My last article encouraged boomer women not to give up dating, and suggested women reconsider if they have. http://goo.gl/9P8MKh. While boomer dating can be emotionally exhausting and disappointing, couples do meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after.
Disclaimer: Since the last article focused on men's dating behavior, men suggested I write what they encounter dating boomer women. While these faux pas may fit men, they're real issues other men and I have encountered.
Women who post old photos in their online dating profiles frustrate us, because the reality is immediately obvious in person. Perhaps the purpose is to attract men, but it's irritating when a woman and her photo don't match. It's a bait and switch, and begs the question, what else isn't she being truthful about? Photos more than a year old belong in a drawer, not in a dating profile.
Not Ready To Date
The woman I met in a café who introduced herself with a 10-minute rant about her ex-husband and his dog poop lawyer without coming up for air, won first prize in the not ready for prime-time dating contest. And the psychotherapist who told me over coffee that she'd broken up with her live-in partner of five years, just ten days before, took second prize. It's disrespectful and bad manners to show up for a date unhealed and angry from a recent breakup. While men frequently get a bad rap for dating quickly after a breakup, women also commit this faux pas.
In a perfect world, there'd be a George Clooney clone for every boomer woman. While a woman may list tall, in shape, handsome, and successful as prerequisites for a date, that's only reasonable if she's a comparable woman. But even if she is, her rigid typecasting eliminates a host of quality guys she might find exceed her fantasy. As a dating coach, I encourage men and women not to get so focused on a specific type that they automatically eliminate potential partners who might match them perfectly.
Women express strong feelings about not wanting to date deeply wounded men. My decades of experience working with men in groups suggest that a man's issues don't necessarily preclude him from holding up his end in a relationship. But there is a caveat. A woman has the right to expect a wounded guy to have done some amount of healing work prior to dating. A man on a healing path is capable of co-creating a successful relationship.
Women also state that men have commitment issues, but in reality they're typically trust issues, not uncommon with men. I worked on my trust issues with my men friends who'd worked through theirs, and I was up front about them when I met my partner. Rather than judge or reject me, she encouraged me to let them go as our relationship developed. That meant an occasional reminder that she wasn't leaving the relationship just because we'd argued, an old trust trigger.
In truth, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a boomer man or woman without any issues, which is why new relationships need to increase trust through evolved emotional dialogue. Relationships require work, just like everything else worthwhile in life. I urge women to look deeper into a man and his qualities before deciding he's too wounded to date.
A Guy Thing?
I can't recall a boomer guy who ever gave up dating. While I'm curious what women and other men think are the reasons for the gap, I consider the notions that boomer men date just for sex, or because they can't be alone, overly simplistic. While these may apply to some men, I don't believe they're true for most.
I agree with women who commented there are worse things in life than being alone, and I don't have any judgment about women who choose to remain alone. Still, I feel that many of the reasons women offer are fixable.
We're the generation that changed the politico-socio-sexual attitudes of the entire free world in the sixties, so smoothing out our dating behavior would seem easy in comparison. Finger pointing won't help because we're all flawed. Dating isn't supposed to be a contact sport, and being able to see the unique person beyond their imperfections only requires a mirror.
Follow Ken Solin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KenSolin