Why I Don't Date Anymore
Old People Don't Date Much...
I stopped dating a while ago. Curiously, despite the fact that I’m now an ‘older woman,’ this has not stopped men from asking me out. When I decline, I’m generally asked why. It's not just one simple reason, but rather a combination of personal experiences and environmental factors; i.e., fewer single people as one grows older and more difficult to meet suitable potential partners. That said, older people do marry, and romance is alive and kicking for many people. So why do some decide not to date anymore?
But When They Do Date, They May Get Married!
General Decision Not to Date Anymore
It seems that enough people decide not to date at a certain point in their lives to make it 'normal.' There is both tragedy and freedom in this. The tragedy comes when the decision not to date is based on the fear of further hurt rather than a big yes to more life!
Why I Don't Date Anymore
Too many bad experiences
Dating is expensive
Friendship provides needed emotional support
Other interests and obligations take up time
Sex with older bodies isn't as appealing
There are better returns on investments
Too difficult to find someone
There Are Many More Women Than Men
When there are three single women for every man, unless one is a phenomenal woman, the competition is simply too much. The degree of time and energy it takes to snare a man (and then one will probably have to settle for the kind of man where he doesn't bring an equal amount to the table) simply isn't worth the investment where there are other options to consider. Marriage isn't the only thing in life that brings happiness.
I've Had Too Many Bad Experiences With Men
To me, the only reason for dating was marriage. I might have been mistaken there, but it was the 1960s and I lived in South Africa. I was shocked when people weren't married by nineteen.
Being somewhat ignorant as a result of a very sheltered environment, having an absent father, going to all girls' boarding schools for a dozen years, and having a learning disability which limited my social understanding, I had no idea that men did not look at dating in the same way. So I generally asked about marriage almost immediately. I kid you not. The rest was history.
In any event, by the time I was 25, I just gave up. Nobody wanted to marry me.
I did develop a crush on one person (school days) and fall heavily in love with another. Neither even got off the ground. All my fault. I just didn't get it.
Those two experiences were painful, but they did not put me off men. What confused me initially and made me angry eventually were the perpetual lies that so many men kept telling me.
They would lie about their income, their past, their interest in me, their achievements or lack thereof, about dating other women, about being married, and more.
Was I mistaken? It appears not.Apparently, 61% of people lie on their first date. Different studies show that between 50% and 80% of the information exchanged on dates are lies.
Even Small Lies Lead to Mistrust
The biggest lie that got to me and finally turned me off for life was the one where someone asked me out, I told them I wasn't interested, and then they told me they just wanted to be friends. I love friends, so I would be quite excited about that. In 1995, however, three different guys, all of whom 'just wanted to be friends' turned out to want everything but. It was the last time I believed any man 'just wanted to be friends.' And it affected my ability to be friends with men because I no longer trusted them after that.
There are differing opinions on whether men and women can be friends, but I think studies bear out that while women can be 'just friends,' men not so. To quote from Scientific American, "The results suggest large gender differences in how men and women experience opposite-sex friendships. Men were much more attracted to their female friends than vice versa. Men were also more likely than women to think that their opposite-sex friends were attracted to them—a clearly misguided belief."
Moi! In My Many Incarnations
Why Men Don't Date Anymore
Generally, for the most part, men continue to date more frequently than women do. However, there are those who don't.
The dominant reason tends to be extreme disillusionment with women, most having being financially hurt. As with the experience of many women hearing lies from men, so many men have experienced lies from women. A newspaper article revealed that 37% of women lied about their age while 29% of men lied about their income.
Men also deeply resent having to part with their 'hard earned money' when there are divorces. For some, this is sufficient discouragement never to take a woman seriously again. To quote from The Simple Dollar, "The most common reason given for men not to get married is that the financial outcome of divorce proceedings is seen to be unfair."
So the reasons some men reach a point where they don't date anymore are similar to those of women—generally too many negative experiences with the opposite sex.
Too Many Other Commitments and Interests
As we get older, we take on more and more commitments. Sometimes these simply do not leave room for dating. Here are some of the reasons:
- Single parenting is a full-time job, especially if one is also working. One is simply too tired to go out.
- One loses confidence in one's appearance. A 50-year-old body is not the same as an 18-year-old body. Who wants someone to gaze at one's cellulite or pot belly?
- The energy of youth disappears. We become more and more tired more and more quickly. Where once we could work all day, then party most of the night and be up for work the following morning, that doesn't work that way (much) after 40.
- It's impossibly difficult to meet new people, and dating sites tend not to work the older one gets.
- If one has risen in one's career, it sometimes takes up all one's waking hours and, again, there simply isn't time for a dating life. That includes business travel which can exhaust one.
- The cost of dating is quite high. Appropriate clothing to go to the theatre, a bathing suit that flatters, jeans that hide the worst of body sins—they all add up. Sometimes people simply don't have sufficient discretionary income to take on dating. To quote from The Guardian, "While a few traditionalists still prefer dinner and a movie, for others figuring out how to pay for a date (sometimes on a salary of $25,000 a year or less) was a frequent source of anxiety."
Have you given up dating?
Friendship Provides Emotional Support
- At a certain level of maturity, most people no longer need others as much as they used to when they were younger. They become emotionally independent and so long as they have a few close friends, it works for them. Perhaps it's just that if one has been alone for a long time, one becomes accustomed to it and doesn't need someone else anymore.
- Sex drive becomes less powerful although it doesn't disappear completely for most people. It's more that if one's libido is only occasional, a shower or a slice of chocolate cake may make the problem go away.
- There may be better returns on investment than dating. For instance, as one grows older and the children have left home, money becomes more available. Rather than spending money on dating, dinner, and dress, a three-day cruise might be more tempting.
- It's a numbers game. There simply isn't someone for everyone. In some places, there are more men than women, and in other places there are more women than men. Plus the more different one is, the more difficult it is to find compatible people. Looking for a needle in a haystack isn't appealing! According to Sara Arber, co-director of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender at the University of Surrey, "For a woman over 65, there is a 10,000 to one chance of marriage, and for a man the odds fall to a thousand to one."
Lots to Do: Cruises, Book Clubs, Dancing, Etc.
Many older people get together with friends to take cruises which have been marked down and spend happy times in this way. They also attend tea dances plus join dance studios to both learn dancing and socialize. Book clubs, learning new skills, meeting friends for coffee all keep people who don't date busy. Some even write online!