Todd Lyden

Sep 30, 2021

2 min read

Near Misadventures of a Nearly 50 Year-Old Newly Single Man — Are Relationships Worth the Work?

This is a question predicated on dating in your post-40s, give or take.

I recently saw the two juxtaposing quotation memes posted by a participant on a dating app.

The first is pretty standard: “love yourself first” pablum.

The middle lines “establish yourself first. Your habits… your foundations before you rush into romantic entanglements” stuck with me.

I took the better part of a year of separation (as required by my state) to wholly determine when I was ready to move forward.

I was ready well before the year in part because my last relationship of nearly 20 years was done over three years ago. I just didn’t realize it immediately.

But even once I did, I wasn’t in a rush to find anything new (state law and all). I think I have self-actualized enough to know my boundaries and needs and don’t seek to rush myself for any reason.

Now that I am, the question comes to mind: “Are Relationships Worth the Work?”

I do legit believe that they are. However, I want to point out something else the same dating app participant posted:

She could have posted this one BEFORE the other- but I don’t think that matters.

In my mind, they are at odds with each other, right?

Are you ready? Do you have the foundations for a romantic relationship if you legitimately believe that you have walls built around your heart? Walls so strong they require the other person to jump, climb, break, “do whatever is necessary to get past those walls?” Does that sound like someone ready for “mutual gravitational pull?”

That’s a lot of work for ONE PERSON to commit to while the expectation to just coast on gravity is all you allow for yourself, right?

Relationships should have reciprocity too? I don’t think many people would waste time asking about the walls and just walk away to those who know what they want, ask for it, and return the favor.

Needless to say, this was a swipe left. Or is there another take on this I’m missing?