Men dating survival guide

25-Aug-2017 00:56

Because, don’t be fooled — as simplistic as most men are, a man in his 50s is a much more complex beast than he initially appears. Not only do you have to expect it, I think you almost have to prefer it. If the bloke you’ve set your eyes on isn’t jumping straight from another relationship (and if he is: alarm bells! And if we’re in the market for a new romance, we likely consider ourselves failures in love, too.

Adam has started a new romance, with his very attractive neighbour, Tina. Because if your new partner could have had children, but has managed to stagger into middle-age without spawning any, you have to wonder why. But here’s something women need to accept about men, and which sets the sexes apart. We can’t help competing and comparing ourselves, not just to others, but to our earlier selves.‘Am I as happy with this girlfriend/wife (delete as appropriate) as I was with the last? The first time we fall in love, we’re eager to mould ourselves to the other person, evolving together. We’re an old pot that’s been fired in the kiln and varnished with a hard lacquer. When dating, we might succeed in hiding this aspect of our personality — but rest assured, it lurks just below the surface. Let’s be honest, were the bloke in question a car on a forecourt, you’d likely keep walking.

So if you're not currently seeing someone, you should go for it and ask someone new out for Valentine's Day.

Now for those of you who are dating someone new, here are some statistics that you'll find helpful: 40% of women do not expect a gift until you are in a committed relationship.

The French have a saying: ‘We love but once, and that is the first time’. It would be understandable were a woman in Tina’s situation to worry about how she stands vis-a-vis her partner’s former love. In the world of Cold Feet, Tina, too, has emotional baggage — enough to attract a surcharge on Easy Jet. Their common experience is partly what draws them together. It’s not shared baggage, but rather baggage that looks strikingly similar, an asset in a new relationship. Blinded by love, many readers will ignore these wise words. This is the single biggest tip I can give any woman who is contemplating taking on a man in midlife. But while some people are content on their own, most of us aren’t.

For most couples embarking on a new romance midlife, the bond they share is hopefully not the death of a spouse but, in all probability, the failure of a previous relationship. They’ll think: ‘It won’t be like that with me.’ But why should it be any different this time around? Cold Feet’s Adam falls firmly into the second category.

Midlife men are only after one thing — but it is not the same thing they were after when they were younger.Only 4% put a box of chocolate on their Valentine’s Day ideal gift list. Because giving chocolate makes you look like you waited until the last minute to pick up a gift and then picked it up at the local super- market.In other words, like you didn't put any thought into it.Personally, I always find it astonishing when someone badmouths a previous love. Even if you take their account of their ex’s shortcomings at face value, it brings into question their judgment — why didn’t they spot these pitfalls in advance? I can’t imagine him being happy without someone to share life’s journey.

Advice, then, to anyone, male or female, whose new partner bangs on about their ex. And not just because there’s a degree of autobiographical detail in his character.

Which means that guys in newer relationships don't have to worry about Valentine's Day.