Pool Noodle

The great thing about being a student in university is having many opportunities and ways in which to meet new intriguing people and a possible potential lover; and this got me comparing student dating life style to that of my parents, “the older generation”.

Having witnessing my parent’s divorce and how each of them attempted to get back on the horse afterwards, I was struck by how difficult it was for them. Not only did they not have half as many opportunities as me but they were preoccupied with work and trying to make a living, and at that age (50-60), you are coming home from work exhausted, the last thing that’s on you’re mind is having to converse with another human. Its effort.

Let’s say you did (at the age of about 50) happen to meet your potential future lover, he/she is bound to come along with emotional baggage, a periodic lifestyle and there’s a good chance they have offspring. My dad started dating this woman who had a son about 7 years old. Luckily for my dad’s girlfriend she never really had to deal with me because I was 18 and on my own mission. I wish I could say the same for my dad. 7 year olds need attention, they are hyper, annoying, loud and high maintenance.

Long story short, my dad naturally being in the relationship for the long run would be expected to take on the role of being somewhat of a fatherly figure.  But inevitably down the line parenting values and beliefs start to clash, time for just the two of them becomes scarce and that grounding of understanding and appreciation for each other that comes before having kids is non existent. When you’re that age it’s also harder to adapt and change for your significant other. You’re pretty much stubbornly stuck in your ways and are convinced you know who you are, what you want and what’s best for you.

As if things weren’t hard enough, she now wanted to adopt a child. My dad has already had to deal and parent me for 19 years, and as fun filled and eventful as that was for him, he is not going to want to relive that experience again at that age of 50.  At least I was his own flesh and blood, so he has a general idea of how to handle my nonsense. But she went through with the adoption nonetheless, and they attempted to make it work but I’m sure you can guess that they didn’t succeed.

The tragic truth is, no matter how much of independent person you are or how content you are with just being by yourself, no one really wants to die alone. Growing old in itself is an ugly, lonely process.  If I was to put myself into my parents’ slippers and go through that heartbreak and a painful divorce, I definitely wouldn’t be enthusiastic at the thought of jumping into the dating pool. I’d most likely drown. So without having to sound like a complete cheese ball, I am going to slap some cheddar on this meaningful sandwich. This is me throwing you a metaphorical pool noodle to attempt to stay afloat. Despite my bitter approach to love, I am actually a hopeless romantic and so I do believe if you are open to it, you will attract the right people into your life, no matter what age you are. There are an increasing number of middle-aged love seekers out there; you just have to find a companion that carries the same branded baggage as you do.

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