September 15, 2010 | 10:28 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
For the past few days I have been writing about my love life, or lack of one as it were. There have been some interesting comments that have led to an enlightening discussion about relationships. If you are actively looking for love, and not afraid to say it out loud, does that mean you are desperate?
I have never thought my desire to be in a relationship translated into desperation. There is a difference between wanting and needing. I want a relationship and I am looking for one. When you need one, that is when desperation can rear its ugly head and make you unattractive.
I have no biological clock ticking. I had a big wedding and have my delicious son with no desire for another wedding or child. I would love to have another marriage, but it’s not a deal breaker. I would love to be with a man who has kids, but having another one myself is not an option.
I do feel pressure from the perspective of time. My son will go to university in four years and it would be nice to be in a loving relationship when he goes. In fact, my son wants to go to NYU for college and has informed me if I am not in a relationship by the time he is ready to go, he will go to a local school to be closer to home and not leave me alone.
It warms my heart that he would consider staying here so as to not leave me. He is a mensch and I am proud of him. That said, over my dead body will this child sacrifice his dreams for me. He is going to NYC and if I need to fake a love affair with the mailman to get him to go, I will.
There is a difference in perception between men and woman. Why is it women are often labeled desperate but men never are? If a woman has never been married and is over thirty, the assumption is she is desperate and needs to settle for anyone rather than hold out for the one.
Here are some comments I received when talking about looking for love:
(You can see their full comments at the end of yesterday’s blog.)
LC wrote: I found my partner after I was comfortable with myself and more important for me, OK with being alone. I think for me it took being comfortable with myself to be a true partner to another but that is me. The greater truth is that you still have to risk opening your heart.
Nell wrote: I had just turned 35 when I ended a long term relationship of six years. I wanted to be married and the clock was ticking. I swarmed dating sites and participated in every social activity that would allow me to meet men. My life was full, I had a full time job and great friends.
But, I was desperate and men could smell it. I swear there is a pheromone or something that woman give off that signals that they are desperate to have a man in their lives. Men sense it, they don’t like it and they will avoid you when you send out the signal.
PRyan wrote: Perhaps, instead of saying looking for love, maybe we should say being open to love. Or maybe we should say we are looking for new experiences and meeting new people and that love will find us along the way. “Stop looking and love will find you” most likely won’t work.
Tonic wrote: I have been in love several times. It seems like when I was ready, they weren’t or when they were ready, I wasn’t. I have also been in some very unhealthy and abusive relationships because men saw that I was vulnerable. I still yearn for the “love of my life”.
It feels like an empty hole inside of me. The thought of starting over again or dating scares the hell out of me. So here I am trying to make the best of it. So, all I can tell you is to listen to your heart and follow it. You have to do what is right for you. We all deserve to be loved.
John wrote: What I found online was that women, in their 40’s and 50’s are so afraid of ending up alone, they are less discriminating. Now, you would think that this applied to the “less attractive” or the “heavier” woman but no. This phenomenon was ubiquitous with the most beautiful women.
I was delighted at the differences (sexually) between women in there 20’s vs. those in their 40’s. The 40-somethings were much less inhibited, often “hungry” from non-fulfilling marriages or relationships, and were far more apt to be “experimental”. The freedom they felt was obvious.
It’s interesting how women view themselves and fascinating how men view women. I think it’s sad that as women we are so quick to think we are desperate. I don’t believe that we are desperate, but rather that men perceive us as being desperate.
Is it not possible that the women John met online were simply comfortable with their sexuality and therefore able to have an open sex life? Why does sex have to partner with desperation? There is a freedom that comes with being a grown up and maybe that is what he saw.
Men and women are always going to see things differently. The real challenge is for women to not start thinking like men when it comes to defining who they are. You can search for love, and have sex, without it having to be about being desperate.
I refuse to believe that I am desperate in my search for a partner. I am also a smart cookie and realize that a man will see things differently, and I need to do the dance with him in order to show him otherwise. It’s about learning to dance, not playing a game or following the rules.
I hate it when people reference love as having rules or being a game. What love is, is a dance. We need to learn the steps, listen to the music, know when to allow the man to lead, and when to hold on a little tighter and take control. I’d much rather dance with a man than play games.
I am 44 years old. I have been in love, and had my heard broken into a million places. I have been in relationships that were filled with joy, and others that made me question what the hell I was doing there. I have learned from each one and try to remember the good things.
I am seriously looking for a relationship and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am ready for love and am willing to dedicate the time needed to find a man that I want to have him my life. I am not desperate, but completely open to learning some new dance moves to make it happen.
I love the comments my last few blogs have gotten. It’s always interesting to see how other women view things, and I think we can learn from each other. If we pay attention to what each of us has gone through, we can help save each other from making the same mistakes.
Maybe a woman will read what we’ve said and be stronger. Maybe a man will read it and see that just because a woman in her 40’s sleeps with you, it does not mean she desperate, only that she is a grown up and wants to simply be with you for a moment, not forever.
There are no guarantees when it comes to love. I am going to try to increase my odds of finding my Beshert by continuing to search. If I find him it will be a blessing. If not, I will be just fine. With or without a happily ever after, I’m putting on my dancing shoes and keeping the faith.
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