Linda Saxy

Author (A.K.A. Linda Bolton)

Tag: relationship

Dating After 40

I have been asked a few times recently if I thought dating later in life was any different that in our teens/twenty-somethings? I asked a few friends and this is what I came up with.

Basically, even though we are older, dating is the same.  The major difference is baggage. The baggage each person brings to a new relationship.

Baggage, you ask? What about being more upfront with our intentions? What about honestly and less fear at stating true desires? Ok, I’ll give you that. Some are experiencing that, however, its our baggage that has brought us to that point. The totes, duffle bags and trunks from past relationships.

By baggage I mean the hurt feelings, guilt and poor self-image. The trunks full of Dickens’ ghosts from Christmas’ past.  I’ve seen new relationships start and end quickly due to misunderstandings brought on by a memory from a bad past. I’ve seen relationships stall due to a fear that they will go bad. I’ve seen some sabotaged a great friendship because of wrong expectations. That trunk that is dragged from relationship to relationship, only opened to add more to it, not clean it out.

How is a relationship to blossom if baggage is in the way? Let’s go back to honesty.  Sharing your baggage with close trusted friends is a start. Having them help you work through your fears.  Deciding from the start that a repeat of the past relationship isn’t an option.  Patience on the part of both parties is the only way a relationship can flourish.  I think we all agree that life is short and we shouldn’t let great people slip though our fingers.  How we can keep them close, despite our baggage, is the challenge.  Losing our fear of opening those trunks and letting the ghosts out is the greatest challenge but provides the greatest reward.

Do Friends Make Better Lovers

Do friends make better lovers? Do they make better long-term partners?

Most couples become couples first, friends second.  Is it better the other way around? I’ve been told by many, yes. But doesn’t that screw up Dating 101? You know, you meet at a party, eyes link from across the room, you’re drawn to each other, you go have coffee, talk into the night, and BAM, your dating! If you’re friends first, how does that change things?

If you’re friends, from school, neighbors, work and then you start to date, is it because you were always attracted to each other? Or is it because you know each other’s flaws already, know what irks one another, what each one likes, that a relationship can bloom?

Have you ever had a roommate? Was the roommate your best friend? Did you stay roommates for long? I know I’ve had very close friends as roommates and, generally, we couldn’t stay roommates in order to preserve our relationship.  Does that hold true if your the opposite sex? Can a man and a woman be best friends and roommates and not have a relationship? Aren’t we made to be drawn to one another? If you have a best friend that is of the opposite sex are you destined to become more? Is it the nature of the beast?

I’m not saying men and women can’t be friends and not be sexually drawn to one another.  I’m talking best friends. Women know what I’m saying. When we have best friends we do a lot of things together, tell our deepest, darkest secrets, reveal ourselves. Once you’ve done that with a man have you gone too far? Have you pushed your relationship to the next level? Can men process information like that and not see a deeper attraction than just buddies? Can a woman? If you take the next step does it give you a deeper relationship than starting out as a dating couple to begin with?

For example, lets go back to the Dating 101 scenario.  You’re strangers, having coffee, talking about superficial basics of first contact. Next step is the first date.  Then the second, and so on. At what point are you comfortable enough to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets? Will you ever share your lifelong dreams and goals? Oh, you’ll share some but do you share all, without the fear of rejection? Is it easier to share those deepest thoughts with your friend than your lover? Sure it is.

So in saying that, the question is, how do you know if your friend should become more to you? As a friend they accept you, warts and all, usually from the beginning. In Dating 101, you’re much pickier; sometimes dumping someone for a flaw you should have accepted, would have as a friend, to find out they would have been a great catch later on but you blew it.

The only thing I can say is enjoy your friendship.  Don’t push it along.  Let nature take its course. Not every relationship is meant to take the next step.  Sometimes friendship is wonderful just the way it is and sometimes its better when its more.

Hall Passes

There’s a movie out touting the fun and problems of having a “hall pass” from your spouse or significant other.  Would that be a good idea?

First, You’d have to decide when in your relationship is the best time to schedule something like this.  Would it be at the end of year one, five, seven (year itch), ten, twenty? Then, how long is this “pass” good for? A day, a week? Are there rules? Who are you seeing/sleeping with during that time?  An old fling, an old boyfriend/girlfriend, your spouse’s best friend? What if you decide the grass is greener somewhere else?  Yesterday you were perfectly content the way things were and now…

Why would you want a “hall pass”? Do you have an urge so strong you can’t suppress it?  Are you unhappy with things in your current relationship that a night on the town will cure? Are you cheating and feeling guilty and think if a “hall pass” is granted guilt will disappear? Not that old fashion cheating is ok, but this just sounds like an “open relationship”.  Why set a timeline? Just see who you want all the time. That would be easier and less strategy involved.

What if you enjoyed the “hall pass” so much you didn’t want to go back to your old relationship?  If you’re looking for an excuse to end it, just man-up and end it. Why blame it on the “hall pass”? Are you hoping you’ll find out the grass isn’t greener and the romance will suddenly bounce back into your old relationship. Got some news for you, relationships take work.  Sometimes they aren’t pretty, fun or enjoyable, kind of like your job. Oh, it can be greener somewhere else but there’ll be work there too. Nothing in life is free or easy.

Lastly, can you go back to your relationship after a “hall pass” and take up where you left off?  Don’t you think you’d both be different? Even with permission you cheated.  Heck, they probably did too.  Are you both ok with that? Were any feeling hurt with who you “hall passed” with? Have you learned to appreciate each other or resent each other? Is your relationship more complicated now knowing what you both think you’re missing?

The biggest question is would you have been better off not knowing what you were missing? Maybe you should have taken that time to work on your relationship together instead. Hmmm…things to think about.

Love Over Forty

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. 

Bringing Romance Back Into Your Relationship

Remember the beginning of your relationship?  Every time he walked into the room your stomach did flip-flops.  Just the way she looked at you made you weak in the knees? What happens to that feeling? Where does it go?

Life happens and we start to take each other for granted.  You might have children and they take all your focus.  Or you just get too comfortable with each other: pass gas around each other, share the bathroom at the same time, or just stop wearing makeup while your home.  All these little things make us forget why we fell in love originally.

Remember how you tried to look your best, even when it was time to go to bed? How do you get that back? Are you still in love or just in a routine?

I have seen many couples divorce after many years of marriage because they just don’t have passion for each other.  Are those who are still married, feeling a bit stuck in a rut, settling? Or is love just that way?  Does passion have to end?  It’s such a high and makes you look forward to a new day. Why can’t that be something we feel all the time?

I don’t have the answer.  I wish I did.  Is moving on to a new relationship the answer? Will the passion eventually fizzle out of that one too leaving you to hop to the next? Is passion love? Does love have passion? Hmmm….thoughts to ponder.

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