Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Passion vs. Companionship Compromise

Sad, but true.  On OK Cupid, after 26, older men are significantly more appealing to same-age singles.
Here's my reply in response to yet another (one of hundreds over the past 5 years of being on online dating sites) missive from a mature lady unhappy with the upper age limit I posted on a dating profile....
Dear X,

Thanks for taking the time to write! 

The problem for single adults is not so much about looks/age so much as it is online dating's shortcomings as an effective tool for meeting others.  It makes it so easy to 'click-delete' on the basis of the 'age box' or the impression (largely false) of how appealing one comes across in a few photos.  My ex of 13 years is now 38 and I left her when she was 32, so I've never matured alongside of a woman I loved who was any older than 32 (much less who I'd had kids with).  Having dated several women in their early 40's, I can admit that both the visual and tactile changes that take place are tough to 'appreciate,' never having gotten used to them gradually over the years. Add to that the fact that human males are pre-programmed to be visual and tactile creatures attracted to females of peak child-bearing health (18-28) and the deck is definitely stacked against mature women, sadly -- despite their more appealing intellectual and emotional maturity/stability.  (And I happen to fall into the 32% of males -- see chart at bottom -- who exclusively date younger women.  My bad!)

What the majority of women out there, who are all first and foremost social and emotional creatures (NOT visual and tactile first, as men are), have such trouble grasping as they age ("But you agreed to 'till death do us part'!!!") is that men's brain wiring does not evolve and become 'age appropriate' over the years the way that women's brain wiring seems to (at ANY age women have the capacity to fall genuinely in love with less-than-Prince-Charming-looking men for other reasons).  The things that men find irresistible in women is the same at 75 as it was at 15.  As their partners age, their ability to 'perform' based upon the visual and tactile stimulation they're presented with diminishes, sadly, but inevitably, and Cialis/Viagra are a real boon due to this issue.  Husbands love their wives as much as ever, but the  frequency and intensity of sex decreases for most.  (Interestingly, recent research has proven that women tend to lose sexual interest in their partners slowly but steadily over the course of a long-term relationship.  This phenomenon is an evolutionary safeguard that helps keep human partnerships stable/happy over the long-term.)

What is enormously frustrating to we men, who recognize we no longer really want girls of 18-28 years of age due to their emotional immaturity, nor even young women of 29-39 due to the differences in our life experience, is the astoundingly high percentage of online profile of newly divorced women of 39-49 (something magical does occur at 50 and women tend to lower their expectations) who state upfront (really, in the first sentence) that "This time around I won't settle for less than Superman in bed and Clark Kent in both our relationship and his with my kids from my first marriage (who mean, of course, EVERYTHING to me!)".  YIKES!  At a time when we men know that their figures are not going to be as stimulating as we'd like (and therefore our performance will be sub-optimal), they are DEMANDING that we find them as 'hot' as they were 10-20 years ago, as well as dealing with their kids! 

How do we bridge this gender-based divide?  Compromise.  Not a simple thing for human males and females to arrive at, but the reality is that mature men are eager to have companionship, but the sexual desire/performance/frequency women came to expect from their partners years ago is not going to be repeated in most cases.  As Lori Gottlieb advocates, "settle for Mr. Good Enough"!  (link to my earlier post) 
Keep 'putting it out there', X, via this odd online tool, but the only way adults can meet effectively is in person, so try to have coffee/drinks as quickly and often as possible and get out there and find ways to circulate.  Online dating should only be one of your socializing tools -- too often we get addicted to it and rely upon it exclusively and non-stop for far too long.  ;-)

Best, Kevin
Check out this blog post for "The Case for Older Women" (click for link).

NOTE TO YOU LADIES NEW TO ONLINE DATING:  There are some lads out there with a distinct predilection for older women (see 17% in chart below) and keep in mind that the vast majority of those males are talking about a FEW years older, not a decade or two.  With a constant source of newly divorced targets via online dating sites, a very small number of these guys have a LOT of sex with a LOT of much older, newly-singled women. 

Notice that I'm not saying 'relationships' with older women, just sex.  They've become VERY good at seduction and if you're into a one-night-stand-ego-boost with these very busy fetishists, go for it!  Just remember that, no matter what they tell you, these no-charge gigolos have been with many, many partners -- insist on protection.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lori Gottlieb's "Just Settle" Theory of Romance is Dead Wrong (But Probably Right)

I have yet another new dating theory, one that is especially relevant to the starry-eyed females out there who insist that they will settle for no less than Superman and Clark Kent in one package (another of my popular posts in the sidebar) and that is that, if the key to outstanding sexual compatibility it both elusive pheromones (that happen to be opposite in regard to MHC -- link) and the luck of running into someone who happens to be very compatible with regard to ‘sexual technique’ (which can be learned/taught, but that requires staying together through that process), then the fantasy of running into a potential partner ‘by luck’ with whom appearance alone (love at first sight) is quite patently ridiculous.

Why? Because if what these women (not YOU, of course ;-) who I call "Prince Charming Seekers" are really after is a very deep and instinctual connection in terms of compatibility on both love-making AND psychological factors (sense of humour, intelligence, temperament, etc.), then appearance is not actually high up on their list.  What IS of crucial importance to these ‘Seekers of Prince Charming’ (all of us, really) is finding out whether the pheromones are right (which requires intimacy WITHOUT perfumes/deodorants — and that usually does not happen until after the significant time/energy investment of multiple dates) AND (again) until after the significant time/energy investment of multiple dates (which are necessary to gradually learn about the psychological factors).

In other words, in order NOT to waste a lot of time dating only to find out that the intimate compatibility is lacking, we should be (you’re going to smell a male rat here, but that is not at all my intent) having as much intimacy with as many potential partners as possible -- and NOT based solely upon their looks (although I think body shape is a very significant factor for most people), but rather upon how ‘sexy’ we find them.  Kissing and ‘clutching’ (being in very close physical contact with each other) is really the only way these mysterious physical compatibility factors get revealed.   Most adult singles have forgotten this.

Back to my ongoing point (sort of), online dating does not reveal things like how an individual moves, or how confident they are in the way they carry themselves, only face to face dating reveals those things. If we were all having many, many dates, rather than attempting to winnow the prospects down through artificial (and NOT advantageous) means via online dating sites, if we were all “getting jiggy with it” with more people (at least to the point of kissing and ‘clutching’), we’d be gradually getting closer to meeting a potential GREAT match.

Recently I met a very attractive mature woman who is just 9 years younger than I am (yes, I tend to aim younger still as my ex of 13 years was over 17 years younger) who I would have flat out rejected on the basis (age box) of her profile alone in years gone by, but because I have been opening up to this new theory of mine this past year I started agreeing to go out for a drink with any woman who’s figure appeared to be my ‘type'.  I then went ahead with ‘canoodling’ with any one of those dates who seemed to be interested in doing so (in the past if I wasn't starry-eyed by about 5 minutes in I'd politely exit stage right) regardless of whether their personality was less than 'scintillating' or the conversation was less than engaging.

I found most weren't of any further interest to me (NO! I was not having ‘one night stands’!) on the 'mystery pheromonal' front and/or technique front (i.e. "Is she/he a good dancer/kisser?'). THIS one particular woman, however, was like a dream come true. From the first touch of her arm to the first time her shoulder slipped under my armpit on the couch, there was magic and fireworks!  Further intimacy only proved this to be completely true — but the reality was it was there from that first embrace and tentative kiss.  Later dates only proved that, while she is a bit too shy for me on the psychological front, her overall ‘package’ is highly compatible with mine, and mine with hers (understanding that we all have to compromise to maintain relationships).

Sadly it didn't work out for other reasons (she is no longer living in my home town and there is no such thing as a functional long-distance relationship for any adults who crave companionship and intimacy), but it did prove to me that we all would do well to remember WHY we used to neck with anyone we found "sufficiently attractive and willing", it was not simple 'horniness', it was 'shopping'.  We were searching for the initial signs/signals of compatibility of pheromones and technique to begin the 'bonding process', the release of oxytocin into our brains gradually and repeatedly that leads to us feeling 'attached' to another human being.

Without A) finding, through trial and error, that mysterious physical/pheromonal compatibility first to start the intimate bonding process we cannot get to B) gradually uncovering the psychological compatibility.  Our starry-eyed notions that we can do this in reverse, first become 'friends', then later check for compatibility on the intimacy front (or worse, by reading a bunch of questionably true details in an online profile), leads to so many mature, post-divorce single women demanding Superman and Clark Kent in one package.  Without that intimate connection upfront, this cynic doesn't believe you are likely to find 'fireworks' waiting for you on date #6 (or whenever you get there)!

The reason I dragged Lori Gottlieb's theory ("Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough", based upon what her research into fellow single women revealed about their shared 'universal list' of 300 criteria that needed to be 'right' before agreeing to a second date) into my title is that I believe there is something to be said for NOT 'just settling' for a nice, Clark Kent type of guy because "the wild 'bonding' sex doesn't last all that long in any new relationship anyway", but rather settle for getting intimate on Date Two with even the average-appealing guys (girls) in order to find out whether or not you might find a deeper compatibility with them on the intimacy front.  What's very important, however, is that the intimacy does not involve alcohol or other stimulants.  You have to know if it is real and mutual, not just a baser need being satisfied.

More on the Superman vs. Clark Kent issue here.

I've been fortunate (callow?) enough to have had a lot of intimate experience in my life, AND to have found real, true love a few times (never quite the same twice).  In my experience, and that of others with a lot of experience, finding that amazing intimate connection, the compatibility in the area of both pheromones and technique, is rare.  And it is rare with the people we actually get intimate with!  In other words, there are tons of people we are attracted to, but most of them don't agree to get intimate with us.  Out of the few who do, it is only about 5% who turn out to share that amazing, mind-blowing, Superman and Lois Lane type of magic in bed.  And it does not go away.  That compatibility lasts a lifetime, even if the individuals drive each other nuts and they break up.  Finding (or making -- learning how to be a good partner) a way to stay together requires even rarer compatibility and compromise.  I've been willing to hold out and wait for it, and then try to compromise, maybe most people should just "Settle for Mr./Ms. Good Enough"!  ;-)

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