It doesn't matter how you got
to be single in your mid-thirties. What does matter, however,
is that you have certain priorities in order so that you can
protect yourself and those you date from getting hurt. There
are too many reasons to list on why you're on the market at
this stage in your life, but you should be clear on your goals,
both long and short-term. You don't want to be led on or trapped
into something you didn't want in the first place.
The very first things you need
to consider are your short and long-term relationship goals.
If you are a confirmed bachelor (or bachlorette) you definitely
don't want to be dating someone who is determined to settle
down and start a family. Age is often tied to this as well.
A twenty-something may be looking for a good time or to tie
the knot. While a boy toy or trophy can be fun in the short-term,
if you are looking for a serious relationship you may want
to look elsewhere.
There are a lot of things to
consider when dating either above or below your age bracket.
If you fall for someone who is a lot younger, you may get
hurt because they can lack maturity that comes only from life
experience. Twenty-somethings are often still trying to figure
out where they fit in, and are still forming their goals.
Another problem is children; they may or may not want them.
If you get really serious, as in any age bracket, you need
to discuss each other's views on children.
On the other hand, if you date
someone much older than you there are some problems to be
aware of as well. Older people tend to have already decided
what they want out of life, and generally are not too excited
to change course. If you really want to settle down, don't
go chasing after the man or woman who has no intention of
a long-term relationship. Also, there are certain generation
gaps that have to be considered. Your older lover may not
appreciate going to see your favorite rock group in concert.
With consideration and understanding, however, many obstacles
of dating older and younger people can be overcome.
Another thing to consider is
your financial position. Have you dedicated the last ten years
to getting ahead in your career and the rewards that come
with that? Are you willing to give up half of your money in
a divorce? You will have to decide what is important depending
on the person you are dating. Even people who aren't married
have had their lover run off with the bank account. Protect
yourself, and if necessary, seek the advice of an attorney
before you propose or accept a proposal.
Finally, if you have children
you need to consider the type of people that are entering
your life. Do you want to bring any and all of your dates
to meet them, or are you going to wait for someone fairly
serious? You also have to try to uphold the values that you
want your children to follow in their lives. You are a role
model, and how you conduct yourself does make an impression
on your children.
In short, be smart about what
you are doing. Don't leave yourself open to be taken advantage
of. Most of all, though, have fun and good luck in pursuing
your romantic endeavors.
Heather Jaillett is a freelance writer from Washington State.
After extensive dating she finally found her soul mate. She
still advises many on dating solutions, and is constantly
researching relationships and romance. Exploring ways to add
romance to electronic communication is also another pursuit
Heather Jaillett writes for
DrDating - a web site for anyone looking for love online.
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