- How Older Women Can Shield Themselves From Poverty: Article and 13-minute webcast
I ran to my doctor, who diagnosed an anxiety attack. He put me on Lexapro, which I took for 3 months. Friends told me that I appeared lethargic and not myself. Some friends, who had heretofore been put of by my forceful personality, found me "more pleasing."
- Surge of overwhelming panic
- Feeling of losing control
- Heart palpitations and chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Trembling and shaking
- Forging new friendships
- Regular Exercise
- Pursuing new hobbies
- Immersing myself in meaningful work
- Helping others and rescuing a dog
- Counseling and support groups
- Self-help books
Most divorce parties are held when a couple is finally independent of one another, in other words, when the divorce is finalized. An alimony party may be held a year or so after the divorce, when the one party is no longer paying alimony to their past spouse. Most divorce/alimony parties are centered around the divorcee and are filled with cocktails, great food and good times, be it at a club or a back yard barbecue with friends…it’s like a backwards bachelorette party, celebrating the person’s newfound single territory!
- Why it took an agonising 547 days to recover (just) from the pain of my marriage breakdown by Hanna Angel provides an excellent insight in how one person dealt with the end of her marriage. According to her, she took 18 months to recover from the initial shock.
"Will you still need me?Will you still feed me?When I'm 64?"
- 100% acceptance - give your friend a safe non-judgmental environment to vent. But don't participate in the blame game. That only makes things worse.
- Be someone who understands that your friend's pain is real - do not bring up individuals who have had it worse, like widows or burn victims, or say "at least you have your children", or "thank goodness you don't have children," or "you have your looks and health, you will find someone soon again." Those phrases diminish the real pain that your friend is experiencing at that moment.
- Promise secrecy - what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Private matters that have been disclosed to you should not be shared with others, not even your spouse.
- Provide your friend with a shoulder to cry on - let them talk; sometimes that is all they need, but place a time limit on their pity pot talk. Change the subject if your friend starts to rehash familiar territory. They need to grieve first and then let their anger out, but it is not good for them to mull over the same set of offenses over and over again.
- Give them hugs - remember that someone going through divorce has lost physical contact with their life's mate, and that hugs are better than medicine.
- Provide your friend with your logic and ability to think straight - depression affects the brain. Remember, your friend is filled with anxiety and there are times when he or she can't plan strategically at all. Refer your friend to experts and self-help groups, or help them sort through the myriad of bewildering topics they will need to address - lawyers, realtors, job searches.
- Include your friend in fun outings and invite them to parties and events - even if they don't feel like going. This especially holds true for women, who are often dumped from the party circuit for reasons that are mystifying.
- Keep in touch with regular calls, text messages, and via Facebook, Twitter, and cards - your friend may not respond, but these evidences of caring help. They'll come round and respond eventually.
- Be an honest friend - this takes diplomacy, but if you see self-destructive behavior, have the courage to step in and stop it.
- Give them a way to pay you back - your friend will feel such a sense of gratitude for your support that they will want to thank you in a significant way. Let them, or ask them to pay it forward.
- Drive them or their children - many separated people are unable to share the load of driving, which becomes evident as time passes. Offer to drive when you go on a shared outing, or to take their children to their events. It's the little details that count and provide relief.
Divorced seniors often find themselves overwhelmed when they attempt to reintegrate themselves into the dating world. It doesn’t take a psychology degree to know that dating can be challenging in and of itself, but if you are older and newly single, it may seem as though there are numerous obstacles to overcome. Some seniors may become so frustrated at the dating process that they may give up or avoid dating altogether. An open mind and the adherence to a few simple guidelines can help mean the difference between dating frustration and success.
As the saying goes, a first impression is always a lasting impression. Your initial chitchat can mean the difference between a second date or an early departure.
First date dialogue that contains hours of criticism or reminiscence about relationships past is an indicator that you are not ready to move on to a different relationship. It is important to give anyone that you are dating a fair chance for a trusting relationship. If you find yourself unable to trust anyone, you may want to do some evaluation and try to understand why. If you are unable to make adjustments to allow yourself to love and trust again, consider seeking professional help. A therapist can help you get over the hurt and pain from your prior relationship, make you stronger and enable you to start anew.
If you are newly divorced, avoid jumping into a serious relationship too soon, or giving the impression of it during your first date conversation. It's easy to scare someone off by moving forward too quickly. Furthermore, a relationship on the rebound is almost never successful in the end, and you could ruin your chances of long-term success. Allow yourself adequate time to heal before jumping back into the dating pool in order to ensure that you are emotionally ready and available to begin a new relationship. Make sure that you have truly let your old relationship go, and that you are now ready and able to start anew. This will create the best chances for success and help ensure an enjoyable first date.
Maintain your expectations. It is not uncommon to envision perfection, particularly when reentering the dating world after a divorce or the death of your spouse. Always bear in mind that searching for perfection will leave you lonely and frustrated – nobody’s perfect. It might be helpful to create a small wish list of traits that are important to have in a mate, as well as those that are incompatible with your lifestyle. However, interrogating someone on the first date to see if they meet your criteria is a no-no. Allow the conversation to flow naturally, and take your time getting to know someone.
According to the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, online dating has become an extremely popular option for seniors, but can be risky . Online dating is a great way to meet a variety of new and interesting people; you can weed out suitors with whom you share common interests, who look interesting or attractive, and it’s a low-pressure way to dip your toes back into the dating world since you don’t have to worry about face-to-face rejection.
But the Internet also comes with its own share of pitfalls. Internet safety should be carefully observed during any online Internet interactions. Use caution prior to meeting someone that you have met on the Internet so that your safety is not compromised during your meeting. It can be too easy to reveal too much private information about yourself, which could compromise your safety. Disclose information slowly as you gain trust in the person you are chatting with, especially during an initial conversation.
If you have a special hobby or interest that you enjoy, you may want to consider joining some type of group or hobby club in order to give you the opportunity to find someone who shares common interests. Whether it's dancing, bingo or museums that tickle your fancy, associating yourself with the right group will increase the odds that you will find someone compatible. Finding someone who has similar interests can help create a foundation for first date bonding that can easily be expanded into something more. If you don't have any hobbies, consider trying something new to help occupy your time and give you the opportunity to meet new people. Often, just being able to leave the house and socialize can be one of the most challenging aspects of dating, no matter the age.
Try not to be afraid to venture out into the murky waters of dating. You already have the life experience that you need to know what makes you happy and what you enjoy. Use this wisdom to your advantage while playing the dating game and choosing a partner. Your life experience and knowledge make you rich, and will benefit you in the long run, so sit back, relax and enjoy the many pleasures that come with your new availability.
Allison Gamble has been a curious student of psychology since high school. She brings her understanding of the mind to work in the weird world of internet marketing. http://www.psychologydegree.net/
Morelli's blog, which also featured discussion groups, was so popular that it attracted 200,000 followers per month. One person who wasn't a fan was his former wife. Apparently Anthony's (and his partner's) continuing and ongoing anger centered around child custody issues. Both natural parents shared joint custody, which in a sensible and sane world seems to be a logical arrangement. But Anthony was not only unhappy, he needed a place to vent, and thus he started his blog. He tried to hide his identity and that of his ex-wife, but unfortunately his kids discovered what their father was doing and asked him to stop.
At the judgment, Judge Diane Gibbons said: "Your children are being hurt because you are bad mouthing the woman they love in public," she said. "Should I put them with the man who is publicly browbeating their mother?" (New York Daily News) Good question. The former Mrs. Morelli heaved a sigh of relief after the hearing, saying ‘What the judge said in court made perfect sense to me. Stop doing what you're doing, and do the right thing for your children’ (Daily Mail)
Anthony's response was to fight the decision on the basis of first amendment rights. Here is the link to the blog today, which has changed its focus to freedom of speech (He is soliciting donations for his court battle.)
I began my blog a year before Anthony, and found to my delight and amazement that as I wrote about my feelings about divorce, loneliness, and separation, that I was able to let go of much of my sadness, anger, fear, and grief. Oh, there were times when I was tempted to write a truly nasty post about my ex, who I felt was playing games with me, but what would have been the point? How would such posts have helped me to let go and move on?
Anthony needs to answer this question: What's more important - his right to say what he wants when he wants to, or his role as a parent? If his need to express his anger is truly more important than his children's well-being and their desire that he stop hurting their mother in public, then the judge made a good point: why should she place the children with a man who is willing to browbeat their mother in public?
As for his claim that he was giving others with custody issues a forum for discussion, I say that he had a choice to take the high road, one that his children could have been proud of. The biggest gift my divorced mother gave me, a child who always hungered for her father, was not to say one negative thing about him as I was growing up. (As an adult I found out for myself what sort of a man he was, but my mother did nothing to influence those conclusions until I approached her at 19 and began to ask questions, for his behavior confused me. Thank you, Mom.)
Divorce is tough enough on kids without the parents making things worse and using them as pawns or as an excuse to keep their fight going. It seems that Anthony's post-divorce battle with his ex has lasted almost as long as the marriage itself. It's time that he concentrate his immense energies somewhere else - on his children, for instance, and making their happiness his number one priority.
Read More Here:
|Ladies in Lavender Image@Having a Solid Gold Life|
Sherry (not her name) mentioned that the transition went smoothly. She and her husband knew that they would be divorcing for a number of years, about 4 or 5, but they stayed together for the sake of the children, who were about to graduate from high school and enter college.
He made more than a comfortable living. In fact, their 2-story house was more 6,000 sq ft.and a bargain compared to their digs in New England.
He earned most of the money.
But she was a computer programmer, or coder, and could find a job whenever she needed one. Still, her salary was worth a quarter of his.
He found a new love and a new life, and she moved out of the house after his insistence that they sell it for its equity. Most of their fabulous furniture would have to go (I bought a beautiful Sheraton sideboard).
He continued living a lavish lifestyle with his Tootsie. She moved into a 2-bedroom, 925 sq foot apartment - alone and happy as a clam.
My opinion of her rose when she entertained us in her much reduced circumstances, uncomplaining and making the most of her new life. She seemed to blossom, losing weight and laughing more than I had ever seen her laugh.
We met several weeks ago over dinner and drinks. After a long, honest conversation, the one thing that Sherry regretted was her loss of social status. I agreed with her assessment. We were the new invisibles. No one, not our old couples friends or the men our age that we encountered, noticed us much any more.
Here we were, two women of a certain age cast upon the job market in our fifties, having to fend for ourselves, yet rising to the top of our respective professions. We had made it despite the odds! We were paying our bills, our mortgages, adding our own money to our pensions, and pursuing our passions as far as our jobs and personal preferences were concerned.
We both agreed that one of the hardest changes we faced was our loss of social status as wives who had entertained a large cadre of married and professional friends.
We had become invisible to society at large - rarely invited to couples parties or weekends away at a lake house with a group, and no longer noticed by men our age. At best, for me, I was invited to womens' luncheon during the week when I worked, which meant that I had to leave the gathering early.We were regarded as non-entities when we did receive the rare invitation to social events with both men and women, finding ourselves seated with other single ladies.
As married hostesses we both had invited single women and single men to our homes to fill in the odd chair at the dining table or attend our barbecues and picnics and mingle, mingle, MINGLE! I took it as a point of pride to make no distinction between couples or singles when I made up my guest lists. After my divorce, I discovered that my married friends were not equally inclined. As one coolly honest "friend" said to me, "It isn't personal, really, but you are a reminder of how fragile marriages can be. Besides, you've made new friends, haven't you?" Color her clueless.
During our most recent outing on a Friday night after work, Sherry and I again commiserated on our loss of social status and largely female lives, but since we were enjoying ourselves and each others' company, we exclaimed, "What the hell!" We clinked our glasses and confirmed our love for each others' company and independent lives, determined not to dwell too much on the loss of our old couples' friends and our once active social lives.
When I hear music wafting into my yard from a young neighbor's couples party, I still feel an occasional twinge. But not as often as I used to.
More on the topic:
On not sharing details of his divorce: “I’ll say this: the media was not invited to my marriage, and they’re definitely not invited into the divorce. Anyone who gets divorced goes through a lot of pain, but you come out of it. I’m not out of it yet. At all. But I sense that as I do come through it, there’s optimism. How can there not be? I don’t think I want to get married again, but you always reevaluate these things. Any kind of crisis can be good. It wakes you up. I gotta say, I’m a different person than I was six months ago.” - Ryan Reynolds, Interview in DetailsI was struck by how genuinely he expressed his emotions. Whereas he answered other questions flippantly, his comments about coming through and being optimistic could have been said by me. I too am on the fence about remarriage and, like Ryan, the divorce woke me up and turned me into a different person. Smart young man. I think he will land on his feet.
After a while you develop new habits. This takes time.
I've found ways to cope with my single state and large house. I can't sell it for what it is worth, or find a more affordable place, so I am putting up with its size for economic reasons. James comes once a week to mow my yard for $20. That low price is as a result of my having planted ground cover over much of my front and back yards, leaving only a few patches of grass. I've rented out the downstairs walk out basement (with kitchenette, which I had installed and separate door entrance), to a young man, who can help carry heavy loads. I've converted my largest guest room into an office/entertainment room, where I spend most of my time. The formal areas remain largely unused and are ready at a minute's notice for guests.
But now I have broken my foot in two places. The doctor says the bones will take 3-4 months to heal, which means that I cannot walk my dog or clean my house as I would like to. My renter, Gary, has been marvelous, walking my pooch 3 times a day, but he is gone for the weekend. Yesterday, a neighbor kindly walked my dog at 2 PM, and a friend made dinner, cleaned my kitchen, and took out the garbage. Another one will come over at 12 PM to walk my pup, who is confused and restless, for he is accustomed to being walked four or five times per day.
I am fencing in a larger area of my yard, so that my little terrier can run to his heart's delight. Tomorrow I will make arrangements to work from home, for I must keep my foot elevated for at least a full week and try to stay off it for a month.
After my divorce, I thought learning to live alone again was challenging. I came at first to accept it and then to like it. Now, living such a long distance from my closest relatives, I realize how vulnerable we single, older people are. It becomes tiring always depending on others to fill the gap that a spouse once filled.
I went grocery shopping in an electric cart. (ME! Who was walking an hour a day!) And then there are the practical decisions. Who will vacuum, dust, and scrub the bathrooms? for I let my once-a-month cleaning lady go due to finances. Who will do the groceries? for yesterday's excursion caused my foot to swell. Who will be willing to take my dog out 3-4 times per day, every day, until my fence is up? I am cobbling together an army of volunteers and making lists, but 3-4 months is a long time to depend on the kindness of friends, neighbors, and one's very busy renter.
More and more I understand the attraction of marriage, and why so many people are tempted to remarry soon after their divorce. Learning to live with a partner's quirks seems a tad easier than the gargantuan tasks I face this summer. (Although, I know I am wrong. My foot will heal, but a marriage is supposed to last a lifetime.)
I'll take it one step at a time. (No pun intended.) Yesterday I got a handicap tag for my car, and I'll work on getting a doggie fence next. All I can say is about this new development is:"Aaargh!"
|Royal Wedding tea bags|
People with worse marriages than mine were still married. At the time he left, my husband was looking for something new and different. His sister had just married her third husband, and his brother his third wife. I was married for life, but he was looking for ways to extend the excitement in our marriage. He wanted to re-experience the fresh, tender feelings that his siblings and their new spouses were exhibiting. At first he lost weight, bought a motorcycle, purchased a van for his bikes and drove it cross country, took a sabbatical in New Zealand, etc. But nothing would stop the progress of his aging, including his graying wife.And so he started to look at me with jaundiced eyes, until nothing I did was right.
With that experience in mind, I would watch a marriage ceremony with a cynicism that, had the young couple known of my doubts, they would never have invited me.
Time has a strange way of healing. The process is slow and uneven. Although this vestige of bitterness stayed with me for a long time, I knew I had changed when I became caught up in the Wills and Kate Royal Wedding hoopla. I won't be watching the ceremony live, for I will be working. But my cynicism has largely gone. I hope this young couple will find a lifetime of wedded bliss in their gilded fish bowl. Heaven only knows how, but QE2 and Prince Phillip managed to do so.
I noticed on the university website that Bob is now retired. When we split, I received the house and he retained his retirement savings. He taught for over 20 years, which means that he left with a hefty severance package. He has started a financial business concern and is realizing his dream of piling on money.
Melissa Etheridge and Mel Gibson. You have to be a hermit not to know about their messy relationship blow ups! They have made headlines recently, and both couples have come out with their fists swinging.
- Live in the moment. Don't blame yourself for past mistakes or live with regret. Don't fear the future unknown. Take each day as it comes. Reward yourself for small successes. Be KIND to YOURSELF and trust that one day you'll find contentment again.
- Don't react to a quarreling spouse. By not engaging with them, you take away their power to hurt you.
"In some cases the best way to deal with an unreasonable spouse is not to deal with him or her. No amount of discussion, debate or arguing will change the mind and attitude of a person who is bent on thinking and acting unreasonably. If your spouse truly believes you are a "jerk", then there is no amount of energy you can spend that will change that perception." - From the blog A Woman's Divorce
- Take charge of the things you can handle. Don't wait for your spouse to take all the action.
- Don't fool yourself into thinking your spouse will come back. If your spouse has left with clothes and some furniture and moved into an apartment, your marriage is over. My lawyer did not beat around the bush. He told me this in no uncertain terms - I just was not ready or willing to listen. I actually believed that Bob was going to therapy with me to mend our marriage. He was actually going to make the best divorce deal for himself.
- Pick your friends wisely. Surround yourself with people with positive attitudes and who have only your best interests at heart. (Some friends revel in the drama and add fuel to the fire. Stay away from them.) Don't force your friends or family to choose sides, especially when kids are involved. Take the high road.
- Listen to your instincts. Don't let others talk you into taking action that you know in your gut is wrong. My family tried to talk me into moving out of my house and to take other drastic action. I have since my divorce made changes in my life, but they were all done on MY terms and on my timeline, not someone else's. If a spouse is totally unreasonable, use a professional mediator to speak on your behalf.
- Forgiveness is a powerful drug. Forgive yourself. Forgive your spouse. Let petty things go. Concentrate on survival issues and on healing and growth. Don't dwell on inconsequential matters. Don't play the blame game. By letting go you will feel instant relief. There are couples who will spend all their assets on lawyers fighting over inconsequential possessions for months, even years. My friend, a great lawyer, advised me: "When you are both slightly unhappy with the division of your assets, then your negotiations are done."
- Yes, of course you need to vent your frustration, hurt, and anger. But do this in a "safe" environment. Exercise will help to keep your emotions under control. My mom allowed me to sit for 10 minutes on my pity pot before I had to get off. Those ten minutes, during which she listened quietly as I ranted and raved, allowed me to release a lot of steam. After a while, I simply ran out of anything to say.
- Cliched as it sounds, time does heal wounds. I am still sad that my wonderful marriage did not last, but I am stronger for having survived a time that I truly thought would kill me.
- The angry face of divorce, Andrea Brandt
"...the climate of any break-up or betrayal becomes a breeding ground for an emotion that, when examined more closely, is a bit surprising: humiliation. When you exacerbate this with the public exposure of a very private matter, one can only imagine the shame and self-criticisms that would ensue.
But why do people who have been hurt or rejected take this on as a reflection on themselves? In my 25 years as a therapist, I have often observed what my father, psychologist and theorist Dr. Robert W. Firestone, refers to as the "critical inner voice" to be the chief culprit in making break ups and affairs a matter of humiliation."
"the betrayed partner is the one who is traumatized and can't imagine how he or she will ever become whole again." This is how most people feel when they are cheated on or walked out on: traumatized. This trauma often throws them back into a defended state that, although painful, also feels familiar. They may experience feelings they felt early in life such as: they are not loveable, they are a failure, they have lost people's respect or they can't survive without being taken care of by the person they once trusted."The article ends with the words: "No one should be critical of themselves because they took a chance on love."
I will go one step further and state: Be as kind to yourself as you would be to a wounded friend. Write nice notes to yourself, and in a journal list all your good traits and the sweet and special things you have done for others. Treat yourself to something special, like a pedicure, after you have faced another hurdle successfully. Relish the love of your family and friends, and surround yourself only with positive people. Know that you have nothing to be ashamed of for having taken a "chance on love."
When you get divorced you are going to be given lots of different divorce survival tips. Some will be helpful and some will be useless. If you want to improve your post-divorce life then you need to find useful resources. These resources include things like counselors, support groups, stress relief resources and emotional support resources.
The next set of divorce survival tips will relate to your finances. One of the most stress causing issues that divorcees have to deal with is their finances. Surviving financially after a divorce can be challenging because not only is your monthly income reduced but your monthly expenses are increased. You can improve your financial position after your divorce by creating a budget. Your budget will not only identify your costs and income for the month, but it will also help you to determine where you can make cut backs and what financial holes you need to fill. If you are having a hard time handling your post-divorced finances it may be a good investment to work with a financial planner, especially to help you get your individual retirement finances set up.
One helpful strategy that I found that helped me was to carry a very small notepad everywhere I went. Even if I spent a few cents on a package of bubble gum, I inputted the date, day of week, what I purchased and how much it cost. At the end of the week I transferred the information from the notepad and put them into categories on an Exel sheet. It was an eye-opener!In addition to finding resources to help you survive your modern divorce and to help you get your finances in order, you also need to address your personal life. For most people it is a good idea to avoid jumping back into the social scene right after their divorce. Give yourself a few months to get your life back in order and to adjust to your new single life. This short waiting period will give you the time to rebuild your confidence and it will help you to avoid jumping into a relationship with the wrong person. Also, with your life in order, you will be a much better catch and you will attract a better selection of potential mates.
If you are dealing with children and divorce then you have a few other issues to iron out before your life can move on. First of all you need to set up a parenting relationship with your ex-spouse that is functional. Regardless of the issues that led to your divorce (barring abuse), you need to develop a working relationship with your before spouse so that you can continue to be excellent parents to your kids. This means communicating with one another, supporting each other's parenting decisions and focusing both of your efforts on a joint parenting strategy. If you remain focused on what is best for the kids you can avoid many of the pitfalls of divorced parenting.
Divorce doesn't have to be the end of the world, or the end of your family unit. In fact, you have the opportunity to develop a life that is better than when you were married. The key is to focus on what is important, not to dwell on the past and to invest your time in doing what needs to be done to be happy. This may mean bringing in the help of a professional counselor, a professional financial planner or even a relationship mediator to help you design strategies to maximize the benefits of being divorced and to minimize the drawbacks.
Time is slipping by quickly and I rarely feel alone. The best post-divorce actions I took were to fill my house with tenants (especially in this tough economy) and acquire a dog. I have a challenging job, and I keep stretching myself, acquiring new skills and trying new things. My only regret is that I did not take care of myself physically, and my couch potato-ness has affected my health. So for the foreseeable future I will be spending my free time at the gym, and walking the dog, and eating wholesome foods.
Several of us had this discussion recently: When do you become single again? Is it a state of mind? In filling out an application form, when do you check the singles box instead of "divorced"? What are your thoughts? Here's an online discussion thread on the topic.
And my fears have quieted,
and the silence has crept in
as a familiar and welcome
Now that you're gone so long
that my sharp sensory memory of you
has been dimmed
by the inevitable forgiveness of time...
Now that you've been gone so long
that I've forgotten your touch
and that secret look and smile
you reserved just for me...
with the fullness and passage of time,
I can recall a sweeter and gentler
and realize I am still whole and matter.
Then there's the decision to kiss him or not after that first date. Or, if you are wild for each other, when it would be appropriate to make love without looking easy or cheap. For those of us whose sex lives went from frequent or regular love-making sessions to none, this question carries some weight. At my age, I can count the number of times I've made love to a man in the past two and a half years on the fingers of one hand. Then again, I'm not as nimble as I used to be, if you get my drift. And neither is a man my age, unless he's kept up his fitness regimen. Even then, well, let's just say I am beginning to understand the charms of viagra.
My sweet niece called my one day, all excited. "Auntie Vic, she said, I think I've found you a man. He's funny, divorced, and a wonderful person. And he's 53 years old."
"Whoa," I answered, "Does he know I just turned 60?"
From experience, I know of few men who are looking for women who are older than themselves. True, most people are shocked to learn I am sixty. I look younger and behave and think like a 30-year-old, so that even my relatives are fooled into thinking that this tough old broad still has some juice in her. But I am becoming more keenly aware of my age with each year. I move more slowly, feel arthritis beginning to cripple my fingers, and can't multi-task with the efficiency I was once known for.
Which brings me to the business of looking for someone to date. I simply don't have the time, inclination, or energy these days to go shopping for a man. According to AARP magazine, "Of the 97 million Americans who are 45 or older, almost 40 percent—36.2 million—are on the loose." That's a significant number of people, but I suspect a large percent of them are women, so I would view this information with a jaundiced eye. At a social event last night in an art gallery, the number of mature women outnumbered the men by 3:1. Of the men that attended the event, almost all had arrived with a date or spouse. I didn't even bother to look for prospects but concentrated on enjoying the event with my two female friends. Ok, I'm willing to admit that most men would not be attracted to attending an evening of short story reading at an art gallery, but I've experienced the same phenomenon white water rafting or volunteering in a beer tent at a sports event. Most of the men I met at these venues were already taken.
Had someone told me six years ago that I would have been dateless in 2008 and so far in 2009, I would have called them crazy. After my divorce I was actively looking for a new relationship, but the truth was that the enormous amount of effort this took did not lead to satisfactory results. My last date was so excrutiatingly awful, with my partner talking about himself 90% of the time and evincing no interest in my hobbies or interests, that I literally counted the minutes before I could politely say goodbye. Now I prefer being by myself and calling my own shots. I look forward to a cozy evening with my loyal dog or going out with friends during the weekend. I am no longer ashamed of being single in a couple's world, and rather revel in the strange looks I get as I sit in a fancy restaurant alone, treating myself to a nice meal, and hugely enjoying my own company.
Last week I went to a place called Bark Farm and volunteered to walk rescued dogs and muck out their pens. I was surrounded by volunteers of all ages, each of them eager to help our unfortunate canine friends. Helping these abandoned creatures puts things in perspective. They are experiencing the same feelings of bewilderment and abandonment that I once felt. It breaks your heart to see these frightened and lonely pets, but you come away feeling you've done something to help alleviate their hurt. To me, such activities are more worthwhile and fulfilling than spending an evening with someone with whom I have very little in common. Sometimes I think it would be nice to find a new mate while I'm actively involved doing something I like, but I'll just chalk that up to wishful thinking.
- Read these fascinating insights about dating in Seeking Love.
- Wonder why I'm a bit cynical? Here's an AskMen.com article for you: Can 50 Year Old Divorced Guys Get Younger Women? (You might have to click on "skip this ad.")