Living In the Past Can Destroy Your Future

One of the main reasons singles in their upper 30’s and beyond, who want to get married, remain single has nothing to do with “not meeting the right one.” The “good ones” meet lots of potential right ones, especially in a big pool like NYC. The problem is that they compare them to their great love, actual or imagined, of 10 years prior. The new guy or girl doesn’t stand a chance.

“I had a chance at my dream not that long ago, and there’s no way I’m giving up and settling for anything less. I’ll wait until I meet my dream Mr/Ms right again.” Maybe that’s what they mean when they say that they’re waiting for what they call “true love”.

The only problem is that they forget that they were at least 10 years younger when the event engraved on their consciousness occurred. They were different people. So were the men and women they were dating. In their minds they are still the same fun loving, charming, upbeat, twenty somethings with unlimited options, and time. Instead of updating their software to reflect their changing environment they choose to remain blissfuly entrenched in the old programs they remember enjoying. They choose to stick with their Atari instead of switching to the latest Xbox. Remember how challenging those space invaders were?

I’ll drop the analogies so as not to throw anyone of topic and keep it as raw as I can. If you think you can attract the same guy or girl that you did when you were 29 now that you are 39, you are living a fantasy that is destroying your future. You are trading real happiness for the promise of “true love” that exists only as a relic of your past in the storage chamber of your imagination.

Maybe some real life examples will make this clearer. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

1) Daniel is in his late 40’s. He’s got lots of hair on his head and money in the bank. Most importantly, he’s got a heart of gold. Seriously, he’s truly a mentch and will make a wonderful husband and father, if he gives himself the opportunity. You see Daniel has a very specific taste in women. It’s basically the exact same taste that he had when he was in his 20’s. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that what he’s looking for was probably out of his league in his prime. Now it’s impossible. Like I said, he’s a great guy, but he’s much too old for the girls he’s yearning for. And he pretty much looks his age. But Daniel is comfortably entrenched in his vision of the past, and is committed to waiting for “true love” in the form of a youthful looking super model, just a few years out of college. There are plenty of attractive and personable women within 10 years of his age who would almost definitely make him happy, if he gave himself a chance. But no, he’s waiting for true love, the true love of his past, and he won’t “settle” for anything less. Not yet, at least.

2) Lisa was a hot ticket in her 20’s and most of her 30’s. Now she’s in her 40’s and still looking good, for her age. She always dated guys within a couple of years of her, on either side. Now things are a little more challenging. Most guys in their early to mid 40’s want to date women in their 30’s. (That’s the fact, so accept it) Lisa is still living in her 30’s, searching for that successful 30 something hunk to swoop down from his hedge fund trading desk and whisk her away to a romantic getaway at his Hampton’s house (fully owned, no shares). Things aren’t going so well for her (surprise) and her future is not so slowly being erased by her vibrant and ever present past.

3) Carla recently broke 40 and is hotter and more accomplished than ever. She had a major love affair in her late 20’s to early 30’s that didn’t pan out. Since then she’s been comparing every guy she dates to her old flame, and has passed on lots of good ones because they just didn’t match up to her vision of manhood (she calls it true love). So instead of being in a relationship (maybe even a mommy several times over) she is alone, by choice, waiting for true love to revisit after so many years of absence. Unfortunately, 40’s true love is gonna look much different than it did in her age of innocence.

What happens to the people who continue living in the past? Many of them hold on to their fantasies until they reach the stage (drop the st) where they just decide to give up. Then they either make peace with their eternal single status and “enjoy” life on their own (pronounces – lone) or eventually marry someone they could have married 20 years before, and finally find the happiness they now understand comes from a loving, caring relationship with someone whom you can share with and care for.

But why wait until the point of surrender? Why not close that door to the past for good and join the world of the present where people age and grow and mature and enter relationships and love and care and share and live meaningful lives?

Welcome to reality. We’ve been waiting for you.

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