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Interesting article about dating
February 4, 2005
1:46 pm
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on my way
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Found this article:

Dear Rachel,
I started dating a fantastic guy two months ago. He is 49 and never married. All my friends warned me that there must be something wrong with him. How can a man reach that age and not have found his mate? My friends tossed around all the usual possibilities as they guessed what could be wrong with him: Is he a commitment-phobe? Is he emotionally unavailable? Is he a mama’s boy? Is he a workaholic? Is he gay? Nevertheless, I started dating him and find him to be warm, attentive, kind, funny, and we have great chemistry. However, I can’t get my friends’ warnings out of my head. I’ve asked him in a roundabout way why he’s still single, and he told me that he just hasn’t found the right person yet. Is that possible, or is my relationship doomed?
- Julie in Pittsburgh

Dear Julie,
Your friends’ guessing game sounds very jaded and cynical. Let me guess: your friends are all single and have been hurt before by a man who didn’t commit to them? It’s natural to be jaded and cynical when you’ve been “burned” before by an older single guy (as your friends may have been), but that is a terrible cycle that you must resist. If you take a risk on loving someone whose profile is “suspect,” and it doesn’t work out, try very hard not to get cynical about love and wary about taking chances. No one is attracted to a jaded and cynical person, and no one ever finds their mate by standing on the sidelines and avoiding risky situations. It becomes a bad cycle.

Of course I’ve heard all the stereotypes of the “never-married older guys” and seen many cases where those labels have proven true. But I have also seen many cases (and attended weddings!) where a genuinely wonderful man has simply not found the right woman yet, and rather than settle, or marry someone only to get divorced later, he has waited. And the same holds true for never-married older women, obviously!

You should also consider that priorities change for people over time. While he may have been “afraid of commitment” in the past, or a “workaholic,” he may have reached an age now where he realizes that he wants a commitment and family and all the ensuing benefits. Especially when he meets someone who makes him feel that way. Sometimes it’s like a switch just gets flipped and that “terminal bachelor” walks down the aisle to everyone’s surprise. Whatever the real reason about why he is still single, you should allow for the possibility that attitudes and priorities can change over time.

Should you stay in a relationship more than six months with a 49-year-old man who doesn’t demonstrate with actions that he is serious about you? No. Should you be cautious and look for warning signs that he is a terminal bachelor? Yes. Should you have honest conversations about his past relationships and feelings about marriage now? Absolutely. But should you stay away from a wonderful man simply because his age and marital status are “suspect?” Definitely not.

February 4, 2005
2:06 pm
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sugarmagnolia
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Hmmm....being from Pittsburgh, I know where the friends are coming from. This is the kind of town where you get married at a young age (before or out of college), raise babies a year or two later and expect to be with your first mate the rest of your life. It's a very traditional, family oriented-type area. So the friends are saying...49!! What the h3ll is wrong with him??
People there are kind of in a time-warp. Not that that's bad, or not that it's everybody there.

I'm very non-traditional in how I see life. I don't even think I want to get married or have kids. Many women in my family have done just that and are quite happy. But I dated a guy that didn't quite understand where I was coming from because he was a meat and potato, family-man all the way.

Maybe this guy has come close many times, but didn't find the right woman. You never know the whole story but love is love. He may fall head over heals for you, and you too might end up getting married.

AND it might be better that he's older. Maybe he got everything out of his system and now knows completely what he wants.

February 4, 2005
2:16 pm
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kathygy
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My concern is not that he's never been married but his lack of insight into why beyond not having found the right person. There's a reason he hasn't found the right person. Could be fears about relationships that he could've overcome. But I would want a man who knows himself better than that.

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