The Dating Grind – Skepticism



I have decided that one of the major problems of dating in the last half of life is that we all “know better “ by now.  Experience has been a tough teacher.

For example, that sarcastic wit I used to find attractive when I was younger I now understand can become a cruel tool.

A “take charge personality?”  It can mask insecurities so deep that the only way to cope is to exert control, control, control.  And a maternal or paternal nature may see that the bills are paid and rugs vacuumed, but it can also be smothering.  I’m also growing less and less fond of strong opinions, my own as well as anyone else’s.

So what qualities do I continue to look for?  Kindness.  Generosity.  These two characteristics never wear out their welcome.  Good-humored is also another valuable characteristic.  A sense of humor can be subjective—laughter can have an edge to it– but to be good-humored connotes a light spirit and a person willing to roll with the vagaries of life.

How about you?  What traits do you value in a mate?  And which ones set off warning signals?


  1. Mari Anderson
    Mari Anderson06-02-2014

    Oh boy. I gave each guy about one date. Really. I really started to hate it. Mr. Right didn’t come along until I was 32, so that’s a lot of dating. The older you get , the more pressure people put on you. I wasn’t going to be with just anyone to get people off my back. I wanted “the one”. Or no one. I was content with no one rather than suffer thru “a someone.” The guys got one date. Here are some of the reasons they didn’t get a second date. 1) Showed up drunk 2) wanted to meet my family NOW 3) Said “you’re the girl for me” 4) Sang Kenny Rogers “Lady” at a club 5) One showed me the inside of the trunk of his car and told me the first time you kill someone, it’s hard. 6) One told me he hadn’t seen his kids in 6 months because the x was a ‘bitch’. 7) Told me his sister tried to kill herself and it ran in the family 8) Just got out of rehab. 9) One yucked it up with my entire family at a party, and never said one word to ME 10) He picked me up at my house, my sister was on the couch. When we got in the car , he asked “Who’s the hot blonde ?” And people didn’t get why I didn’t give any of these fine gentlemen a second date. Every one was a huge red flag for me. LOL

    • Cathy Maxwell
      Cathy Maxwell06-03-2014

      You are a smart woman, Mari! I understand completely. I’m also certain the guys could share a litany of first date horrors. Whatever they can do, we can do better! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences. We can laugh about them–now.

      • Mari Anderson
        Mari Anderson06-03-2014

        My husband likes to laugh at my past dates too. haha He approached me like one would a wounded animal. Slow with no sudden movements and he always brought me food. haha Living alone I didn’t cook much. He was smart. He seemed very casual about the whole thing but in his mind he was determined from the first date to win me over. He just didn’t’ tell ME that. haha

        • Cathy Maxwell
          Cathy Maxwell06-05-2014

          Lucky you, Mari! I’m glad he won your heart!

  2. Deborah Barnhart
    Deborah Barnhart06-02-2014

    I agree. What I found sexy and hot in the first half of my life, I do not attractive today. I’m still open for “eye candy” because I don’t have to unwrap it when i get home, but aging allowed me to step outside of myself and look at what would make me happy in good times and in bad. Someone he sees my beauty when I’m dressed to kill and sick in bed for three days. For me a sense of humor is number one. Not the caustic kind, but the kind that sees blue skies on cloudy days and says something funny when I feel like crying. And yes, kindness would be in the top three and someone who takes life as it comes. Someone easy and ready to play because I can be serious and I want to see the good in people and in life and I don’t think that would work if my partner did the opposite. So, yes, age allows the veil to drop, but it isn’t about growing older. It’s about being wiser about who you are and what you need for a happy life.

    • Cathy Maxwell
      Cathy Maxwell06-03-2014

      “It’s about being wiser about who you are and what you need for a happy life.”

      Excellent advice, Deborah!

  3. morgan k wyatt
    morgan k wyatt06-03-2014

    I got lucky the third time around. I didn’t realize how lucky until I’d be married to my husband for awhile. A man who dances you around the house is tops in my book. Not only does he have grace and rhythm, but spontaneity and a sense of fun. Kindness is another quality that is high on my list.

    Cathy, you deserve it all. I do hear you about the strong opinions. They are usually more rigidness than rightness.

    • Cathy Maxwell
      Cathy Maxwell06-03-2014

      Morgan, I agree! I deserve ALL of it. And a man who can dance can usually do other things well. 😉 I even titled a novella “A Man Who Can Dance.”

  4. Deborah Barnhart
    Deborah Barnhart09-17-2014

    I would mirror the qualities you embrace, Cathy. Kindness and generosity and a good humor would be at the top of my list as well. Also, a positive view of the world. Someone who has a glass-half-full outlook on life and each day. Even spending a little time with such men, and people in general, brightens my world, too.

"The Books You Love To Read. Three time winner of the Historical Love and Laughter award" - Cathy Maxwell