Wednesday, 28 December 2016
Why After 40, Love Often Lies Bleeding
"...and now I'm going to make your silver pants blue..." Movie: Forty Year Old Virgin, painting toy soldiers sequence.
Perhaps we are nothing but our biology and once the time for breeding has come and gone, so too our need for strong pair-bonds diminishes, until it is caught on the wind and lost forever—like youth and taut skin. Perhaps.
But—and some would same its a big one—I would not only suggest that for some of us 40-plus singles, not only does our love lie bleeding but also that rotting smell is a result of love's jugular being so cleanly severed, that it crawled off somewhere nearby to bleed out and die; and having found a safe haven underneath our battered egos, finally collapsed and stopped breathing.
Sure the majority of those with school age kids, who still need the safe warmth of our breeding farms - the suburbs - won't be out of relationships for long if they can wrangle it. That's fine, we will not detract from their unconscious drives to maintain a decent environment for their offspring.
But what about the rest of us?
Well there's Tinder for a start.
For some of my friends this has been the real revolution, freedom and NSA sex with multiple partners at the swipe of a finger. For others it has been a totally demoralising experience dealing with people who are not what they say they are and who are often carrying a few more pounds or wrinkles than their pictures suggest.
To be fair, swinging websites have been around since the turn of the century and used to be the bees knees for casual hook-ups with NSA, but nowadays are infested with people 'just looking' or looking 'for the one'. Wait. Hold it. You're looking for 'the one' on a swinging site? Are you sure you're on the right site? I don't think so - and for those Tinder members who swear blind your casual hook-ups aren't classed as swinging - yes, yes they are, and for those that insist Tinder is a dating site - LOL!
So then there's the actual dating sites which came in with a bang, then seemed to peter out, then had a bizarre staying power until they've almost became the norm. But my own personal experience has not been good - there's a lesson here for everyone. Don't give your address out until you are certain that the person receiving it is not a psycho-hose-beast. There was wine, I was drunk, it was late. Won't do it again. Enough said.
But I was surprised when talking to a mate the other day, only to find that, like me, he was taking advantage of the spare time his long term singleness was affording him, not rushing headlong back into a relationship, and that we were both seemingly content yet turning into very grumpy old men.
For instance we agreed we're not on Tinder or dating sites for one reason: we just couldn't muster the kind of energy and enthusiasm required to pretend to care about what a prospective partner is talking about...
...Wow, really, three kids? Great. Uh huh, you unconsciously want to pair-bond again, with me as the provider, so they get a family environment again? Completely understandable. No, sorry, I don't follow insertsporthere but its impressive how you've adopted a pseudo-fondness for the game to make you seem more like one of the guys. Ah no, unfortunately I don't like dancing, going out to clubs, or having to see your dumbarse ex at weekends and holiday time. Yes, that's right, I don't get out much, aha, aha, ahahahahahaha. Why no, thank you for asking, but surprisingly I never wanted to have kids. Not once, ever. No, no real reason, perhaps I just didn't want my offspring to have to play with yours...
Hmmmm, OK, that was maybe a little harsh... but after we've sat through the riveting run down of how it was all their ex's fault and banged our knees on the recently reestablished virginal pedestals—wanna get to Tinsel town? Better start prepping for Dante's journey my friend—my mate and I would still feel the need to buy dinner, not because we're chauvinist, but because it really is still the expected norm by all genders - and we're broke.
So biological drivers aside I guess the other reason we pair up is for companionship, but this is perhaps more insidious than it first may seem.
What we're hoping for is that someone with a low enough self-esteem will stick around and put up with our shit long enough to become our interdependent mirror. Relying on someone who will become a familiar reference point for us to cling to during the storms and gales that blow through our lives across time. Then the game becomes who lives the shortest and leaves the other poor sucker behind to deal with their own life-sized broken mirror.
This does not strike me as something to look forward to particularly.
More so, at my age I've recognised and can appreciate that certain pair-bonded quality that only time can provide - an intimately common and shared experience across decades. Its a facet of this kind of relationship that is often overlooked, yet is deeply vitalising and stabilising.
But as grim as it may sound, I have to face the fact that I've got 15 - 20 years left max. So I'll be dead before I achieve those lengths of time in another relationship - so I ask what is the point and am I really turning into a terminally miserable bastard?
I guess what we're seeing here is a failure to find the right motivation and approach back into a pair-bonded relationship and someone who is - finally - over casual sex and the messes that are friends with benefits - really, you want me to stick what, where? No I don't want to sleep with you and your friend. No, thanks for asking but I don't want to sleep with you and your ex either; and please, please stop making sounds like an American porn star! Isn't there something on telly you want to watch? No? Can I drop you somewhere?
"Oooh bae-bee, oooh bae-bee, oooh bae-bee..."
I know, lets break it down and do the math. Science!
There are 3.6 billion women on the earth and roughly 909 million of them are in the age range I would consider for establishing a long term relationship.
Of those women only 10% would have the same or more earning potential as me, so that’s 90.9 million.
Because of the salary discrepancy between men and women, something I’ve never understood—us men really seem to be an insecure bunch of dunderheads, who can identify only with their profession, car, latest house extension or power tool—at a discrepancy of around 21% less in total dollars earned, its more probable that only around 60 million of those women would earn the same or more than me (that’s not a harsh criterion, just fair).
Now of those 60 million only 25% would be single and straight/bi, so that’s 15 million.
Of those 15 million an astounding 35% would be interested in horses; take it from one who has, in the past, acted like a complete and total arse because of this, with horses the commitment level creates a situation ripe for resentment.
So that leaves 5.25 million women in the world that are potentially available for yours truly, oh yea giggady!
Of those lucky ladies only 47.6% would not have children, leaving a veritable smorgasbord of roughly 2.5 million women on the planet, which still fit into my rather loose and flexible potential partner criteria.
Now I reckon on the attractiveness scale I rate as 'not completely hideous' and understandably this is why you gals have made it perfectly clear over the years that at least 99.999% of you clearly aren’t fxxxxxx interested... leaving me with approximately 25,000 women who might be, remotely, interested.
Apportion that across the countries I can feasibly live in then, to allow for the possibility of actually meeting these special women, at 0.88% of the world’s population, that’s 220 hoes of hope.
But subtracting from that the number of those women that would be voted most likely to boil a bunny, leaves only 22—and I hasten to add that I would expect the same proportion of men to come up psycho trumps if the entire equation was inverted.
Then subtract from that those women that wouldn't put up with my shit for more than a week and we’re left with 6.
Subtract from that the women I’d lose respect for after a month or two, for putting up with my shit for more than a week in a manner that compromised their integrity, and we’re left with maybe 2 or 3.
And this doesn't even take into account my preferred criteria: educated, professional, at least one semi-professional art or craft, and a deep fascination about the universe.
Which just leaves snoring, fingers crossed!
But I'm sure you'll agree it's become clear that biology, psychology and population distribution, not to mention the very fabric of space-time, are the mountains which prevent the fluid achievement of meaningful relationships post 40 - which I guess is good to know because I thought it was something to do with my sunny personality...
PS If you indeed are that special lady and don’t snore or mind someone who occasionally does, then please apply PO Box 555, Sunnyvale Mental Care Institution, Sunnyvale, Canterbury.
PPS in the deep of the night not five days ago, I was awakened by a fearsome sound. I really thought something or someone had broken into my house. I was scared, it was such an unusually fear-instilling sound that had urged me from my slumber that my whole body had tensed. I even thought about grabbing my phone in preparation for calling the police. But after straining to hear what had made the sound in my half awake state and on hearing nothing more, I was soon drifting back into sleep. No sooner had I relaxed however, then was I again awakened by that deep, resounding, and terrifying noise - it was me, snoring.
So I remain yours, single, destined to die alone, eaten by cats 😀