Monday, February 19, 2007

Retaining independence or being inflexible

At a party over the weekend, a few gals were talking about online dating. Part of the conversation explored dating men over the age of 40. The opinion of two of the women was that dating these men was rather challenging. Sure, they are often successful and attractive men. The problem is that these men often times are difficult to have a relationship with.

They exchanged thoughts on the reasons for the lack of success these men might have with relationships. A couple of women cited specific examples from their recent dating experiences. What came out of the discussion was primarily the theme of men who want to date women who "fit into their lives."

Basically what was meant by this is that these men are busy, be it with their careers, activities, or both. Because they've been independent for so long, they seem like willing to change their lifestyles. The women found it difficult to schedule dates because the men were unwilling to compromise their schedules or drive a little further to meet. Another factor was just being independent so long and showing unrealistic expectations of retaining the status quo if the relationship progressed.

This conversation was still ringing in my ears when I check my inbox the next day. I've exchanged a couple e-mails with Pacer. He seems very honest in the way he's expressed his interest and appreciation for my more detailed responses.

Once given the chance to really lay out his approach to online dating, I had my hesitations.

"I'm a bit wary of about how and what to communicate. I ask that we first discover each through writing and develop a friendship first. My style will may be slower paced and less aggressive, but don't misinterpret that as a lack of eagerness or sincerity to make a new friend in you."

It's refreshing to have someone honestly express their thinking. However, I wrote back pointing out how e-mail has its limitations and the importance of eventually meeting in person to confirm chemistry between two people. In my introduction, I also added that I love where I live but am realistic about moving if necessary for family or financial reasons in the future.

His response talked about his shrinking circle of friends due to relocation and changing families. Maybe I had too much of that party conversation on my mind when I read the next part:

"I want to retain as much of my pre-family lifestyle as much as possible,
which means finding a partner who has the energy and maturity to adapt to such a transition, and not be consumed by it. Maybe I'm just being too naive, but those are the qualities I'm hoping to find in someone.

I'll leave it there for now. Maybe this can prompt some ideas for what we can ask about each other. I'm not sure how much personal information you are comfortable sharing, so just let me know how you wish to proceed.

Huh? I'm afraid I don't quiet understand his statement. Adapt to what transition? He's not being rigid or anything but I feel like he's just going over my head with his lifestyle ideal. My first impression from reading this was that he is looking for someone who will adapt HIS schedule as much as possible. Being a couple requires change and compromise from both people. I'm all for people having time to do their own thing, but responsibilities and needs *will* change. I'm concerned that his expectations are not in line with mine.

Pacer's all politeness and seems to be willing to an open exchange of questions. Slow can be good. My concern is that it's a bit impersonal. I feel like we're going through an interview where he simply answers my questions rather than make it sound conversation. I know e-mail is not a real conversation, however, his style at times is a bit methodical and formal.

Who knows? Maybe I misunderstand. I'll keep writing him and see. This is just what came to mind that I wanted to sort out in my head.

1 comment:

mini said...

he does seem very impersonal. he doesn't sound like someone who is excited about dating, more that it's a ritual he feels like he ought to go through.

i don't know how the rest of your correspondence with him has gone, but the excerpts you shared here seems to suggest that he's rather lukewarm. whether that's about you, or dating in general, I don't know.