Something Like Life
Feb. 15, 2008
I MET G. a couple of years ago to do a profile on her and her company for a glossy magazine. She struck me as one of those cool women who were smart and sexy and knew exactly what they wanted in life. Since then, we’ve struck up a casual friendship and have kept in touch largely through Facebook. I always look forward to her new photos with her “boys,” her two teenage sons who obviously adore their mom to death, and their travels together.
But like most of the confident self-assured women I’ve met in the last couple of years, G. is also unattached. In her particular case, she is separated from her husband.
I am single and have never been married, and I’ve always found it a tad difficult to remain engaged in the dating game. Like many single gals in their 40s, I’ve reached a particular stage in my life where I know what I like and dislike in a man, or in a relationship.
But I often wondered how women like G. would do in this arena. Because of her youthful looks and killer bod, I’d presumed that G. would have no problem snaring all the available men she would meet following her separation. And, certainly, this Valentine’s Day, she probably would have a lot of them lined up at her door just begging to be her date on this red-letter day.
G., however, dismisses all my assumptions with a laugh and says she doesn’t even believe in dating. She also feels that she “attracts losers!” Oh, wow, this I couldn’t believe! I wanted to find out more about her take on dating and why, despite her obvious gorgeousness and availability, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. In the first place, is she actually looking for him?
“I don’t date. With the kind of life that I lead now, I am just too busy maintaining everything at a sane pace. Of course, I still dream of meeting someone, but I just don’t have the time.” She adds that she isn’t the type to actually go out and seek out the men like most young single girls probably would, like go to bars and party every night and such.
But like most women with well-meaning friends who just want them to be happy in a relationship, G. admits that she’s had to give in and allow her friends to set her up on dates. “Friends have always told me to date or sometimes they will bug me because they have someone they want me to meet. But, honestly, I am not into the dating scene. I do give in, once in a while, but I tell you, one look at the guy and I know if it’s going to be a long night or coffee or dinner—you know what I mean? I don’t know, but I think I attract a lot of losers. Sometimes I wonder if I come across as too strong that weaklings naturally find it attractive—parang to harbor ba?”
She adds that her teenage sons are actually open to the idea of her dating or pursuing a relationship. “But I guess, it’s not my time yet...[or] I think I am too old for [it]. Besides, my work already makes me meet a lot of people and, by the end of the day, I am just too pooped to go out and meet some dork. So I’d rather go home and cozy up with a good book. Perhaps, you think I’m too jaded na, but I just don’t like the dating game where the guy would try to impress me. I see a lot of those in my ‘field’ already.”
But I also think G.—like most unattached women who are already past 40—just has slimmer chances of meeting available and date-able guys in the same age group. By their late 20s, most men are already hitched. Even government statistics will bear this out: there are actually more single, separated, or widowed women than men who are in the same categories. Imagine all these gorgeous unattached women fighting over a handful of bachelors or available men? (Or what another bitchy gal pal derisively calls “scraps!”)
“I think I look young for my age because younger men are ‘warming up’ to me—which makes me kind of wary because I am done with mothering.” (Loka! Just think of yourself as Demi Moore to their Ashton Kutchers!)
G. also thinks that she comes “across as too strong, and I don’t think men like that. Well, that’s their problem, not mine.”
But G. isn’t closing her doors to finding love again. She confesses that there’s someone she likes whom she met at work, but because he isn’t based in the country, pursuing the relationship could just be too complicated. “There is this guy and we still maintain contact after all these years; meet up whenever our schedules allow. I am fine with that arrangement for now. I think I am too set in my ways that it will be difficult to again adjust to the demands typical in a relationship.”
Does she have any advice for women who are in the same spot as her? How does one get back into the groove, so to speak, when it comes to men and dating after going through a separation or divorce?
“You know, there’s nothing wrong with dating or going out again. It just didn’t happen to me because we all have different priorities. I was too set on making things work with myself and my family. I guess, being ambitious, competitive and a go-getter make it doubly difficult, because my sights are aimed on something else. But if your friends egg you on to date, by all means, go ahead! What is important is that first and foremost, know yourself. Do you want to date or have a man because you feel incomplete? If that’s the case, you’re already doomed! Don’t! That’s a sure formula for failure and it will be a vicious circle, woman! No one can complete you or make you feel you better but yourself. Work on yourself first—that, I think, is the best step to take when you’ve just gone through a separation or divorce.
“Listen to yourself, your body signals. They usually warn you if you are going into a wrong relationship. Don’t be fooled by the giddy feeling of being in love. Don’t be in love with the idea of falling in love. I know it’s easier said than done but it can be done.
“And lastly, never settle for anything less! We all deserve the best! Darn! Life is already difficult as it is and settling for someone mediocre is selling yourself short! It’s adding to the burden that we all have, one way or another.”