Thursday, 27 October 2016

Goodbye, dating

One great relief now I'm older is that I no longer face the fraught business of dating and starting a relation-ship. Thankfully all that's behind me and I'm well settled with my partner of 35 years. Unless disaster strikes and I find myself back in the dating game at the age of 80.

I can remember well all the embarrassments and uncertainties of going out with someone new and fretting over the necessary stages - chatting up, dating, kissing, mutual checking-out, then possibly the bedroom (or car or settee) and sex.

Am I doing this right? Am I going too fast? Am I putting her off? Am I frightening her? Am I looking hopelessly inept? What exactly is she up for? How do I tell?

Nobody ever gave me guidance on the dating thing. The boys at my single-sex school seemed to have little contact with girls and had nothing to say about it. My parents were also saying nothing, expecting me to work it all out for myself.

I was grateful when the woman took the initiative and suggested the next step. Some women virtually dragged me into bed, which made it very easy but rather intimidated me - with a predictable let-down under the sheets.

How thankful I was at the grand old age of 34 when I got it together with Jenny and the trials and traumas of dating were finally over.

Dating seems even more fraught these days. Expectations of possible partners are now so high you wonder how people ever fall for each other and can tick all the boxes. The wrong hairstyle or cut of jeans could be fatal.

But goodness, how exciting it was when a date was going well, and that deliriously smart and attractive woman actually seemed to like me. A lot.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found dating always very thrilling. It's as if you discover a new country. Some datings turned wrong but that's the way it must be. Now I'm married and found my soul mate and we fit together like little Lego stones. Perfectly.
Mia More

Jenny Woolf said...

I wouldnt be surprised if it has always been stressful at times for most people!

Nick said...

Mia: You found it thrilling? Good for you. You must have been slightly disappointed when the dating came to an end? That's great that you and your husband are like Lego stones. I guess Jenny and I are much the same.

Jenny (Woolf): It's really stressful when you have only the vaguest idea of what you're supposed to be doing!

Anonymous said...

I am a very positive thinking person. A story ends, a new one starts.And bad or good it's a permanent learning.When you meet the right person, somehow you feel it and then it's up to you to make it last.

Nick said...

Is that Mia or another anon? It's a very positive approach to leave behind things that haven't worked and move on to something new. Dwelling on failure gets you nowhere.

Anonymous said...

It's Mia sorry I forget to put my name.

Bijoux said...

Dating for me was a bit like having bipolar (manic) depression. I either felt incredibly high from the infatuation or I found the date to be exceedingly dreadful and I couldn't wait to get home.

I'm finding many men in my age group to be pompous these days. I don't think I'd want to do it all over again.

Nick said...

Bijoux: My big problem with dates was that I'd go out with someone promising and they'd be a big disappointment - chronically boring or self-obsessed or doggedly reticent.

You're so right about all the pompous men. They turn up absolutely everywhere, with their self-important speeches and condescending remarks. They should be locked up for their own good.

Hattie said...

I will never date again. Never, never, never.

Nick said...

Hattie: Sounds like you were the opposite of Mia. She was thrilled by dating, you thought it was horrible.

CheerfulMonk said...

One great advantage of being a physics major was you didn't have to worry about dating. I had plenty of friends who were boys and it was easy enough to connect with someone compatible.

Dave Martin said...

I really didn't like dating - I found myself more nervous than excited.
Luckily I eventually found someone who made it feel easy, and we're still together 22 years later.
Hopefully I won't ever find myself in the position of having to do it all over again.

Nick said...

Jean: Very convenient! Trying to find possible partners on dating sites is a very hit-and-miss process!

Dave: You and me both. I dread the thought of another round of dating. I probably wouldn't bother, I'd just try to adjust to being on my own.

kylie said...

You are only now saying goodbye to dating?

Nick said...

Kylie: Well, I couldn't really say goodbye to it when I met Jenny as we might have split up and then I'd be dating again. I suppose I mentally said goodbye to it ten or so years later. Now I'm just reflecting on the fact that most of us oldies have left dating behind.

tammy j said...

I met my bob and one year later we were married. we lived together for 6 months. it was heaven. I would do it all over again.
about a year after he died I began dating again (at the age of 34) and I then dated for 5 years.
didn't actually realize I was comparing everyone (yes. unfair but the truth) to him... and no one clicked.
he was my literal soul mate.
so I simply QUIT. and I've never been happier except with him. I enjoy my solitude and simply friends. it's carrying me well into the latter part of my life. SO much more comfortable! I'd hate to be young now and 'looking for someone' in today's world! YUK.

Nick said...

Tammy: It must be very hard to find someone you click with as strongly as your previous soul-mate. I'm glad you're happy living on your own and don't hanker after any old companion just to have someone around.

I'd hate to be looking for someone too. How soul-destroying it must be if person after person is disappointing.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Well, I had eight years of dating between marriages and it was mixed. Probably similar to Bijoux, it was either a total high or dreadful. But I did like meeting new people and doing new things. I never found it an intimidating experience.That said, I'm very happy to be settled again with someone I love.

Nick said...

Agent: There's a definite division here between those who hated dating and those who enjoyed it. You certainly had a long stint of dating between marriages, so it was a good thing you enjoyed it!

Rummuser said...

I never found dating to be anything but pleasant. I tried some dating after I became a widower but it did not quite work out for either parties and have now settled down to being a single curmudgeon.

Nick said...

Ramana: You seem to greatly enjoy being a single curmudgeon! Though I think you're a fairly mild one. I could name several of my blogmates who are far more curmudgeonly!

Liz Hinds said...

Oh I'm so glad it's over too! A late starter I was never confident and I'm just pleased the right man and I found each other. By the time I reach 80 I think I'll be happy to settle for a cat.

Nick said...

Liz: I was a late starter too. I didn't date anyone till my late teens. And having been to an single-sex school, for a while I was very intimidated by these strange people called women.

Ms Scarlet said...

I think I will haul a veil over my dating experiences. Luckily I ended up having proper relationships with friends/work colleagues who became something more.
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet: Ooh, that sounds like you had some rather unpleasant encounters. It certainly makes things easier if an everyday friendship gradually blossoms into something deeper.