One day, he is caring and loving and wonderful, and the next he is hateful and raging and mean. You are afraid to talk, or when you do talk you feel like you are never heard, your words are taken out of context, misunderstood, or blatantly ignored. In the beginning of a relationship they might seem like everything you ever wanted….usually this is because they are trying to act like everything you ever wanted. You have no support group and therefore your partner gains more power. He or she might be mean to people they think are “below them” or people who are defenseless, like babies or children. Like flipping a switch, he can change drastically from one extreme to the next. He or she acts one way when they are around you, but completely different around your parents, and completely different around their friends. Slowly, you lose your friends until you feel like your partner is the only person you have left. Your partner cycles from mean and vicious to sweet and loving, then back again. He might set traps for squirrels or rabbits and then torture them. It seems like your partner is two completely different people. Your partner finds faults with your friends or makes you feel bad or uncomfortable about any time you spend with other people. You want to believe that this is possible, but the cycle keeps repeating and each time your self-esteem is chipped away at, bit by bit. He might hit or kick your dog whenever he comes over. Each time he hurts you, he apologizes and promises that it will never happen again or that he will change. Your partner knows your weaknesses and he goes after your most vulnerable parts, hurting you where he knows it will do the most damage. You feel ashamed, lost, alone, confused, numb, afraid, crazy, stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, embarrassed, unloveable, wrong. Your partner tortures animals, is mean to children, or nasty to waitresses.A whole host of online dating sites have sprung up to help you meet great people from social networks that normally don't intersect with yours.Some of these sites are specifically geared to the 50-plus crowd, and they are attracting more and more single, divorced and widowed people than ever before.
They might bring up personal issues at inappropriate times. If you work hard to fix one thing, they will find something else that is wrong. They always have an excuse or a story or someone to blame: someone caused them to act the way that they did.
If you've been out of the dating pool for a long time, starting up again can be frightening.
But you'll be pleased to know that things have gotten a lot easier since you were going to high school dances and college bars.
En español | In the course of my work as a sex and relationship educator, I frequently run workshops about dating after age 50.
My audiences are people who are motivated enough to show up at such an event — but scared silly about diving into a dating world they hadn't even thought about for decades!