Not Just Another Auld Lang Syne

New Years Eve 004How does one look back on a year such as mine?  Three years ago, I ventured out into one of the scariest places I think I’ve ever been.  Post divorce, 40-something, straddled with debt that wasn’t all mine, looking forward to fewer years to earn back the losses than I had behind me.  While many would say I look good for my age, the fact that they had to add the phrase “for my age” said it all.  I was divorced, single with more children than most, struggling to avoid bankruptcy, and wondering how I was going to pay the bills and put food on the table.  I was frightened.  I was destitute. I was humiliated and ashamed.  I was alone.  To make things better, I blew an engine on one car, and dropped the rear differential out of another.  I had no credit, no cash, no clue what an engine or a rear differential was, and nowhere to turn.  I was terrified.  I wondered, often, how and if I was going to survive.  I was also 40-something and it was only a matter of time before the aging process we all must eventually succumb to, became no longer disguisable. Further, I still had children at home, lots of them, and would probably retire (if that was still even a possibility for me) with them at home.  Not exactly the formula for finding someone to spend your golden years with before you actually get to your golden years. Continue reading

Dating and Deception-That’s What She Said

j0402640 Yesterday’s post dealt with truth in dating. While much of what I described happens to both men and women in dating, yesterday’s post was decidedly from the female perspective and slanted pretty heavily toward men and the deceptions they tend to employ, if they employ them, when dating. However, I’ll be the first to admit, that men face their share of unhappy experiences and boatloads of deceptive practices when dating too. I know this because they tell me so or they have, when I dated them. Seems that when it comes to dating and deception, it’s an equal opportunity venture.

Women are just as guilty as men of deception. They just deceive differently. For example, there’s the very common practice of fudging on the number of years we’ve actually roamed the earth. Early on in my Post-40 World dating experience I corresponded with an individual who told me that he actually met a woman who said her age was somewhere in the 40’s but when they met, it was evident to him that she hadn’t seen 40 anything for a few decades.  He ended the date instantaneously and (the best part) she seemed stunned.  And this is only one of many, many experiences I’ve heard that men encounter when dating online.

Personally, the day I feel tempted to lie about my age is the day I hang it all up for good.  I just can’t do that.  It is unfair and dishonest.

Do women who do this honestly think that the men they meet are going to be totally impressed when they finally see that they’ve been lied to all along? Further, what kind of foundation does this build for any kind of meaningful authentic relationship?  My guess is, and please, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but my guess is it erodes relationship before it even begins.

j0422266I’ve been told that women lie about their weight, but personally, I don’t get that because I know weight doesn’t tell you much of anything and can give you a really bad impression.  Most guys would die if they knew that that cute hottie they are pursuing online actually sports a 145 on the scale instead of a 119, but fits nicely into a size 8.   But if she cropped her pic so it just revealed her face and then touted the number 145, what the heck do you think the response would be? Yeah, on the other hand, the fact that a woman even looks like a size 8 online is probably guarantee enough that no guy is asking that woman what she weighs.  It becomes an insult to ask what a woman weighs.  After all that’s not on the dating questionnaires.

While women are less inclined to lie about their marital status (I think, I don’t know this for sure), this doesn’t mean women are exempt from misrepresenting themselves.  On one hand it is understandable.  We all want to present ourselves in the best light possible.  After all, isn’t that what make up, hair products, deodorant and designer jeans are all about? But when we step over the line of presenting ourselves in the best possible light to recreating a fictional imaginary self, then this is, in my mind, crossing a line.

Personally, I’m all about full disclosure.

j0422190 In fact, I recently, even as I was writing this was called upon to disclose some very awkward and deeply humiliating aspects of my own personal past. It is a past that I am  ashamed of and will never be able to erase.  It is a past I regret and will spend the rest of my days trying to help people avoid in their own lives.  While full disclosure was not comfortable for me (I totally would have loved to have not had a conscience and been able to justify minimizing or reinventing my past), I told the truth and all of it.  It totally sucked.  I might never hear from this person again and this is a person I completely respect and admire.  But I am committed to being different than I was and I am committed to being vulnerable, transparent, with nothing to hide.  It might cost me any number of friendships or romantic interests to come and my past, quite frankly might eliminate me from the experience of any real lasting, meaningful, connected relationship with the opposite sex, but at least I can go to sleep at night knowing that the other person made a decision about me based on fact and not on supposition and not on an inadequate amount of data.  

And that, quite frankly, is how I prefer to do life, because in the end, I’m never going to enjoy quality relationship where the foundation is based on misrepresentation and inadequate data.  If the entire point in dating is to get to know people in hopes of someday developing a relationship based on intimacy then full disclosure (at the right time and in the right manner to the right people) becomes important.

I want the real deal.  I want authentic, meaningful, connected relationship when trust is the foundation and transparency and vulnerability the cornerstones.  If that can’t be had then give me the single life.  It is much more convenient anyway.