L.I.L.- Love, Illusion, and Longing

 

Separated, then divorced, children grown, in mid-life (to describe it diplomatically), I realized one day that I had spent almost six years of my life on line. I had had numerous encounters—educational, entertaining, disconcerting–multiple coffee dates, several relationships, but had not found a partner. (Although there had been a few memorable near misses and false alarms).

Nonplussed by the realization, I decided to stop searching and start writing.

L.I.L. is one woman’s dispatches from the front line and her commentaries on the journey towards that ultimate goal—a L.L.P.—Loving Life Partnership.

This is me reflecting, commenting, questioning, sometimes laughing, about the experience of being alone at mid-life.

And it’s going to run the gamut from funny, serious, silly scary, sad, , or simply off-the wall—like the experience itself.

Because this stuff is just too serious not to laugh about.

Welcome to L.I.L. Enjoy the journey. After all, what are the options?

Here we are, 40 million of the 54 million single people in the United States (StatisticBrain.com-Online Dating Statistics 2012), lost in a thicket of social media–hacking our way through the underbrush to find a simple hand clasp, arms to hold us, a companion to share morning coffee, errands, the daily vicissitudes of life. Sex, of course. (A three-letter word almost never used in dating profiles).

And millions of us are over fifty-single, aging Baby Boomers, whether never married, widowed, or divorced. In fact, the Center for Marriage and Family Research are talking about “the Gray Divorce Revolution,” because of the rate at which Boomers are uncoupling.

{“Someone turns 50 every 8 seconds. Each year more than 3.5 million boomers turn 55. By 2012, America’s 50 and older population will reach 100 million.”
By Anthony Cirillo, About.com Guide, “Assisted Living”}

We support an online dating industry of $1,049 billion, on which we each spend an average of $239 a year.

We’re on laptops, IPhones, IPads, Ipods, smart phones, Skyping, texting, Googling, emailing, IM’ing—continual connection 24/7. How can we be so connected–yet not connect?

Why is this the LI.L. Blog?

Love—Popular culture assigns love and romance to the young, except for a few “Golden Years” romances, such as “Brighton Beach.” (Aren’t those Seniors cute? Awwwwww. Like wrinkly puppies).

Mature singles have lived enough to have witnessed and experienced many kinds of love, all varieties and flavors—first love, married love, love that fails, dies, implodes, or fades away. Love for children, grandchildren, friends, our work, our avocations, our callings.

Despite our age, our achievements, our other attachments in life, we still want to love, be loved, be in love—as spiritual, actual, and sexual individual human beings. As ourselves. But how? OWML(On which more later).

Illusions: We are of a generation that has spent millions of hours and dollars on self-realization and self-actualization, ourselves our own research subjects, trying to crack the code of who we are, what makes us tick, who will make us happy. We hold beliefs about ourselves that both define and confine us. We’ve spent years developing the stories that we tell ourselves. We carry with us the accumulated debris of unfulfilled fantasies, fixed beliefs, self-imposed limitations–our grudges, our excuses, our reasons why. We have a way of thinking that sustains us—and may also detain us–from reaching our relationship goals. ONWML

Longing:

As much as baby boomers are dedicated to rewriting the Book of Age –stretching the boundaries of aging, if not denying them–we’re feeling the finiteness of life. We have intimations of mortality—we’re seeing our parents age and die—even spouses, lovers, friends. We are nearing the front lines, with no generation standing between us and the finish line. We are facing the possibility of spending the rest of our lives alone, with its surprising pluses and benefits and its obvious downsides. Yet, the longing to love and be loved becomes more acute with the years. We still have burning desires-you can find Swingers who are in their seventies, still promoting the Sexual Revolution. It’s September—there’s a sense of urgency. If not now, when? Such is the yearning the longing, for intimate, individual romantic love, at any age. OWML.

What L.I.L. Is NOT—

L.I.L. will offer you no relationship snake oil. You’ve already got lots of “experts” giving you advice. I don’t have the answers. But I am asking questions. OWML.

Tell-all confessional or reality show. I am sharing some of my experiences, and the experiences of correspondents. He/she who kvetches loudest may live longest, but none of us really need more bad-date stories. Misery may love company, but that’s not what L.I.L. is about. We’re geting together to laugh, think, and figure this thing out.

  6 Responses to “L.I.L.- Love, Illusion, and Longing”

  1. Dorothy’s blog speaks to us, the millions of 50+ single people looking for love, and after our “memorable near misses and false alarms” trudge on. Her heartfelt honestly elevates our understanding and serves as a springboard to share our journey with other determined individuals still seeking an honest, everlastingly connection.

  2. Very astute! Even putting the age issue aside, the longing for sharing life is universal. Dorothy has traveled that rugged road of online dating, as many of us have, and found illusions, delusions, and falsehoods. which only makes the journey more difficult, and the traveler, more fatalistic. Our cultural is youth, reality shows and little positive content, excepting thoughtful writing such as this. We all age, face sickness, and die- It’s the how not the means, that matter. Dating websites have been around for 15 years..and the technology is creating a machine-like response to relationships, and unrealistic fantasies as we hide like the “Wizard” under a digital screen of anonymity. We need to get back to realism. This is a conduit-a means to an end, that like it or not, we are a part of, and must find better solutions to this online sprint to Starbucks speed dating– (maybe an online hike?) Dorothy, keep up the good work!

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  4. What a material oof un-ambiguity ɑnd preserveness οf valuable
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