25 Aug Finding Romance Online–Do Age and Maturity Matter?
I read the book, Murder As a Fine Art by David Morrell (affiliate link), recently and was enthralled with the literary flavor of this thriller. Set in Victorian England, Emily is not your typical young woman. She refuses to wear a corset and has chosen to wear bloomers under a loose dress rather than the conventional hooped, heavily draped dresses. At age 21 she is comfortable speaking her mind and taking charge, in a firm yet gentle way. In the story she ends up assisting two policemen, one a young man her age, the other, significantly older.
A question in the interview with the author asks which of the two men might make a better romantic match for the young woman. And, for some reason that question stuck with me. Here’s how I would have answered the question had I been the author. An intelligent woman, of any age, thoughtful and comfortable with her life, would naturally seek out an equally confident and balanced partner. She would want to be appreciated, which both a younger and older man might do, not just for her physical looks but for all she brings to a relationship–wit, intelligence, strength, self-confidence, and a willingness to speak up for her beliefs. She wouldn’t want an insecure man, or someone who wanted to reshape her or exert his control. She might find that acceptance from a man of any age but one could argue that an older man would feel less comfortable with a woman who was so free-spirited and independent. Emily might enjoy the youthful police officer, but I suspect a relationship with the older man would provide a more satisfying experience.
When looking for a partner, friend, or lover what is it we want? We might want the whole package or we might just want to focus on one thing. Lawyers might prefer lawyers; librarians, only librarians, widows might prefer widows/widowers. Individuals with specific sexual preferences, kinks or fetishes, will want to find a partner who feels similarly.
In some ways we are looking for a peer. I think our needs and expectations change with age and experience. What we want in a partner at age 30 might not be what we’re looking for at age 60. There are no rules, which makes dating more fun and more challenging at the same time.
If I were Emily, the young woman in the story, I would be drawn to the older detective. His age and experience give him a richness that a naive young 21-year-old wouldn’t possess. And, if he is attracted to her, in spite of her extremely unconventional behavior, then he has the wisdom and openness that would add nuance to a relationship. But, because he’s an older man does that mean the sex (moving away from 1894 England) might be more challenging? Would he suffer from possible erectile issues due to aging? Well, suppose sex isn’t on the top of your list of desirable qualities for a relationship? Or maybe you understand that sex is more than just intercourse and that a strong intellect and emotional connection enhances any level of sexual connection-regardless of age or ability.The author doesn’t go there with Emily. The book ends with a budding friendship with both police officers. It may be an ending or an opening for a follow-up book. We don’t know.
It’s that way with relationships, we don’t know what awaits us. The best course of action when dating is to be open to the widest range of experiences. It’s important to realize that what we want may not come in the traditional package, or at the time we expect it. I’m pondering this right now because I’m on 6 dating sites. Yes, you heard that right- SIX. I’m writing a dating review article for a client and felt it would be important to go through the sign-up process, upload a photo and fill out the profiles in order to assess ease of use for people over 60. I’m not active on any of them, outside of OKCupid, and as a nonpaying member that’s no way for me to contact anyone on the other 5 sites. But I’m getting inundated by messages from the online dating sites luring me to check out all the wonderful men who are waiting to meet me. I’m thinking about this dating process in a new way and wondering how people really figure things out.
One of the sites tells me I have 33 messages–it’s the site where I have the least information-no photo, no profile data. All these 33 eager men know is that I’m a white 60-year-old female living in Virginia. My admirers are from all corners of the US and are clearly taking the ‘try anything’ approach to dating. I’m not sure that this tidbit applies to the current article, but it’s a fascinating aspect of the dating game in today’s online world. Maybe finding love was much simpler back in the ‘old days’.