Challenging life experiences are highlighted in this contributed post.
You’d like to think that as we get older, things will get easier because we have the wisdom and experience of many years. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and there are a few things that are actually easier for younger people to get through than the older generation. Here are 4 of the hardest things you can experience later in life.
You’re probably aware that in your later years it will be harder to get over an injury because our bones, joints and skin are slower at healing than they used to be. Injuries not only affect us physically, but they can seriously affect us mentally. For example: if you were to have a car crash that you were able to walk away from in later life, it would affect you in the sense that you’d feel fragile for longer, and worried about venturing out into the world again. Whereas younger people are able to recover faster physically; therefore able to face their fears faster and not allow themselves to become secluded.
A big part of your life that no one wants to experience, but unfortunately it happens to at least half of all American couples. Sometimes, divorce can happen much later in life when you both realise that you’re simply not in love anymore. Whether there is a bad and ugly break up or not, it’s still very emotionally draining to go through divorce mediation.
Younger people are more likely to bounce back from a divorce due to other commitments like work and children, so they are more distracted than say a 70 year old divorcee. Regardless of your age, make sure that you have as many loved ones around you as possible if you are going through a divorce.
It’s not often heard of, but sometimes new couples where one or both of the partners is older can still conceive, regardless of whether they think they might have gone through menopause, or simply unable to have children anymore. Having a child at a later age can be a big strain on the relationship because of the worry of that child losing one or maybe even both of their parents early.
Having children is never a decision to be taken lightly, but younger people are often more accepting of the news, even if the child wasn’t planned.
Moving house is also a massive deal for anyone. It’s completely uprooting your lives and it can be hard to come to terms with it, especially if you’re not keen on the move itself. Pensioners often find it difficult to leave their beloved homes as some of them have been living there their whole life. It can also be difficult if you’re moving to a retirement home.
Take these four things into consideration and make sure that if any of them happen to you, that you get the support you need to get through a difficult time.
You can’t choose
what stays and what fades
- Florence and the Machine
by Carrie Joyner
I’ll be honest. The trouble with love is that when you jump in, even if its half hearted and just on a free online dating site... you are still putting yourself out there-all jokes aside, you really are.
There is your picture/s the yesses and the no’s, the snap judgements. the elation of a match (if it’s one you really wanted) and the devastation if it’s a match that you accidentally swiped right on cause you were just on a swiping tear and meant to swipe left (trust me, it feels bad ignoring those guys, it feels mean).
Then you just feel bad not answering back to some people you just realize there is no connection with. There is seeing your exes on there that you can’t swipe left fast enough on...and then you see someone that you are like...hmmm....maybe, wait...yes.
That right swipe meant a lot to me those days. (The right swipes were no longer just handed out for thrills...I just wanted it to be a good match.)
So, Felipe and I (not his real name) matched. We chatted for about a month, which is unheard of on Tinder, even though most of our chatting was done on text or email after the first 2 days.
He and I both have kids and tight schedules, so I found a hole in my schedule and asked him to meet me an hour and a half before my friend was supposed to show up for dinner at a restaurant. He quickly accepted.
When I met him, he was waiting at the table on the terrace where we had agreed to meet... just as he had promised, tall, handsome and well, attractive. We sat down, had a drink together, a great
conversation....it seemed perfect.
Then my friend arrived, sat down, we all chatted politely together for a minute and soon he politely stepped away and said good bye. I hugged him inside and thanked him for a nice date- no kiss on the lips...he just wanted to know when we could see each other again.
Tuesday made sense at the time so we set the date on the spot.
Everything seemed to be going well, but when Tuesday rolled around and I had a huge presentation to prepare for the next morning, I thought he would be really upset if I cancelled.
Quite the opposite- and this is where the red flags should have started going off. “Whatever I needed would work”...”No pressure”.
I thought I met the perfect man, what a chill date.
Cut to us seeing each other for 5 weeks straight, I told him I got off Tinder (hint hint) and he just kind of swerves around that and asks when we are seeing each other again. (Red flag 2)
The last time we saw each other was probably the best time, so what came next was a bit of a shock. A private facebook message from a friend came in who asked if I was still dating Felipe. I said, no, I don’t think so seeing as I haven’t really heard much from him since the night my dog was dying/died a few days ago.
She said “oh, good”.
I asked why? Did she mean because his teeth weren’t perfect? (She was my friend who met me the night he and I first met the first time).
No! She said. He has been chatting/messaging one of her friends since a few days after he and I met. They are planning on meeting up soon.
Now not to get into specifics, but when I tell a guy I got off a dating site, it’s because I consider us as dating/exclusive.
Clearly this was not the case here.
I get that dating on modern dating sites can be a grey area.
However, when you are with someone for over a month, should there not be a mention of the fact that you are just one of possibly many?
Then I started being thankful that he knew little/if nothing of my family, had never met my son...I had never met his family.
Sometimes, the lord works in mysterious ways.
This Thanks Giving, I know what I am grateful for.
Honest relationships, true friendships and family.
As for the rest....BYE, Felipe!
Reason # 6
Being Single for Too Long
You wake up one day, look at the calendar and you realize that today is the anniversary of your last break up.
It took place 10 years ago!
Then it hits you; you have been single a long time.
Sure, you had a date here and there, and maybe a handful of one night stands along the way, but they do not count because you did not stop being single. In fact, even the one-night stands stopped years ago as you have reached a point where you just could not be bothered. (More of that “fun is not fulfillment” thing).
And that is OK!
Believe it or not,
it is OK to be single
Some people are happier and better off when they are perpetually single. I am saying this as a Dating and Relationship Coach that some people do NOT need to be in a relationship or dating or having regular sex to be happy.
If that is the case, then why is this even a problem?
Why would being single for too long be a problem for older women?
It is only a problem if an older woman wants a serious relationship. Why? The longer a person (regardless of gender) remains single, the more challenging it is to adjust their thinking about adapting to being in a relationship again, when an opportunity finally happens.
To help me explain this, I want to share with you my experience coaching adult aged virgins.
An entire branch specialty of my Coaching Practice is working with adult aged virgins. These (mostly men) are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s (and older!), who have never had a girlfriend, and never had sex. (See the upcoming conclusion section to understand how that could even happen). This population faces many challenges. It is more than just about finding the courage to ask a woman out.
One of the challenges they face is starting to THINK like a potential boyfriend. Seeking to be in a relationship may require a major shift in day-to-day thinking. A person who is single for a really long time, might not be open to ways of thinking that actually help in meeting people to date as well as enter into a relationship.
What does that mean?
It means, that getting into dating to seek out a relationship, especially after a very long absence (in this case, never having done it), requires a major shift in mindset.
It means being willing to disrupt your day-to-day lifestyle routine and factor in someone new into every decision you make.
So an older woman faces similar challenges if she has been single for a long time.
No more being able to make a snap decision on a whim and taking a vacation at the drop of a hat. When you are in a relationship, there is someone else to consider. Someone else’s work schedule to check in with, someone else’s opinion to ask and someone else’s needs to compromise for. Really scary huh?
Wait! What if the person you are about to get serious with comes with family? Ready to bite your tongue when his parents occasionally cross the line? Ready to be a step-mom to his young kids? Ready to be a step-mom to his adult children? Ready to be step-granny to his grandchildren? Do you even like kids? Ready to give up lots of your time for weekly family dinners, graduations and birthday parties? Really-really scary huh?
Being single is not all bad. There are some good elements to it. You can come and go as you please, and you never have to factor anyone else into every decision you make. Things change when you include people in your life.
If you are not used to it,
finding yourself on the verge of a relationship
can be a very intimidating thing.
All of a sudden,
your entire way of life seems,
even if the relationship
you are about to embark on is a potentially positive one.
When a person gets used to being single, it can sometimes become harder for that person to compromise. The very idea that she would have to change anything is almost unthinkable.
But if you are an older woman and you actually WANT a relationship, then you must understand that you will have to ease up on some of your expectations, because part of being in a relationship is factoring in the other person.
That is why:
The longer a person is single,
the more it is considered to be a red flag.
It is not an issue of a person being desirable or not
(desire is in the loins of the holder).
It is a red flag because such a person may not know how to take another person into consideration in their day-to-day activities.
One of the biggest areas that single people need to be aware of that is going to keep them single, is how they cope with conflict.
How a person copes with conflict has a HUGE impact to a single person being able to transition into a
Some people, who have been single for a long time, are out of practice with managing intense emotions during conflicts with loved ones.
When someone is single, it is easy to get into the habit of withdrawing from a person you are having a conflict with and choosing to put a lot of distant between the two of you, and your next communication.
If you are single and living alone, it is easy to get upset, tune out, and avoid communication for hours, days or even weeks. Some people handle conflict this way, and have the time to calm down and just avoid having to deal with the actual issue.
However, you simply cannot do that in an intimate romantic relationship.
When you are in a serious relationship, there is no being away for days at a time if you want to actually succeed long term. You need to deal with an issue head-on.
When you are single it is easier to run from conflict than it is to be in a serious relationship. This is why people who are single for a long time might lose the habits that help a serious relationship work out.
Here are some additional examples
of some real older women clients
that I have coached.
They refused to act
like they wanted a relationship,
even though they actually did:
Single Sarah: She had gotten into the habit of spending the night at an ex’s house; not for sex, but for friendship. They remained good friends after their break up, and a couple of times a month she would go over to his place to talk, and after they would fall asleep in the same bed. Sometimes they were wearing PJs, but sometimes they were in less. When she started to see new partners, none of them stuck around when she was open about wanting to continue this friendly arrangement with her ex.
Single Shelly: She would let her male friends (mostly gay men) caress her breasts as a joke, and lick her neck during drinking games. It was “all in fun “she said, and “no big deal”. When dating, she would tell the man that she only wanted Monogamy, but that she had no intention of stopping her behaviors with her male friends, because “that’s the way it has always been” between her and her friends since college.
Single Samantha: She really liked her alone time. She had gotten into the habit of being alone on Saturdays, and using that day to catch up on all her errands. After, she would binge watch her new favorite television series. She liked her schedule kept as it was and did not want to replace her television night with a date night. Even if she was seeing a guy for a few weeks, Saturday was her “Me-Time”.
Single Stephanie: She hated cooking and cleaning, and she especially hated having to clean up after cooking. She had gotten into the habit of having her meals over the kitchen sink instead of a table because she felt that it was just more “efficient” that way. She resented cooking for her dates when she invited them over. As she was not used to sitting at a table for meals, she ended up so distracted by all the crumbs on the table and those that hit the floor during the dinner dates, that she could not focus on talking to her date.
Single Sophie: She was a very loyal, and dedicated friend to her female friends. Even when she was currently dating someone, she would still go out with her single female friends and act as the “wing woman”. She would flirt, dance, and accept drinks from the male friends of the men her girlfriends were trying to pick up. She “did not want to let her friends down” just because she was dating a new man in her life.
Single Sabrina: She has been living alone for years and loves sleeping in her big bed by herself. She is not used to rolling over and bumping into another sleeping body. She isn’t used to hearing another person breath (or snore!) while she is trying to sleep. Years ago, when she did have lovers stay the night, she wouldn’t get a wink of sleep, so started to ask her lovers to sleep on the couch after sex, so she could get sleep. After she got her pet, she would tell her lovers that they had to sleep on the couch because it was Foo-Foo’s spot to sleep next to her.
Single Sally: She values her privacy. She has friends and is socially active, but she keeps a lot of information about her life and personal preferences on a very limited “need-to-know” basis. When she is on a date and the man tries to get to know her through small talk, she sometimes gets defensive. She is not used to sharing information and that makes her feel vulnerable, even when the intent of the question is benign.
Single Sasha: She has gotten too comfortable. She hasn’t really dated in years, and enjoys only wearing comfortable, frumpy, casual clothing. She doesn’t feel the need to impress anyone. She doesn’t want to fix her hair, wear make up, or dress sexy. She ignores grooming tips normally associated with dating, and having a sexual relationship with a new partner. She would rather just be comfortable, and not have to try too hard.
Single Sandy: She loves a good party, and especially loves going out drinking with her girlfriends. The last time a man asked her out on a Saturday night, she told him that she might be too hung over to go out on Saturday night, because she would be out with her girlfriends on Friday. She’d let him know on if she was going to be available Saturday night. She will not change her social schedule to accommodate dating.
In all the above cases, the issue is that certain behaviors do not lend themselves to attracting quality partners. The behaviors themselves are not the issue. If you are single, the only person you have to answer to is yourself.
However, if you want to be in a relationship you must be mindful that the people you want to attract and date may not be compatible with your idiosyncrasies.
You will have to compromise on some of your rigidity to be respectful of the boundaries of your relationship partner.
If you remain inflexible,
and the energy and message you convey with your actions and attitude is:
You are going to push away many great,
quality older men who were interested in dating you.
Wanting a relationship is simply not enough.
You have to be willing to change any “push-away” behaviors so that you also ACT like you want a relationship.
This really shouldn’t be so much of a surprise. If you are out of habit of using any particular skill set, over time your skills will dull in that skill set. Being able to attract someone through communication and taking actions is a skills set. Being able to manage a relationship is a skill set.
Being able to behave in a way that caters to making a relationship work is a skill set. Like any skill set, if you do not employ them you lose them.
It is not like riding a bike where you let your muscle member take over. This is about how to relate to people, and how to calibrate and adjust to the person you are emotionally connected with.
This is why people who date a lot, will likely continue to date a lot.
People that are good in relationships will likely continue to end up in good relationships. People, who cannot attract another, will likely continue to be unable to attract another. People that have always been able to turn on the charm will likely continue to turn on the charm. As long as they keep their skills in practice, they will continue to get similar results.
It is not something that a person is born with.
It is a skill that can be learned.
Once learned it is necessary to repeat them over and over again until the behaviors become second nature.
Ambition and effort when not used decline because lack of use causes loss of that skill set.
The social skill set of being in a relationship can be lost if it remains unused for a lengthy period of time. That is why being single for a long time can be a major red flag in dating.
Reason # 7
I do not think it is fair to say that older women have more baggage than other human beings. I do not believe that is the case. If you are human you have baggage; regardless of your gender.
When I am coaching older male clients, the issue that I often hear them express is that although they are fully attracted to older women and they want to be in a relationship with an older woman when they have attempted to date them, some older women turn a romantic date into a therapy session (when they promptly empty their baggage)!
Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes