I have a female friend who dates, but doesn’t date. She is happy being alone, yet she goes out on dates from time to time. Some of the results are hilarious, as they tend to be in the world of dating in your 50’s.
Her biggest ‘bug’ is the insistence, on the part of the men, that she change HER schedule to fit theirs. She had been (I say ‘had’ because I am not sure of the current status here) seeing a man she liked very much. He had the some of the same interests she has. He was helpful, kind, he liked her the way she is now (not the way she might look with a few pounds gone), he mentored her, had intellect to match hers, he wined and dined her. She was happy seeing him. All was wonderful.
Until her schedule changed.
Her job became more demanding. She became involved in her community and politics. HE became a bit grumpy and whined that she was too busy. He almost demanded she change her schedule to suit him.
As she told me this, she also asked why did it have to be so hard. Why did it seem the woman was the one who had give up things to make time for the man? Why didn’t the man have give up any his activities? She was tired of it. Tired of demands being made on her to bend, scrunch and fold into a mold she did not wish to fit into. Tired of being told how to arrange her life to suit someone who doesn’t even share her household. She sat a minute and sighed. It was seemed so perfect, she said. Right up until she did the things she wanted to do. Why? Why are relationships so freaking hard?
I told her if things were this tough, then this not the man for you. When you find the right man for you, your lives will mesh together. His life and yours will come together because you both want the same thing. Adjustments will be made on both sides. Some activities will cease, others will be cut back and new ones will blossom. You will work it all out. It will not seem so difficult.
I got to thinking about this because of my own new relationship. I thought about how in the past, I tried my darndest to be what ‘he’ wanted me to be. Or to be what I saw my mother being. I can’t do that. I can’t twist, turn, scrunch and shimmy into something I am not. I lose. My kids lose. My S.O. loses. It is not a good situation. In fact, it sucks. Everyone ends up miserable.
My new S.O. ‘Luke’ (yes, Luke of ‘Best First Date Ever’) likes me the way I am. I am skinny enough, pretty enough and smart (arse) enough. He treats as if I am a queen. He makes me laugh. He holds my hand when we are out. He is happy to be seen with me. He cuddles up close when we are home just watching a movie. And he remembers my likes and dislikes (I know! I know!).
Because he lives in the next town over, we don’t see each other much during the work week. But we talk all the time via texts, chats and the like. We share our day. How things are going, or maybe not going. Funny things we saw or heard. All the little things that make up a work day.
It should be work, all this apart time, but it doesn’t feel like work.
With the up coming holidays, both of our jobs are becoming more demanding. We will both be busier and more tired. We have already wondered how we will handle it all. Weekends may become work days. Our down time together will be cut in to smaller bits. We have to make changes to accommodate the busier schedules. We both have wondered how we will do this.
Me? I’m not worried. Luke and I will work through it. We may hit a bump or two, but we’ll manage. Why?
Because we mesh.