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SINGLE life after FIRE
Old 12-18-2008, 11:13 AM   #1
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SINGLE life after FIRE

I've been FIRE'd for 16 months and I'd been in a long-term relationship (16+ years, living together for the past 5 years.) We were a joined-at-the-hip-type couple and loved spending our time with each other.

My SO was still working, but my "not working" was never an issue.

My SO recently broke up with me and I am having a difficult time being FIRE'd as a 'single' person.

I've seen lazygoodfornothingbum make several comments recently about his experiences as a FIRE'd single and how he's thinking of going back to w*rk. So that got me to thinking and writing this post.

I'm struggling with what to do with myself in the evenings and weekends, as that's when my SO and I would be together.

I'm not really looking to go back to w*rk (and in today's economy, it would be very difficult to find a job around here in SE Michigan). At the same time, I think if I was w*rking it would 1) give me lots of mental distractions, 2) possibly widen my social circle with the new coworkers and 3) possibly connect me with some dating candidates.

I'm wondering what other single FIRE'd people do to keep themselves occupied, meet other singles, widen their social circles, expand their brains, keep from getting lonely, and the like.

I know that part of my issue is due to the heartbreak of my long-term relationship ending. And I think it'll take time to work through that.

If anyone has suggestions on how to heal a broken heart quickly -- I'm all ears, too.

Thanks,

omni
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:18 AM   #2
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Take a class, or take two classes.
Find a volunteer organization that provides meaningful service (in your view) and volunteer to help them. Start out occasionally, and if you click, commit to something more.
Join a gym and go routinely.
Learn to love living with yourself.

-- Rita
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I've been FIRE'd for 16 months and I'd been in a long-term relationship (16+ years, living together for the past 5 years.) We were a joined-at-the-hip-type couple and loved spending our time with each other.

My SO was still working, but my "not working" was never an issue.

My SO recently broke up with me and I am having a difficult time being FIRE'd as a 'single' person.

I've seen lazygoodfornothingbum make several comments recently about his experiences as a FIRE'd single and how he's thinking of going back to w*rk. So that got me to thinking and writing this post.

I'm struggling with what to do with myself in the evenings and weekends, as that's when my SO and I would be together.

I'm not really looking to go back to w*rk (and in today's economy, it would be very difficult to find a job around here in SE Michigan). At the same time, I think if I was w*rking it would 1) give me lots of mental distractions, 2) possibly widen my social circle with the new coworkers and 3) possibly connect me with some dating candidates.

I'm wondering what other single FIRE'd people do to keep themselves occupied, meet other singles, widen their social circles, expand their brains, keep from getting lonely, and the like.

I know that part of my issue is due to the heartbreak of my long-term relationship ending. And I think it'll take time to work through that.

If anyone has suggestions on how to heal a broken heart quickly -- I'm all ears, too.

Thanks,

omni
Hi Omni,

Sorry about the bust-up. It hurts, but with time you may be glad. Joined at the hip may be OK, but as you have discovered it has its problems.

My marriage had been stessed for a long while, but after being FIRED quite a while I finally got divorced. I see the problems as having various aspects. You are suddenly without a sex partner, you are suddenly without someone compatible to hang out with. And, you no longer have someone loving you, or you loving them and getting the good feelings of wholeness that come with that. The last is the most painful and hardest to do anything about. The first has its problems but is generally easier to remedy.

First try to make or re-awaken close friendships with men. I have found this is not too easy. Over the years good close friends die, move away, commit suicide, marry some woman who doesn't like you and otherwise fall away. Heterosexual men are not too good at being close friends for one another. We tend to attach to a woman, and depend on her. This gets worse as we age. Women do much better at this it seems. They support one another better, go out to dinner together, go to plays or symphony together, go shopping. If men have physical issues that make all out sports competition hard or impossible it isn't easy for us to hang out with other men.

You don't say how old you are, but if you are fairly young take some classes. Dance classes, reading clubs, etc-anything that you can stand that might be expected to appeal to women . I have found that the last thing I want is another complicated relationship. What I am looking for is a limited degree of mutual life support. I have strong close relationships with my family, and my sibs. Some are local, some live away but it does enable me to be agnostic about my attitude toward some woman that I might meet. If she is pleasant, likes to laugh, likes to have a drink or a coffee, maybe hear some music or go to a museum (especially if she has her own pass) that is worth a lot and helps tremendously. If she is sexually attractive to you and up for that without a lot of folderol, all the better.

I am completely willing to be helpful to anyone I see fairly often, man or woman. Take them to the Doc's, feed cats while they travel, etc. A married woman who is my main dance partner but not a sex partner has to have knee surgery. Her husband works and is somewhat dense anyway. I'll take her to the pool for therapy, etc whenever she wants.

As for loneliness, I haven't solved it yet. I think I will, but it won't be through a woman. I could do the sex with only one again, but nunca mas depending on only one for anything else.

Good luck. Stay active and don't let yourself get depressed if you can help it. Some on the board who live in South Florida have me pretty well convinced that South Florida is a lot like a college campus for oldsters. My brother recently lost his wife to cancer. They also had a very tight relationship, He has no kids. He will likely return to our old home city and family and friends there, or move to Florida Gulf Coast, somewhere between Bradenton and the Keys. he is just too lonely otherwise, although he likes where he lives now.

Ha
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:43 AM   #4
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Gotadimple has good suggestions - find things to do with other people.
Exercise is also one of the best ways to heal - so get moving.
Take a group trip - Overseas Adventure Travel, Backroads, etc.
"Friendships" at work are not really friendships.

Time only heals a broken hart.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:54 AM   #5
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I've had the same SO for 26 years but have always been extremely independent. When SO was w*rking 6-7 days a week, I enjoyed the freedom of doing many things on my own: developing interests, spending time with other friends, etc. I've been retired now for four months and continue to have many days like that. Yesterday we spent the day together and are coming to some kind of tacit agreement about how often to do that.

Omni, I'm sorry this has happened to you. Of course, there will be grief, and a long adjustment. Gotadimple gave you great suggestions. I don't know what's best for you. Keep us posted.

I have several real-life role models for the retired life. The one that really sticks in my mind is a neighbor who moved out of the apt. next to mine a few years ago. She was 86, ill, and went to live with her niece. During the ten or so years she lived next to me whenever she saw me around on a weekday, she would say the same thing, "it is so important to get out everyday."

Today I'll start my "getting out" with a trip to a post office I've never been to before in a distant neighborhood to mail something I sold thru an internet website. Beyond that, it will be serendipity because yesterday was a structured day with SO. On my own, what a luxury!
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:00 PM   #6
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I'm sorry to hear about your relationship ending and unfortunately I have no idea how to speed up healing but the best thing you can do it rejoin life . When I became suddenly single I joined every club I thought I would enjoy . Some were winners ( The investment club , a older singles group and a computer group ) . The bird watching was a no go for me . I also joined a gym . It helped to be around people not necessarily to date just to have friends . When you are ready to date check out Match.com even if you date meet Ms. Right it will help you get back in the swing of dating . Good Luck !
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:17 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone, for your kind and thoughtful comments.

To answer a question, I'm a young 58 (and my SO was early 40's). So I'm used to being around the 'younger set'.

And to clear up some confusion, I'm female.

What I'm doing now: I'm taking a small engine repair class, I walk 3X/wk for an hour with a friend (for exercise and social connection), I start a ballroom dancing class this weekend. I do try to leave the house daily -- but it seems as though in my slightly depressed state, often I don't even have anywhere I WANT to go.

I plan to sign up for other classes in 2009, as soon as the catalogs come out.

I'll need to see what clubs are available. Does anyone have suggestions on where to find out about clubs? I know I could Google my local area and an interest...but I'd love to find a list of all available clubs, as it might spark a new interest.

I have avoided volunteer gigs, as I did a ton of volunteer work in Scouts when I was growing up. Maybe I should see what's available around here.

I will also look at some of the group travel stuff. I usually avoid group travel -- but it has to be better than traveling alone.

haha - After reading your comments, I wonder if many/most single men of your age share your sentiments about getting into another [complicated] relationship? Not to be nosy, but would you care to share your rationale for not getting involved?

I'd love to think that there's still a Mr. Right out there for me.

As far as family, I only have one sib and she lives out-of-state. I depended on my SO for companionship as well as sharing his large family, who are all living nearby. I lost them as part of this breakup.

gotadimple - What a great statement: "Learn to love living with yourself."

omni
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:47 PM   #8
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Thanks, everyone, for your kind and thoughtful comments.

To answer a question, I'm a young 58 (and my SO was early 40's). So I'm used to being around the 'younger set'.

And to clear up some confusion, I'm female.

omni
Your plans sound good to me. Sorry I jumped to conclude that you are a man. Nothing you said suggested that- maybe your frankness fooled me.

As far as other men's attitudes toward serious relationships, I really don't know. I know some men when they are suddenly alone are very eager to attach themselves again to a lover/friend.

A lot of my social life is in dance communities, and dancers are fickle. I have seen a few marriages in 10 years, but more divorces, and mostly musical beds. It partially depends on where you are, what the mores are. If dancing is one of your interests, my observation is that people who do not see themselves as dancers, but just want to learn some dancing, are more likely to be good relationship material. Although dancers are fun for the most part, and dancing is a great way to keep loneliness at bay.

As far as why am I shy of a "relationship", probably fear. I had a great marriage which came apart for reasons I couldnt figure out. I was quite willing to be flexible at accommodating her changing desires, as long as they kept me involved. I don't think I am any smarter now, so I likely would get into something just as tricky. Right now I prefer to think of relationships as situational and fluid, and find my core support elswhere- including friendships with women.

You will likely do fine; you don't sound particularly angry or fed up. In fact you sound positive. For me the main thing has been to find how I like to spend my time, and like Gotadimple said, be happy with myself.

ha
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:51 PM   #9
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Ha:

You are a good man.

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Old 12-18-2008, 08:58 PM   #10
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Ha:

You are a good man.

Gumby
What he said. Heck, if ha lived in my neck of the woods I'd be a dance partner, assuming he could stand the bruises and broken toes I would likely inflict.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:05 PM   #11
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Time heals all wounds eh..
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:12 PM   #12
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Your plans sound good to me. Sorry I jumped to conclude that you are a man. Nothing you said suggested that- maybe your frankness fooled me.

As far as other men's attitudes toward serious relationships, I really don't know. I know some men when they are suddenly alone are very eager to attach themselves again to a lover/friend.

A lot of my social life is in dance communities, and dancers are fickle. I have seen a few marriages in 10 years, but more divorces, and mostly musical beds. It partially depends on where you are, what the mores are. If dancing is one of your interests, my observation is that people who do not see themselves as dancers, but just want to learn some dancing, are more likely to be good relationship material. Although dancers are fun for the most part, and dancing is a great way to keep loneliness at bay.

As far as why am I shy of a "relationship", probably fear. I had a great marriage which came apart for reasons I couldnt figure out. I was quite willing to be flexible at accommodating her changing desires, as long as they kept me involved. I don't think I am any smarter now, so I likely would get into something just as tricky. Right now I prefer to think of relationships as situational and fluid, and find my core support elswhere- including friendships with women.

You will likely do fine; you don't sound particularly angry or fed up. In fact you sound positive. For me the main thing has been to find how I like to spend my time, and like Gotadimple said, be happy with myself.

ha
HA - I appreciate your explanation of the dance community. A close female friend has been part of the dance community here for about 8 years, dancing 4-6 nights a week. She seemed to think that she would meet her Mr. Right through dancing. Some of the stories of the dancers she has met and dated has made me wonder about the men who are attracted to dance OR maybe it's just the subset of dancers that she has attracted is what I find a bit odd. So your description of the dance community is very helpful to me. I plan to go there to learn to dance and give me an excuse to leave the house.

You're right, I'm not bitter nor fed up. I loved the SO and the relationship we were in and now I'm just hurt/depressed that it's over. I need to move forward and make some new connections and find ways to keep myself busy.

Thanks for the insight into your marriage. I, too, was a bit blindsided by the SO at the end.

You sound like a very decent, caring guy.

omni
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:18 PM   #13
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HA - I appreciate your explanation of the dance community. .... I plan to go there to learn to dance and give me an excuse to leave the house.
This is how I've made some very good friends--finding something I want to do and being open to making friends in the process. Maybe you won't meet anyone in dance classes, but at least you'll learn how to cha-cha!
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:27 PM   #14
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Motorbike with sidecar

Get one of these. They are a fine way to get around the country and see things. They are also a babe magnet. Young or mature, everyone female wants a ride ... which serves as the needed opener.

You can also carry 300 lbs.+ of gear and junk, if you need to, so you don't have to do the minimalist camping bit.

Alternatively, you could get a sailboat. Same reasoning (babe magnet), plus you get to use up a lot of time on maintenance issues.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:33 PM   #15
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So your description of the dance community is very helpful to me. I plan to go there to learn to dance and give me an excuse to leave the house. omni
It works very well for that. Dancing is instant intimacy, given skill on the part of the man. The level of man/woman communication and subtlety can be very intoxicating. And of course short or medium term hook-ups are not hard to find. But it can be shallow. One of my friends is having knee problems and she can't dance. In spite of the fact that she is very nice, pretty, and lonesome, her messed up knee keeps her home and not many prople call her up.

A while back I danced with a woman who told me she took 1 gm of ibuprofen before coming, and that she was scheduled for hip surgery a week later. I said, hey let's sit this out, she said no I want to dance. IMO, these are not entirely healthy attitudes. Still, the physical and emotional communication is addicting. If you achieve some skill, and especially if your male partner is good it is quite a high.

Ha
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:41 PM   #16
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A while back I danced with a woman who told me she took 1 gm of ibuprofen before coming, and that she was scheduled for hip surgery a week later. I said, hey let's sit this out, she said no I want to dance. IMO, these are not entirely healthy attitudes.

Ha
At first pass, it sounds nutso, but I guess its not that far from the behavior of the yunguns at bars. I can definately count myself lucky for getting married at 23, I guess.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:45 PM   #17
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It works very well for that. Dancing is instant intimacy, given skill on the part of the man. The level of man/woman communication and subtlety can be very intoxicating. And of course short or medium term hook-ups are not hard to find. But it can be shallow. One of my friends is having knee problems and she can't dance. In spite of the fact that she is very nice, pretty, and lonesome, her messed up knee keeps her home and not many prople call her up.

A while back I danced with a woman who told me she took 1 gm of ibuprofen before coming, and that she was scheduled for hip surgery a week later. I said, hey let's sit this out, she said no I want to dance. IMO, these are not entirely healthy attitudes. Still, the physical and emotional communication is addicting. If you achieve some skill, and especially if your male partner is good it is quite a high.

Ha
I second that. I used to think only weirdos danced, but thanks to the MBA which had a good share of South American classmates, I finally opened my eyes and saw how much fun they were having. Wow, it's a great way to have fun even if you're not all that good at it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:23 AM   #18
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i’m gonna go out on a limb for a change. i detected some sexual complexities. at first i too thought you male, then, while continuing through your posts, i decided you were a lipstick lesbian though even too butch for that. no matter, we all like who we like. i’ve a friend who only dates kids, 18-23, and when they hit their 24th birthday or grow facial hair they’re out the door. i think my friend is a freak--certainly, his fetish assures his walk through life alone--but whatever, within some semblance of reason, blows yer skirt up, i say.

now onto harsh reality. if your significant other broke up with you, then perhaps you might re-examine just how “joined-at-the-hip” you really were. this can be a painful examination as you separate what you thought you had (and therefore where that would have lead) and where you wound up (thus from what trajectory brought you here). you will have to dissect the real from the imagined, what was intended from what you projected.

then comes the hard part: what is it about you that allowed or sought out or attracted a person who would lead you (at least in your mind) to believe that you were the one for them yet they could then dump you after so many years. not to say you’re at fault or that there’s any blame at all, so be careful that while you take responsibility for occurrences in your life that you do not take too much to a broken heart. wounds heal best once drained, cleaned and dressed.

though it seems to me that people become more or less of who they always were, i don’t deny that some people do change or at least seem to. there’s plenty of time to change in 16 years, especially if you snatched that person up in his 20s before he had a chance to explore himself from a grown up perspective. also, given your age difference, realize that those 16 years were a lot longer for him then they were for you. at 40, 16 years is 40% of life. but at 58, 16 years is only 28% of life. so for you the relationship was cut short, while for him the relationship was 12% longer than it was for you. not impossible but tough to not stagger when one leg is so much longer than the other. if you expect a smooth walk with that gait, you will be thown off the horse every time. enjoy your ride but wear padding.

i do not mean to be demeaning nor to say you are not attractive in your own right (i haven’t looked and do not know). but lets be real here for a moment. physically, those at 58 deteriorate quicker then do those in their 40s. between 40 and 50, your x will still be looking, relatively, pretty good. but between 58 & 68, face it, yer gonna need joan rivers level surgery if you want to continue deluding yourself into thinking you still look as sexually, youthfully attractive as those who draw your eye. again, i don’t mean to take a swipe at your ego, just laying out the facts.

examine your life without prejudice so that you can see even in harsh light, understand without judgment so that you can accept what is when that is not what you’d rather and then adapt without hesitation to take a step forward even when you are afraid.

to clarify my comments on being single and on considering re-entering the workforce (that would be the unabashedly & completely spelled out type of work--not the it's a four letter w*rd type of work), if you haven't yet taken notice of my utterly narcissistic posts, perhaps i should clearly note here how fabulous i know i am. lack of self-love this is not. nor have i ever needed anyone to complete me. nor have i ever not enjoyed my own company as i find myself thoroughly entertaining. i'm often meditative on my own, in relationships i'm never jealous and i both respect & require personal space.

for me the issue has more to do with a lifestyle choice than any natural inclination though even there i've some conflict. as mentioned in the concurrent trigger thread, early retirement was never my goal but rather a convenient & timely pressure valve. for me, it has already served its primary function. i don’t know yet if it will evolve or fade. perhaps i will invigorate this option into the future as last night i came across this http://www.elephantstay.com/ which might be more fun then either a job or a relationship. i’m exploring options as i further explore myself & this world.

for me a partner in retirement is more of a practicality than anything else. when i first started thinking about retirement, only shortly before i did so, i thought i’d be sailing around the world with my best friend who then died. my next option would be sailing solo and bringing on crew but that does not entice me so much. now that i’ve lost my boat money to the crash—which i could make up in less than 10 years of either overseas living or working here--i think about vagabonding, but even there, i’d so much rather do that with a partner.

also i’m not real into the younger guys (granted there’s always the exceptional few) who i would attract as a silver daddy overseas. but frankly such a life could be perfect for you if that’s your type. though many describe thailand, for instance, as the land of the tiger, it is also cougar country. enjoy.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:48 AM   #19
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Well, I am a man, but was in the same situation as you when I retired.. same age, same SO - except I married her for 3 years before she found another man! Then, my old Golden Retriever died, and my only child (a daughter) graduated from college - and I felt like somebody was telling me something.

I didn't know what, but having traveled to many parts of the world when I was younger, I bought a 2 month ticket to Singapore - with the vague idea of bumming around Southeast Asia just to clear the cobwebs from my head. Not only that, but the weather is wonderful year round - which you may appreciate - since I was born in Chicago and understand true winter.

Long story short, I headed to Indonesia - a huge country of 17,000 islands, the most famous being Bali. To my surprise, I found a large number of younger retired people of both sexes making their homes there. Many of the men and women who had been there for a few years had found a local spouse. The men are very fond of white women and give them very sincere attention.

Of course you can hire a spouse for a night for $30, but that holds no interest to me. The important thing is the friendly, accepting faces that greet you. The barriers between young and old are much less pronounced there - and I would be lying to say that even your meager retirement money looks like a queens fortune to the local people.

If nothing else, traveling gets you totally out of the American environment for a while - which may be something you need. Sit at the beach, take a nap, read a book, chat on the computer - go to a bar... there is none of the social protocol which dominates US single culture. I'm sure you know everywhere you go now you are looked at with a certain stereotype. This is a way to leave all that BS behind. People don't know and don't care where you are from, whether you are married or not - it is a whole new start on life.

I came home completely spoiled. I went to one "singles dance" and the next day I bought another ticket for Singapore! I live in Indonesia now and am happy as a clam. That may not be in the cards for you, but if you like traveling I suggest you get out and away. Asia is very cheap right now.

That's how I got myself out of the dumps - something for you to think about. Anyway, you'll come home with a great tan!
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
i’m gonna go out on a limb for a change. i detected some sexual complexities. at first i too thought you male, then, while continuing through your posts, i decided you were a lipstick lesbian though even too butch for that. no matter, we all like who we like. i’ve a friend who only dates kids, 18-23, and when they hit their 24th birthday or grow facial hair they’re out the door. i think my friend is a freak--certainly, his fetish assures his walk through life alone--but whatever, within some semblance of reason, blows yer skirt up, i say.

now onto harsh reality. if your significant other broke up with you, then perhaps you might re-examine just how “joined-at-the-hip” you really were. this can be a painful examination as you separate what you thought you had (and therefore where that would have lead) and where you wound up (thus from what trajectory brought you here). you will have to dissect the real from the imagined, what was intended from what you projected.

then comes the hard part: what is it about you that allowed or sought out or attracted a person who would lead you (at least in your mind) to believe that you were the one for them yet they could then dump you after so many years. not to say you’re at fault or that there’s any blame at all, so be careful that while you take responsibility for occurrences in your life that you do not take too much to a broken heart. wounds heal best once drained, cleaned and dressed.

though it seems to me that people become more or less of who they always were, i don’t deny that some people do change or at least seem to. there’s plenty of time to change in 16 years, especially if you snatched that person up in his 20s before he had a chance to explore himself from a grown up perspective. also, given your age difference, realize that those 16 years were a lot longer for him then they were for you. at 40, 16 years is 40% of life. but at 58, 16 years is only 28% of life. so for you the relationship was cut short, while for him the relationship was 12% longer than it was for you. not impossible but tough to not stagger when one leg is so much longer than the other. if you expect a smooth walk with that gait, you will be thown off the horse every time. enjoy your ride but wear padding.

i do not mean to be demeaning nor to say you are not attractive in your own right (i haven’t looked and do not know). but lets be real here for a moment. physically, those at 58 deteriorate quicker then do those in their 40s. between 40 and 50, your x will still be looking, relatively, pretty good. but between 58 & 68, face it, yer gonna need joan rivers level surgery if you want to continue deluding yourself into thinking you still look as sexually, youthfully attractive as those who draw your eye. again, i don’t mean to take a swipe at your ego, just laying out the facts.

examine your life without prejudice so that you can see even in harsh light, understand without judgment so that you can accept what is when that is not what you’d rather and then adapt without hesitation to take a step forward even when you are afraid.

to clarify my comments on being single and on considering re-entering the workforce (that would be the unabashedly & completely spelled out type of work--not the it's a four letter w*rd type of work), if you haven't yet taken notice of my utterly narcissistic posts, perhaps i should clearly note here how fabulous i know i am. lack of self-love this is not. nor have i ever needed anyone to complete me. nor have i ever not enjoyed my own company as i find myself thoroughly entertaining. i'm often meditative on my own, in relationships i'm never jealous and i both respect & require personal space.

for me the issue has more to do with a lifestyle choice than any natural inclination though even there i've some conflict. as mentioned in the concurrent trigger thread, early retirement was never my goal but rather a convenient & timely pressure valve. for me, it has already served its primary function. i don’t know yet if it will evolve or fade. perhaps i will invigorate this option into the future as last night i came across this http://www.elephantstay.com/ which might be more fun then either a job or a relationship. i’m exploring options as i further explore myself & this world.

for me a partner in retirement is more of a practicality than anything else. when i first started thinking about retirement, only shortly before i did so, i thought i’d be sailing around the world with my best friend who then died. my next option would be sailing solo and bringing on crew but that does not entice me so much. now that i’ve lost my boat money to the crash—which i could make up in less than 10 years of either overseas living or working here--i think about vagabonding, but even there, i’d so much rather do that with a partner.

also i’m not real into the younger guys (granted there’s always the exceptional few) who i would attract as a silver daddy overseas. but frankly such a life could be perfect for you if that’s your type. though many describe thailand, for instance, as the land of the tiger, it is also cougar country. enjoy.
Interesting. Lots to ponder.

I'm wondering why the "lipstick lesbian though even too butch for that" comment.

My friends would die laughing if they heard that.

A bit more about me. I'm a FIRE'd mechanical engineer. I must've gotten the math/science gene as daughter of a civil engineer and granddaughter of a metallurgical engineer. And I've spent years in almost exclusively male-dominated areas -- in college I was the only female in my class, and in my 33-year career, I was often the only female, too. Perhaps that's what gives you that masculine or lesbian vibe?

I'm totally straight. There's nothing I like better than a great guy.
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