where did I come from?", they likely follow-up the thought with "ee-ue" (the common verbal utterance of disgust) as they envision their parents "doing it".
As grown-ups in a youth-dominated culture, we might imagine that our romance days are over--unless we can recapture membership in the youth club. Baby-boomer themes are more prevalent in movies, books and television programs, but many of youth-challenged people might still feel out-of-place, especially if they are single.
Our schizoid attitude about aging and romance is particularly evident when marriages break-up. Women suddenly lose those few extra pounds; Men start seeking more youthful partners. When they were coupled up, the need to compete was a low priority. But, when they are newly single, many grown-ups feel cut-loose on a sea without a chart or a compass.
What are they supposed to do now? The old rules don't seem to fit and the new rules are a mystery--and newly-single folks often revert to what they did when they were teenagers. Many women often automatically play dress-em-up to attract a new partner and many men become pirates seeking a new treasure.
So, what's a single middle-aged person to do? Dial-a-date? Surf-the-net? These strategies may be standard for the younger set who grew up with the technology. But for lots of folks technology lacks the more personal approach we used in our youth. Plus, for many it seems to push "romance" into a data oriented frame without the tried-and-true pace of in-person exploration.
As a grown-up, you might wonder, what now? How do we proceed in this fast-paced world of instant messaging and e-mail? Perhaps the answer is to assess our the skills, attitudes and notions about how to use our maturity to get the life (and love) we want.
Step 1--Act your Age. That doesn't mean settle in or give up. Instead, take advantage of your wealth of experience and your more moderate notions of romantic love. There are lots of potential partners who are looking for someone just like you, who knows what you know and wants what you want.
Step 2--Don't Act your Age. Sometimes grown-ups get just a little stuck in their ways (just a little!). A useful lesson to be learned by observing younger people is the value of flexibility. You may reject their MTV approach of "anything goes". But it might be mind-broadening to experiment with new activities, new social groups and new ideas. Research a possible new hobby/interest; make a new friend; try out a new restaurant.
Step 3--Do Your Homework. If you feel uncomfortable in today's fast-paced, get-er-done world, research options in relationship building that suit you. Talk to friends--get their thoughts about how you might go about finding a new partner. Read a book about personal relationships and how other people go about finding them.
Step 4--Introspect, introspect, introspect! Look inside and discover the new you that has evolved while you've been busy with life itself. People date for a variety of reasons...just for fun, for the challenge, for relief from loneliness--and some date as part of their strategy to find a new life-partner. The first step in making a match is to be clear about what characteristics you want in a partner and in a partnership...so you'll recognize them when you see them.
If you do what you've always done before, the likely outcome is to end up precisely where you are right now. So, do something different and see what happens! If introspection is new for you, if you see the value but don't know where to start, you're invited to visit: http://www.MatchMadeInHeaven2007.com --Make this the year that you change your perspective--and maybe your relationship goals! Make this the year you actively create the life you want, sharing it with the people who support your satisfaction and success.