Mudcat Café message #1133462 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67653   Message #1133462
Posted By: GUEST,Bothered and Bewildered
10-Mar-04 - 08:22 PM
Thread Name: BS: Dating Behaviour - am I out of touch ?
Subject: RE: BS: Dating Behaviour - am I out of touch ?
I am so glad I started this thread - it has developed into such an interesting discussion, and clearly something that a lot of people here want to talk about and have some very thought-provoking things to say. Thank you, all!

To get the specific situation out of the way, that prompted me to write in the first place: 'Guest' of 01.40 PM: I am sure you are right that when each of the people concerned comes from a different cultural background, the issue of different expectations in behaviour and intentions, and the difficulties in communicating them clearly, can be heightened markedly. I don't know what your therapist would make of this, Little Hawk, but all my life, whether single or married, I have been a target for highly persuasive exotic foreign men :) They home in on me in the most unlikely places and situations.

From reading everyone's comments, and from my own brief experiences so far, entering into new relationships later in life presents rather different difficulties from the ones we encountered as teens and twentysomethings. I agree with you, Freda, when you said: "People become more of themselves, more uniquely different, as we move through the decades." It reminded me of a quote I once read, in the same vein: "As you get older, you remain exactly the same, only more so." I have also found that in growing older, and having spent some years on my own now, I know that happiness isn't "out there" somewhere, it is only to be found within myself, as you said, Little Hawk. Having this inner strength and confidence is going to inform the choices that an older person makes about relationships and the speed and direction they take.

There have been some very varied reactions to my saying: "I think it's wise for people to know each other for at least 6 months before they go to bed together." I wasn't setting a rule, I just said it was wise. I certainly wouldn't want to just hold hands for a whole six months, either ;) The key factor here for me is an increasing trust, which just cannot happen overnight, between people; body, mind, spirit being revealed and offered in parallel, gradual, developing stages.

I think it is very sad when people miss out on exploring and understanding the spiritual aspects and symbolism of sexuality. Without it, everything in a relationship is liable to be out of sync and prone to confusion, misunderstanding and hurt emotions. I know that from mistakes I made when I was younger. Here is a quote from a book, 'Single Again' by Thomas Jones:

"One person, the man, physically enters the body of the other, the woman. There is in that entrance a symbol of what ought to be happening in his spirit at the same time. He ought to be saying to her, 'I am willing to enter into your life, into your whole life. I want to come into who and what you are. I want to discover you in every way. I want to know you. As I discover you, I will love you and accept you. I will not reject what I find that you are. I will care for you, understand you, and always honor you. I will dwell lovingly within your life.' On the other side of the illustration, think of the symbolism of the woman's act of intercourse. She actually opens her body to the man's entrance. She ought to be saying, 'My spirit is also open to you. You may come into my whole life. I will keep no secrets from you. What I truly am I will permit you to know, to touch. I will trust you wholly with my inner self. You are welcome here inside my life."

I find those words beautiful. I certainly couldn't say them verbally to anyone having known them for a matter of weeks, so I would not want to "say" them with my body to anyone in that space of time, either.

I will be interested to see what people here think of that quote. Thank you all again for such interesting comments.