under Date Night
As I said in Monday’s post, let’s forget about the negative connotation of “baggage” and call it “your story” instead. But, how do you turn it from negative to positive?
You need to get to a place from within where your story becomes that amazing thing called life that has made you who you are. You get there by accepting your past and your current situation, and then embracing it. Then you need to figure out how to spin it so that it adds confidence and character. By spinning it, I don’t mean lying or manipulating the truth, but seeing the silver lining in all of your life experiences — what you learned from them, or who it brought into your life, or how it changed your life for the better.
You cannot change the past, but you can change your attitude about it moving forward. You do not want a date to feel pity for you with a sob story, so get to the point where you realize that you are the amazing person you are today because of your story, and then tell your story as an adventure. It’s called life. You can live it or let it happen to you.
It doesn’t matter if you are labeled a “mature adult” or an “older adult” — because many dating problems remain the same, regardless of age. In some ways it’s easier, but in some ways it’s more difficult.
Instead of having nosy Jewish mothers bugging you for grandchildren, you may have nosy Jewish children bugging you to find someone to keep you busy so you leave them alone.
Instead of a bad break-up that felt like the end of the world after a mere three months, you may have 30 years worth of memories that only came to an end because your spouse passed away.
Instead of a drama-filled relationship that ends where you’re able to avoid that person at all costs, you may have three children with your ex-spouse whom you will be connected to for all eternity and have to deal with in some capacity on a near daily basis.
Instead of feeling like your life is over because you’re single on your 30th birthday, you may have instead embraced your independence and yet still hope to find someone to enjoy the rest of your life with.
These comparisons are the differences in your baggage as an adult dating after 40-ish. Everyone has baggage, whether you want to admit it or not. Baggage has a negative connotation, so let’s just call it – “your story.” Everyone has a story. There’s no way you can get through life without making one. What’s yours?
under Date Night
Not everyone has a backstory, but lots of people do. Positive or negative, when to reveal that story after you begin dating someone you really like is a normal worry — especially when you have something important to divulge.
I’ve written previously about being honest and addressing a physical disability from the beginning; and I’ve written about how to discuss a divorce and/or having children in a minimal way in your profile and on a first date; but how about a backstory that isn’t visible? Are you a cancer survivor or do you suffer from depression or were you abused or were you adopted or any other background that made you who you are… but no one would necessarily know unless you told them?
This type of backstory is not one to include in your JDate profile, or even to bring up on a first date, but you do need to open up relatively early on. If the story is too much for your date to handle, then let them leave — clearly it’s not the right person for you and that’s why you need to reveal your story sooner rather than later. Unless it’s relevant to a conversation you are having on a first date, then save your confession for your second or third date. This does not mean that you are ashamed of your backstory, just that you want to have prospects get to know you for you, and not your story, particularly if it is a sob story.
under Online Dating
Here’s the kind of profile I steer clear of…
“Don’t lie about your height. If you have issues with your mother, I don’t want to hear from you. That means you’ll have issues with me too! Oh, and guys – I’m not your mother. I don’t need a grown kid to baby. I already had a kid.”
I feel like we’ve had our first fight, and we haven’t even met yet. When trying to sell their good side by arguing with you before laying eyes on you, something tells me I don’t want to go near their bad side.
Mutual fun managers should take a page from mutual fund managers: Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. (Okay, premature arguing does guarantee post-mature arguing.) In the case of guys or gals who previously didn’t pass your smell test, don’t think the rest of the guys or gals out there are equally culpable. Maybe we daters should take a page from the airlines and charge fees for excess baggage.
Oh. And I’m five feet eight and a half.