It seems there are two types of men, regarding relationships with women: the bachelor type and the relationship type. The type becomes apparent when they are young. They either enter into a serious, monogamous, loving relationship or not. Many men decide to just play the field and have fun. Some men decide at some point that they want to “settle down” but are unsuccessful. They either make this decision consciously or subconsciously. Then something happens. They grow old.
Some categories of men over 45 are:
1. Married young(early 20’s); married a long time; now single
2. Married young; divorced within 10 years; single since then
3. Married in 30’s; divorced within 10 years
4. Married in 30’s; married a long time
5. Married in 40’s; married a short time
6. Never married
7. Divorced in 40’s: married one or two very young women after that; now single
8. Married multiple times: 3-6 times
Then we have men over 45 who either still want to “be single”, but want someone to hang around with and have sex with, or have decided they might like to enter into a real, serious, romantic relationship with one woman. The problem is, they don’t know how to do this and have lost their youthful looks and youth. Trying to date these men is difficult because it is hard to figure out which category a man fits into. They are usually not going to tell us. They may now realize they have a problem; now have a track record or divorces; no marriages; short marriages; or non-quality marriages. They may see that they don’t do well in relationships with women. Perhaps all their lives they have focused on money and power, their jobs. Now they want to try to focus on a relationship.
The men who married young and were married a long time and then divorced, often were also focused on jobs, children, growing up, etc.; everything but their romantic relationships. Then 20-30 years later their marriages end, due to neglect, and/or growing up and apart.
For many of us, we simply don’t know how to do romantic relationships, or don’t know the value of loving, romantic relationships. Then one day we wake up and realize this. Some of us never wake up. The bottom line is that we should value loving, committed, wonderful romantic relationships and commit at an early age to learning about relationships, and working on finding them and making them strong. Young and old adults have to pay attention to relationships and be aware daily of making them wonderful and strong. Gone are the days of thinking relationships will develop and thrive on their own, with no giving and work done by us. The only way to get rid of the old and tired beliefs on relationships is to examine your parents’ relationships, read what a quality relationship looks like, and re-parent yourself. No one should go into automatic unless you saw a loving, wonderful relationship between your parents, and learned from it; and if your parents parented you in a loving, strong, kind, peaceful, communicative, instructful, successful way, devoid of teaching you ego, bad values, self-centeredness, taking and not giving, fear, control, and negativity.
So many men over 45 left long, bad marriages and don’t have a clue regarding the underlying causes of the relationship’s failings. Some have never thought about it. Some were so hurt by it that they give up on romantic relationships rather than learn how to do quality relationships. Women then meet men who have been unsuccessful in relationships all their lives. Rather than try to figure out why and which category a man is in, it is easier, and better, to just ask if they are looking for a real, romantic, committed, monogamous relationship. Then ask them to explain what they think that is, and ask if they have done some reading and discussing, relearning, re-parenting. Ask if they feel their parents had a great relationship, and explain that. Then you want to know if they are willing to pay attention to, nurture, become aware of, and work on a relationship. Explain what you mean by this. If they don’t know, or say no, you should walk away. Remember, many men, in their online dating profiles say that they want to be laid back, easy going, have no stress, etc. These men are probably not good candidates for giving attention to, learning about, talking about, planning good relationships. What we want to find out is: are you a relationship person or a confirmed “bachelor type” person? Do you believe quality relationships don’t require any attention, awareness, learning? Do you think you know how to love and be loved?(not talking about sex); What are you looking for in a relationship? What is quality to you?
Many single men have gone through 30-50 years of their lives not thinking about romantic/love relationships, no matter whether they were married or not. Again, they have focused on work, money, power, children’s activities, their good looks and egos, watching other people and trying to be like them( keeping up with the Jones’), etc. Then, we reach 45, and are without our past, and have to re-think our lives. Some people are equipped and eager to do this and some are not. In the dating world, that is the toughest part to find out.
It is also important to keep in mind that some men, after decades of relationship failures, become emotionally or mentally ill, or emotionally unavailable. Women will also need to figure this out when dating. It is not easy. For instance, one disorder is sexual addiction. These men thrive on attracting and “catching” women, and having new and exciting sex with them (whether the men are married or not). Usually once they have “won” them, they move on to their next conquest. The only way these men “feel” is when having sex. They cannot “love”. Also, feel-good chemicals and hormones are released during sex, acting much like a drug to sexual addicts. Attracting and conquering women boosts their egos. They are ego dependent. It shows(they think) that they are very attractive, know how to “win”, that they are talented, and better than other men. They do not respect women. They need to have new women oohing and aahing over them. This disorder is also not easy to uncover.
Finally, there are reasons that single people over 45 have not been successful in romantic relationships. It is important not to look at “end results”, or the final reasons people list as the “reason our marriage broke up”, or the “reason our relationship ended”. Keep in mind that just because a person was married for 20 years does not mean that they were ever good at relationships. If you were married for 20 years and never discussed your relationship, didn’t take time, every now and then to review the past, and talk about the future with your partner, to talk about all the things you appreciate about them, etc., you probably did not have a good relationship. It is more important to look at the big picture. Why has a man never been successful at relationships? What effect has it had on him? Are faithful, romantic relationships important to him? Has he become self-aware and wanting to learn how to do it “right”?
Couples can decide just to co-exist together: provide companionship and sex. But the fact that long marriages end after many years of doing this, shows that humans are not happy with a romantic relationship that never becomes a real, loving, fulfilling relationship after the honeymoon period is over. We want more. Evolved and complex humans are capable of great love, great intellectual and emotional stimulation, great affection and touching, great things, great relationships. But first we have to be aware, thinking, feeling, and self-actualized humans. We are capable of learning how to do things, move past instincts and fight and flight, and fear, discussing things, learning from each other, thinking about unhealthy pasts, and breaking cycles of unhealthy pasts, and evolving to be higher functioning, healthier and happier humans. We can and should re-parent ourselves. Humans are capable of using all resources available to them to learn and grow, and to seek out those resources. Unevolved humans don’t do those things. They don’t think about their relationships or seek to learn more, discuss with others, and seek out resources. They don’t seek to experience life at a grander and fuller level. Most of our higher level learning and growing should occur after the age of 21: learning about life, love, and fulfillment. When we kick into automatic, do what’s easy, get lazy with life, we are no better than lower level animals. We are not using the gifts our creator gave us. It starts with, “I want to do this.”
It is hard to understand how men go to work and talk about the past successes and failures, strategically plan for the future, and discuss improvement, quality, etc., but do not do this with their romantic relationships at home. It has to do with attitude, beliefs, values, lack of examination of values, lack of skills. It also has to do with how they were parented and what they saw their parents’ relationship as; their attitude towards authority figures, talking through problems, control issues, etc. Linda dated a man who, when they had a fight, refused to discuss it and work through it. Issues were never discussed. He said that discussing issues in relationships reminded him of going to the principal’s office. Somehow he transposed talking with an authority figure as being the same as talking with a romantic partner; saw it the same way. As a teen, he was parented poorly: thus never learned how to discuss his behavior, thoughts, feelings, etc. Punishment was used on him rather than discipline. He feared talking and thinking about himself. Men like this are able to talk about themselves and promote themselves at work because it is ego talking. They feel skilled in talking about their work. But talking about themselves at home, with a partner, is leaving ego, and talking about your heart, mind, soul, dreams, values regarding love, communication, etc. This man was a lawyer and his job was to talk, argue, help his clients. But he was unable to help himself and his relationships; unable to talk about them. For him communicating involved arguing, talking without being interrupted(control) (not knowing how to “discuss”), trying to win, being right, competing. He never learned how to communicate with a woman; a romantic partner, except about sex. With men he discussed his job, sports, sex, and women’s bodies. The only things he read about women were girly magazines. That teens and young adults never learn to talk about being healthy socially, emotionally, life, people, successful behavior, and relationship skills, is sad. We must learn to value healthy relationships and quality parenting.