Debunking Myths About Dating

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Love, Self

They are just sayings. Stop living by them.

Myth #3: Dating is Only for the Young

You can hear the age myth stated by people from 25 years old to advanced senior citizenhood. I personally know of three ladies who met suitable gentlemen and got married at the ages of 78, 85 and 87. It's never too late to meet a mate.

Seniors in Love Anecdotes (names are changed)

1. Rose was taking a world cruise. She would be on the ship for over three months of luxury and adventure. At 87, she had been widowed for many years, and her children were not only grown, but middle-aged. She was still active and healthy, and she wanted to take this cruise while she was still able to do it.

One day, the cruise held a party for all the singles on board, and Rose decided to go — perhaps she'd meet some new friends. As people were introduced, she was astounded to hear a man's name which recalled her past. She went up to him, and introduced herself. It was true! Robert was the very man she had dated as a young woman. Things had not worked out when they were younger, but this time they were not going to lose each other. After getting reacquainted on the ship, they were married six months later.

2. Clara had spent her entire life in obedience to her parents. She stayed home after her father died, to care for her elderly mother, who eventually became demented and difficult. Clara even ran the local post office in the small village she lived in, because she could do that from her home. She almost never went out. When her mother finally died, Clara was 60 years old, and the federal government closed her small post office, and transferred her to a post office job at the county seat.

Here, she met George, another postal worker, and her contemporary. They began having lunches together, and developed a friendship. After a number of years, they both retired and continued their relationship. At age 78, Clara became a bride for the first time in her life, and the ladies of her small town threw her a wedding shower. Seeing her opening gifts, and holding up lovely, lacy lingerie was truly the picture of a dream come true.

3. Vera, 85 years old, had been married to a military officer, and lived all over the world. She and her husband raised several children, and had many grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Her husband had died a few years ago, and she had moved to California to be close to her younger sister, who was also now widowed. The sisters lived close together, and traveled often together. One day, the phone rang, and when Vera answered, a voice on the other end said "do you remember me?" It was Ed, whom Vera had been engaged to when she was 18. He had tracked her down through people who knew her in their old home town. They hadn't married because Vera had discovered that Ed had a drinking problem. He had long since become sober, married, and raised a family of his own, but his wife had died a few years before.

Vera decided to go to the nearby city where Ed lived, just for a couple of days, to meet him and talk. Her sister got a call. She was not coming home right away. In fact, she didn't come home for two weeks. She and Ed were married six months later.

If you ask your friends, co-workers and family members, you'll hear many more stories of people who met and fell in love at advanced ages. It's obvious from these stories that age does not have to hold you back from meeting someone to love.

It's true that when you're a teenager, an age difference of 10 or more years makes a vast difference in your experience and your outlook on life. Such a difference can interfere with communication, life goals, outlook, and relationship experience. In addition, the social reaction to such a relationship is often very negative. If one partner is underage, a sexual relationship is even against the law.

But, as we get older, life experience and emotional growth even things out. A ten-year or more difference in your ages makes little difference in how well you can conduct your relationship.

Don't focus on an arbitrary numbers difference in your ages. If you are getting along, you have good communication and problem-solving, and you love each other, that's a precious thing, and far more important than any age difference could be. And if other people have a problem with it, let it be their problem.

Myth #4: They're All "Losers" or I Am

Many myths are based on a negative view of life and love, often because the people who promote them had negative experiences themselves. As we have discussed before, difficult family or relationship experiences can affect your view of relationships and the possibility of being loved.

The following steps will help you find a winner:

  • finding quality people to date
  • looking in appropriate places
  • taking your time before getting emotionally involved
  • interviewing new dates, and paying attention to the information you get
  • using your network of friends for support, and
  • checking up on the people you meet.

Anyone can meet a person with problems — they don't wear signs so it's not your fault if you meet someone who doesn't have his or her act together. However, if you stick around someone who obviously can't function well enough to be a good partner, you can fix that problem by learning to let go of bad apples. Difficult people aren't usually a problem if you keep them at a distance. They're a giant problem if you let them into your life.

Look for people, not perfection. You can be led astray if you are too concerned about categories such as wealth, education, good family, impressive career, fancy car, and designer clothes. To find a quality person with whom to share your life, you must look beyond those surface clues, and deeper into the person.

Con artists of all types know very well how to exploit appearances to lure you in and take advantage of you. If you follow the guidelines which are fully explained in the succeeding chapters, you will not be vulnerable to people who want to take advantage of you.

Scaring yourself about molesters, rapists, alcoholics, narcissists, and other kinds of dangerous types is just another needless worry. Each person you meet presents an opportunity for you to find out who he or she is, and there are more good people than bad people out there. With a little know-how, and proper caution, it's pretty easy to recognize the difference.

Celebrate Individuality

To get to know a new person, and be known, takes a little time, because each of us is unique. We can't just say, "Oh, he's a Category A, or a Category B" because people don't fit into neat, tidy classifications. You can observe someone and think "Oh, she has good manners, she must be educated" and then find out she has a problem with rage or alcohol. On the other hand, some perfect gems come in rough clothing. Many clients who are in good relationships with wonderful partners have told me "I wouldn't have looked twice at him if we hadn't gotten to know each other first." Or, She wasn't "my type", but after I saw her in action volunteering in the political campaign, I realized she was an extraordinary person, with great ethics, and very caring.

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This article was originally published at Tinatessina.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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