What Is Everyone So Afraid Of?
It was so much easier to jump in with two feet when we were young. You saw someone you liked, you moved closer, started a conversation that maybe led to a date. It was easy to laugh and have fun together. The end game was fairly clear. You wanted to get to know each other well enough to see if you could be compatible for some sort of long haul whether it was marriage or just a long term relationship. We had yet to be scarred by failure or loss in the game of love.
So many baby boomers easily followed this progression after the examples set by their parents. We got married in our twenties, started families before our biological clocks timed out, and often got divorced or separated when things got difficult. That was the part of the path that was in stark contrast to our parent’s. While less than 20% of couples who married in 1950 ended up divorced, about 50% of couples who married in 1970 did.
With the rise in divorce came a boom in dating sites and services geared toward helping middle aged people couple up. Anyone who has tried this will tell you the process is fraught with scams, liars, and a general difficulty in finding genuine connections.
The process can and does work sometimes. For myself, I get the sense that almost all of us in this game are deeply fearful of forging the kind of connection we are supposedly searching for. We have loved and lost somewhere along the way and carry on with guarded hearts thinking we can protect ourselves from pain. All too often I have seen connections stall just at the point of becoming real. In the course of conversations which build rapport with someone they disintegrate or flatly disappear when one or the other party tries to pull the other closer by suggesting an actual meeting.
At the end of the day, I think hope springs eternal for most of us and we continue to at least dip our toes in if we can’t jump in with both feet the way we did when we were young.
Thank you for reading :)