As we get older and wiser, dating should get easier, but I'm not sure it ever really does. If you're a senior (65 or older), this book may be particularly useful to figure out what's changed and what's the same old story.
If you're divorced, it's a good idea to keep your kids in the dark for as long as possible. Don't wait until the wedding or the funeral, but reading the section on single parent dating applies regardless of the age of the "child."
If you're widowed, don't be surprised to find your offspring fairly resistant to a new date. When it comes to our parents, we're kinda frozen in amber. If Mom and Dad can't be together, then the survivor can be a living monument to how things used to be. Besides, if Mom or Dad is dating, they may be having sex . . . yech. . . .
If you've never been married, ask yourself why not and what you're looking for now (see Part I for information on how to find out about yourself and what you want).
There are several huge advantages to senior dating:
1 Women don't have to worry about getting pregnant.
1 Men don't have to worry about borrowing the family car.
i You don't have to ask your parents what time you have to be home (although you may end up answering to your kids).
1 You don't have to worry about your braces locking when you kiss (although you may have to worry about your canes knocking).
1 Long-term commitment has a whole different meaning.
1 You can shop together for eternal housing — a really long-term commitment.
1 You don't have to worry what religion to raise the kids in.
How people date has changed radically through the years. Chaperones and arranged marriages are things of the past. Dating a number of people simultaneously until you could focus on one has become much less popular due to time involvement and sexual issues focusing on easily trans-mittable and potentially fatal diseases.
The idea of dating one person for awhile until you either marry or find a reason to move on has become much more common than at any other time in human history. While having some obvious health advantages, serial dating has much more room for intensity that can be difficult in the early days of getting to know someone, lethargy about moving on when faced with the daunting task of starting over, and mixed and incompatible messages about the future of any particular situation.
If I ran the dating world, I would have males and females hang out in groups for long periods of time without pairing off. Once the pairings began, I would encourage multiple pairings (not necessarily sexual) to allow knowledge of each other as well as self to proceed with little pressure to "decide." Because of the emphasis on commitment (prematurely as far as I'm concerned), if things aren't going swimmingly, there is a tendency to move on to the next relationship rather than the next stage of a relationship or to remain in a relationship that has become static, because moving on is not possible and moving out seems too scary and uncertain.
Serial dating is moving on to the next person rather than the next stage. Simultaneous dating allows more time with less intensity to explore who each of you is and what each of you wants as long as the relationships are not sexual until both partners are prepared for commitment and exclusivity. This more restrained approach allows for self-awareness, friendship, trust, and compatibility to precede sexual involvement.
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