Love + Dating
Comments 39

Dating over 50 after heartbreak: can we still surrender to a starry sky?

I find myself single once more after a 2-year rollercoaster; wounds healing, lessons learned [hopefully], correct path rediscovered. Did you know midlife or ‘grey’ divorce has doubled since 1990? I follow a number of blogs of women in my age bracket (45-60), and at least half of them are single and dating. Of course, several are still in delightfully content long term relationships or marriages, and kudos to them.

That has never been my story. Nor my goal.

Still, once again, I clawed my way out of a tear-filled, anxiety-riddled, confused and lonely pit of mourning, like a determined yet unlucky mole.

And then began sprucing up my online dating profile, adding current photos, and perusing my options…

*sigh

Some familiar faces are still there. And now mine too, returning to the fray.

I sat on my blue couch facing the forest, flipping past desperate hopeful offer after offer, and noticed I felt numb.

Too soon? Four months single; feel ready for something though. Too easy? Been online since 2010, so yes, very accustomed to this hunting. Too callous? Yes again: the instant discard because of ugly sunglasses, an orange shirt, or the ubiquitous drink in hand is harsh, and I can be ruthless, I admit- you learn to be in online dating.

I closed the lid to my laptop. There must be another way… how did we used to do it? But more importantly, was I really ready?

When I was 10, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to do/be when I grew up- it was probably a school exercise. Writer, actress, journalist… I’ve kind of ticked the boxes haven’t I?

I also wrote a list of the ways I didn’t want to be, and from memory, the top point was ‘cynical’. I was a dreamy, romantic child, and my favourite moments now are still those times before jumping out of the bed in the morning, when I can let my sleepy soft mind drift through imagined or remembered scenarios and experiences.

After this latest worst break-up ever [complete dysfunctional disrespect by the other party of my clearly-expressed needs for safety and boundaries], it would be easy for me to sit in cynicism, or worse still, swear off entanglement forever.

But as my dear friend A says:

‘G, I’ve never seen you deeply committed to misery.’

And he’s right. The curious, playful, and ultimately brave part of me wants to venture back out into the light, to see if I can find love again…

My question is: can I surrender to it if I find it?

Remember when you were young, say 23, and met someone you liked? Back then, the world was your oyster. I fell in love with a kitchen-hand with dark cats eyes in tropical North Queensland, and before I even thought about it too much, we backpacked off to England and Canada, then ended up in a caravan at his parents’ farm in Coffs Harbour a couple of years later. We then agreed to break up in the check-out queue of the local supermarket, on my birthday, as you do.

So be it.

Another romance saw me move across Australia, study to become a Pilates instructor, then spend years commuting back and forth to see my son.

Even old readers of this blog will recall my delightful Melbourne love connection, with monthly trips to a rural idyll far from my beloved beach, exploring a profound creative relationship with ‘H’, who I treasure still to this day.

*sighs

Can I do it again? With a mortgage and part time jobs to juggle, plus darling son ’20Now’? At what point do we give up believing in romance? Is it really just a social construct to sell Hallmark cards and promote the religious agenda of the nuclear family?

*sighs again

I still want to look at someone and feel butterflies. I still want to hold hands while gazing at the stars, aware that we are infinitesimal, yet so important to each other in each breath, each unfolding moment.

I do have faith in my emotional resilience, for that’s what it will take. And I back myself up with discipline and commitment: I go to therapy; I read and reflect; I write in my journal; I talk with and listen to my wise friends.

I feel supported, and therefore brave.

So my answer is YES. Yes, I hope I can still surrender to love, if it comes along.

How about you? Of course this damn pandemic makes everything tricky, and we need to stay safe as a priority, but how are you feeling about your search for love, whether single or partnered?

In gratitude for online conversations and the magic of starlight, G xO

39 Comments

  1. Dear Gg… I feel for you at this moment, and think it is right to check your motivations before starting to “fish” again. A window will present itself with a clear view of what to do and when to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks darlin. Yes, fishing feels so tedious… but dear Claudie has introduced me to an [apparently] amazing human being, so investigations are under way… we must talk soon xx

      Like

  2. Impermanence is the only constant. What was, is no longer…what is, will not always be…and what is not, could still be.

    Sixteen years ago, at the ripe old age of 38, I swore off finding meaningful long-term romance and went about living my life the best I knew how.

    One year later romance found me. And I was ready for it.

    Will Nell and I stay together ’til death do us part? That is certainly the plan, and I cannot imagine being with anybody else, but my crystal ball has suddenly gone all foggy.

    But…on the off-off-off chance Nell and I part someday…well, I will take it one day at a time.

    Doing my best not to overthink any of it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for commenting Matt- I always enjoy & value your considered experiences- yes, my Buddhist meditation practice reminds me of impermanence sometimes, but I appreciate the reminder 😃

      I do love my life: wonderful home/family/friends/work & creativity. I am blessed, even in these weird Covid times.

      And yet, a part of me still longs for that ultimate connection- of knowing nothing is guaranteed, yet trying & believing anyway.

      Not overthinking is wonderful advice 😊
      Take care and stay safe Matt ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. G – I’m sorry you’re recovering from heartbreak again my dear friend. It can be so crushing in the moment. I don’t think I can ever give up on love so I say keep searching for it! But if you notice that you’re not ready for it after your breakup, take the time to be ready.

    My quarantine dating life saw one connection end just as our isolation was starting, then something rekindled through texts and calls only to be completely broken again in mid-May. Then I took a hard look at myself and saw areas in my life I needed to fix before I could focus on a relationship again. So I took 100 days (ended August 30th) and focused on my faith and spiritual relationship instead of romantic ones. Now I am finished and can start to re-introduce dating into my life and I’m a little skeptical and guarded about it, but I know I want to find my person and start that life together so I will get back out there. Maybe after the first week of school is done LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you darling, I feel your care and concern 🙏🏼

      Sorry you too had a hard time- the 100 days sounds like a wonderful idea- I so admire your discipline and commitment to your spiritual growth- but yes, timing is everything, so focus on those kids (& nails!) for now xx ❤️

      I am back out there a little already… update coming 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      • the 100 days was so needed and very fruitful! And the nails will be done tomorrow!! Have to rethink my video style now that I’ve moved, gonna try without my voice tomorrow and see how it goes!!

        OOOOOooooooOOOOO can’t wait for that update!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nope. I have had enough. Still married though, but only said yesterday that I would not go through it all again once he goes, if he goes first. I couldn’t face cleaning up more whiskers in the basin. Good on you though. You must have more energy than me. Does everyone do the online thing now when looking for love?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I can understand your sentiment too- after a long marriage, I imagine time alone would feel so precious? And yes, A LOT of people (young & old) do the online dating- there are so many sites & phone apps- it’s convenient, fast, often free to use, yet with a hint of consumerism that I just don’t like. Yet, that’s where everyone is hanging out, so it’s easy to just join in.

      Thank you so much for commenting- I so value the different perspectives we all bring, G 🙏🏼😎

      Like

  5. This was so beautiful to read.

    In my neighbourhood over the past 5 years or so half the so-called blissful marriages are divorced.

    All the things you talk about? We want that too. And, I’m beginning to see why some people, in the interest of sustaining a relationship, turn to alternative ways to keep up the spice (open marriages, kink, etc)…

    But most people don’t. Most people, it seems, commit to misery. (That was an eye-opening statement by your friend, and impressive that you do not do that).

    I believe you will find your bliss again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the read- I love your posts although I often don’t comment. Yes, I know a lot of long term relationships which have died in the last 3 years, especially the last year… I wonder how many will be victims of this pandemic too?

      My friend is very wise re my lack of misery commitment, I agree! And yes, I do believe my bliss is still coming… just turned 54 end of July… better be worth waiting for 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What an interesting read… ( I am not good at giving advice… except for what not to do based on all of my screw ups… but I feel compelled to share… please read this as sharing… not advising)

    In my early 30s I gave up on “finding true love and romance”. I was divorced and became very tired of the “meeting up” then “opening up” and finally “breaking up” cycle. I remember telling friends every fairy tell romance ends at marriage… (same with romance books… since the post marriage story would be a very boring read)

    I gave up and within a year met the love of my life and we have been together for 20 years. (the “exciting” romantic feelings ended with time… but they changed into a deep bond that gives my life meaning)

    My feelings tell me giving up might be a good option… (let me explain because that sounds horrible)

    We often pre-build what we think our shared life will be… and then look for the person that fits into that prebuilt space… when we meet a person… that person starts bringing in things that don’t fit into our pre-built notion… (kind of like moving in with someone and trying to hang a painting… and they keep saying… it doesn’t go with my “décor”… or worse… saying…you are not going to put up that huge television in the bedroom)

    What I feel…(not an expert) is that we should give up on our “pre-built” expectations and then start seeing a new relationship as a building project… you will build something together.. probably completely unexpected (maybe exciting… maybe a complete disaster) you will know if what you build together makes sense or not… and actually enjoy the building… versus feeling like you are in a eternal cycle of excitement/love/heartbreak.

    One last thing… I realized that I was lonely because I wanted to love and be loved… As soon as I saw it that way… being lonely made me feel good. I dreaded the thought of not being lonely because that meant I didn’t want to love or be loved and that is not the life I wanted to live.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh how much do I love this comment!? Thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort to explain your experience, feelings, and non-expert sharing. I am so glad you found the love of your life, and I greatly appreciate your suggestion of using a ‘building project’ metaphor… it seems perfect… what a fabulous contribution you have made to my post with this comment! Many thanks, and blessings for your own weird and wonderful life, G 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are so awesome… post commenting… I felt bad because I did not really state any empathy for you and wish you the best in my comment… I imagine things are difficult for you right now but I believe you will find someone… just make sure they are as wonderful as you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Let go of feeling bad please 🙂 Trust me- I am surrounded by good people and empathy, and as stated, so loved your comment 🙂 And now a compliment too, thanks 🙂 G

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I think as long as the desire to find that special someone who makes your heart flutter is there, then you should continue to pursue true love! The fact that you feel ready for the next step is a good indication that you really are ready, so I say: go for it! Besides, these days we all need all the connection and love we can get!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about this breakup, but I pray that you will find a healthy relationship when you are ready…and if you’re ready now, may the Universe deliver the relationship as such. Don’t stop believing…I still believe, but have yet to find anyone. And that’s ok for now because I’m getting stronger and I do believe in love. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Dating in the second half of life is so much harder. Not just for all the complexities in our lives but because of what’s in our heads too. I still believe… 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I can’t picture giving up on finding someone to share my life with. While my life is full and happy I will never stop looking for the one and I hope you don’t either.
    I take breaks from online dating because it sometimes feels like too much work, but I always return to it, because really, what is the alternative?
    Hang in there, the best is yet to coem! Blessings! ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for commenting & bringing the cheer squad of Not Giving Up 😃💪🏼💪🏼. I definitely don’t want to give up; fatigue does set in sometimes I admit, but I am stubborn 😘
      Onward ever onward 🙏🏼
      Thanks for joining in, G 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Love this post. I am having trouble ‘liking’ posts on WP at the moment, but I did and I do 🙂 No I don’t believe it’s unrealistic to want intimate romantic connections. I have found it many time, but in a lasting, mature and respectful way, yes right now and two years’ in, still thriving. Maybe it’s too soon for you but I feel your itchy feet and desire for action. Not sure what the answer is though, but good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks darlin… something is brewing here… keeping my eyes peeled open, but yes, women like you inspire me to keep believing and keep trying ❤️🙏🏼

      Like

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