Good read!!! It’s good to hear that you found a “forever person" Because I believe that in "middle age" that it’s so much harder to do than, say, in our 20s. Party of that is because we’re in a different state of life now: been married, raised our kids, looking for peace and quiet and new forms of purpose in our lives.
Interesting that in the beginning of the article you stated that oldest men (over 40) often wonder why they can’t attract anyone. My bet is because they’re clueless and don’t do much introspection???? After years in the post-divorce dating world I can give you a list of reasons: you touched upon one of them when you mention how some men (supposedly) gave their all “and look how that turned out". Many men I’ve met seem to have an instant distrust of every woman they meet (online or otherwise): because they’ve been hurt before and they automatically assume every other women is also a potential heartache and thus hold them at an arm’s length. And some middle-age women seem to still believe in fairy tales, are looking for the Prince to “rescue” them and that’s not realistic. I know women older than me who are still passively hoping to be “swept away" by some man who will (I assume) give them a better life.
Several years ago, while doing the internet dating thing, I was seeing a guy who had severe abandonment/mommy issues and was one of the most negative, cynical people I’d ever met. On the upside, we did have a lot of fun plus it was a lesson in life: no more dating men like him. Because of his many issues (including his depression/anxiety) I often felt like his personal psychologist. I remember thinking “yes, everyone DOES have baggage, but it is unacceptable to constantly bonk other people over the head with that baggage" like this man did.
Some people are cases of arrested development and in their heads think they’re still 21 while their outsiders are decades older. These definitely aren’t “forever partners", at least not in my eyes.
I think it’s true that a lot of middle agers (actually a lot of people, regardless of age) settle for a Significant Other, or just a booty call, because they’re weary of looking and/or are scared of being alone. Some actually aren’t looking for a new spouse. We all have our hopes in a partner and with time and effort, or lack thereof, we usually find what we want.
I LOVE your optimism, though--optimism and a good sense of humor are much needed in dating, and life in general — and the group for “non-fun daters” is a fabulous idea!!