How to Avoid the #1 Reason We Give Up on Love After 40

Date LIke a Grownup

When you’re 50 and waiting for a 55 year old man to call, and he doesn’t…it’s not your grownup woman who freaks out and feels like crap. It’s your 18 year old rearing her ugly head.

Rejection during the dating phase most often comes in the form of never getting another call. We can talk about the character of a man who just never calls again, but that’s not really important. Because really…if he’s the kind of man who will go out with you several times, share personal stories (and even intimacy), and then not have the maturity to tell you that he is moving on — well, we don’t really want to waste any time on him. (If you haven’t already, read my post about why rejection can be good for you.)

But what about when he just doesn’t call when you expect him to? You know what I mean: He usually calls within one or two days of a date, but this time it’s been four or maybe even five days, and you haven’t heard from him. When this happens, what are you doing? Are you living your life, patiently waiting and assuming he’s busy and focused elsewhere?

Or are you going through all the reasons why he may not be calling that make it your “fault” or make him a jerk? Are you trying to find the moment on your last date where you should have seen it or gotten the hint? The moment where you may have said something “wrong”, or maybe you didn’t agree to go back to his place, or maybe you thought you weren’t so attentive as you should have been? Are you wondering whether you should call him? Are you preparing yourself to be dumped?

If you do any or all of these things, there’s a good chance your fantasy of being rejected may come true. Yes, I said fantasy. Granted, there are times when it will be true; he’s not calling because he’s moved on. But also, in the world of dating grownup men, the responsibilities of an adult man may be real and excusable.How many times have you gone through these gesticulations only to find out he had a big proposal due or he went away for a couple days to see his sick parents in Omaha?

Let’s say two days go by and he hasn’t called. After the third day you start the conversation with yourself about all the possibilities; the fourth day you start feeling disappointed about the impending breakup; and by the fifth, you’ve convinced yourself that it’s over. With that comes the decision that you don’t want him in your life anyway.

On Day 5 he calls. He’s nailed that big proposal and won the account. He wants to go celebrate. Problem is, you’re hurt and pissed at him. And now you’re in complete protection mode. You’ve already decided it’s over, or at minimum that he’s a rude man who should have called and didn’t.

So…you act accordingly. You put on that “I don’t need you”-“No one is going to treat me this way”-“I thought I liked you but now I know better” attitude. You act a little cold: a little standoffish.

He gets wind of it. He can’t figure out what’s up. He assumes you’re not so interested as you were. Maybe you met someone else. He backs off a little. (After all, no one wants to be rejected.) You see his backing off as confirmation that you were right about him. You close up more. Ta-da! The downward spiral has begun. What you have imagined in your mind as you waited for him to call has come true.

Unless the two of you have great communication and you can talk this through, dating this man will likely never turn into a meaningful relationship. This conversation is the beginning of the end. (I suppose if you had great communication, none of this would have happened in the first place, right?)

There is nothing wrong with being hopeful and excited. But having expectations beyond what has actually been promised…that is almost always a recipe for disappontment, whether real or self created.

Instead, I recommend you live your great life and, until any commitments or promises are made, stay in the moment with him. As I say: Discover Don’t Decide until you truly know him well. That, girlfriend, is the best recipe for fending off your 18 year old.

So, what’s your story? Have you ever imagined things that haven’t yet happened or ‘gone down the rabbit hole’ only to find out that you made it all up? What’s your story?

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