One of the greatest challenges I have found in dating over forty is the baggage everyone carries with them. How does your baggage affect your life and choices?
You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t have any baggage” or “My baggage isn’t affecting my dating life”. Are you lying to yourself? Of course you are! We all have baggage. It directly reflects the choices we make in our relationships. Think about it…How many times do you compare someone to your past relationships? How many times does a response you make to a situation remind you of ‘old times’? Is your baggage holding you back? Is fear of repeating the past keeping you from going forward? How do we get out of this rut?
I know I have been asked many times what do I want…out of life, in a relationship, for my future. I always look back and compare it to my past. This is what I don’t want, this is what I’d like to have, etc. How particular am I? Do I honestly know what I want? Are my decisions based on my baggage?
I have a dear friend who loves telling allegories:
You’re standing on a river bank. The water is rushing past you. A bear is coming to eat you. You can’t swim, but there’s a floatie on the bank. Its not a new floatie. It has a few patches but looks sturdy. Which do you choose? The bear (fear of the future) or the raging river (life and a future) with a slightly used floatie (a friend) to assist you?
You may think the answer is obvious but if you have very heavy baggage from your past the choice may be difficult to make. Do you trust the floatie to get you through? Have you ever had a floatie you can depend on? Or do yo let the bear eat you to avoid a possibility of drowning? What if the floatie is exactly what you needed and the ride down the river ends up being fun? Which do you choose? The choice is yours.
I have finally finished my first novel. And, of course, I wonder if anyone will want to read it. Its not about the typical couple; the hero is in his early forties and the heroin is in her mid-late forties. Will anyone believe you can find love for the first or, even, second, time around?
I’m in my forties and I have many friends in their forties and fifties asking the same question. Will love be there for them? To find out if my book is realistic I asked the experts, my friends.
One friend, divorced at forty-six, found love with a younger guy, thirty-eight, within months of her separation from her husband. Another friend, divorced in her late forties after twenty-seven years of marriage, found true happiness with a man twenty years her junior. And yet another, divorced after five years of marriage, found love with a man twenty years her senior.
Not all relationships have faired so well. One other friend who divorced at forty, three years ago, has been struggling just to find a decent date. And one other has yet to find that special someone after attempting to get married multiple times.
Is love any easier later in life? After watching my friends I think its just as difficult as in your twenties except you know more of what to expect. If I’ve learned anything in the last twenty or so years its to be honest and up front from the beginning. Life is short and we don’t have time for games and players. In most of the relationships I’ve been exposed to those that are fairing the best are the ones that aren’t afraid to say what they need from their partner. Just because we’re older doesn’t necessarily mean we’re much wiser. Sometimes we need direction.
So, in light of my research, my book appears valid and plausible. Once it hits the internet (ebooks) I’ll let you know. You can give me your opinion.