Dear Dr. Darcy: Could you please [write a blog] to help those of us who are over 30 and never had a LTR to know how to move forward in finding a good partner?
“How are you still single?” It’s a question that pulsates with a subtext that roughly translates to WTF is wrong with you that’s undetectable to me?
Hearing it often enough can drive a person - particularly one with a vagina - to download the first dating app your phone offers up, then white-knuckle your way through mediocre dates in an effort to cross the 3-month line.
And because it’s your goal, it reads as desperation, which means you never do.
So you focus on work. Or your interests. Or nothing at all, but you also don’t channel your energy into finding a partner.
Suddenly you blink and you find yourself over thirty and wanting a relationship, yet feeling ill-equipped to enter the dating arena because you lack the experience of your peers.
No worries. I got you. Here are some truths you probably hadn’t contemplated:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have had relationships.
Platonic ones. And those relationships require many of the same skills you’ll use with a partner. Which means you’re not as inexperienced as you think. Dating is just like building a friendship. With some physical affection (more on this soon).
You’re probably not A-sexual.
You masturbate, right? Have a vibrator? A sex drive? Exactly.
You’re going to get hurt more by avoiding a relationship than by being hurt in one.
Whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, avoiding a LTR is often a byproduct of fearing heartbreak. The thing is, as a human you’re hardwired to be social and attach to others. In your attempt to protect yourself, you deny yourself one of the greatest human pleasures in life. Intimacy.
You’re going to get hurt – and you’re going to survive it.
I know you will because we all survive it. Also, you’ve proven you can be single and happy, which will help you choose better partners (you’re not desperate) and heal when you’re hurt.
Your lack of sexual experience is irrelevant.
Because you’re old enough to know your own body. And knowing what you like is 70% of what a partner is looking for from you. Guidance. What about him, you ask? He’s also old enough to know his body. And he’ll probably be turned on by your inexperience, men being the interesting creatures they are.
All you missed is bad sex and empty promises.
Presuming the first part is self-explanatory, I’ll move on to the second:
It’s not that people in their teens and 20’s lack a moral compass. They simply lack the brain development to know when they’re overpromising. Truly. The prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed until our early 30’s, and that’s the part of the brain that can anticipate the consequences of our actions. Not having a fully-functional prefrontal cortex increases the likelihood that we’ll be poor predictors of our future behavior.
All of which is to say, between the terrible sex and the broken promises, you probably dodged a few bullets, girlfriend.
PS: Want to hear about this kind of stuff? We’re all talking about it over on my private Facebook group. Click here to join!