35 and Single
It doesn't matter how you got to be single in your mid-thirties.
What does matter, however, is that you have certain priorities
in order so that you can protect yourself and those you date
from getting hurt. There are too many reasons to list on why
you're on the market at this stage in your life, but you should
be clear on your goals, both long and short-term. You don't want
to be led on or trapped into something you didn't want in the
The very first things you need to consider are your short and
long-term relationship goals. If you are a confirmed bachelor
(or bachlorette) you definitely don't want to be dating someone
who is determined to settle down and start a family. Age is
often tied to this as well. A twenty-something may be looking
for a good time or to tie the knot. While a boy toy or trophy
can be fun in the short-term, if you are looking for a serious
relationship you may want to look elsewhere.
There are a lot of things to consider when dating either above
or below your age bracket. If you fall for someone who is a lot
younger, you may get hurt because they can lack maturity that
comes only from life experience. Twenty-somethings are often
still trying to figure out where they fit in, and are still
forming their goals. Another problem is children; they may or
may not want them. If you get really serious, as in any age
bracket, you need to discuss each other's views on children.
On the other hand, if you date someone much older than you there
are some problems to be aware of as well. Older people tend to
have already decided what they want out of life, and generally
are not too excited to change course. If you really want to
settle down, don't go chasing after the man or woman who has no
intention of a long-term relationship. Also, there are certain
generation gaps that have to be considered. Your older lover may
not appreciate going to see your favorite rock group in concert.
With consideration and understanding, however, many obstacles of
dating older and younger people can be overcome.
Another thing to consider is your financial position. Have you
dedicated the last ten years to getting ahead in your career and
the rewards that come with that? Are you willing to give up half
of your money in a divorce? You will have to decide what is
important depending on the person you are dating. Even people
who aren't married have had their lover run off with the bank
account. Protect yourself, and if necessary, seek the advice of
an attorney before you propose or accept a proposal.
Finally, if you have children you need to consider the type of
people that are entering your life. Do you want to bring any and
all of your dates to meet them, or are you going to wait for
someone fairly serious? You also have to try to uphold the
values that you want your children to follow in their lives. You
are a role model, and how you conduct yourself does make an
impression on your children.
In short, be smart about what you are doing. Don't leave
yourself open to be taken advantage of. Most of all, though,
have fun and good luck in pursuing your romantic endeavors.