The older you get the more baggage you have, but whether you choose to drag it around with you, leave it behind, or just pack it away discreetly to be disposed of at a later date could be the deciding factor in whether your next relationship succeeds or fails.
Deciding when it’s the right time to start dating again after a break up is never straightforward either, but it’s not just people coming out of long-term relationships that need time to adjust, long-time singleton’s have their own issues too. When you’ve been on your own for a while you tend to become quite self-sufficient, and you get used to doing things on your own, in your own time, without having to think of others’ wants or needs – and this can be just as difficult to deal with for any prospective partner.
…although, for the lucky few, it can be relatively pain-free experience…
So should you take on someone who is fresh out of a relationship for fear of spending any more time on the shelf, or should you turn down a possible Mr or Mrs Right for fear of it not working out?
If you begin a relationship with someone new, and you are the first person they have had any kind of sex or intimacy with for a number of years (apart from their ex-partner), then common sense tells you it would be madness to run straight into a full-on relationship. They will need to get some stuff out of their system: divorcing, separating or just plain breaking up can be a real fucker (although, for the lucky few, it can be relatively pain-free experience). But, no matter whether it’s a good one or a bad one, one thing is for certain, they are going to be in a different world, and they will behave out of character while they are settling down and getting used to their new life.
…agree that both of you won’t be exclusive until such time as you are both ready…
However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up on them just yet, it just depends how much you like them and whether you can handle a relaxed relationship while they go through it and (hopefully) come out the other side. And, offering them the chance to see what else is on offer is one way to find out if you have a future together.
As the saying goes “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be”. While I don’t think this is entirely true, there is some resonance; if you think you might love them (or think you might grow to love them, given the chance), then maybe it’s worth considering offering them a deal: continue to see each other, but agree that both of you won’t be exclusive until such time as you are both ready. This way, if someone else comes along in the meantime neither of you need feel guilty, (and you needn’t have your heart-broken). But, if, when they have got things out of their system and settled down, they still want to be with you (and you them) then you can go for it, safe in the knowledge that you have some sort of future together.
No one really wants to be someone’s fuck buddy…
Of course, there is no guarantee they will even go with this suggestion, but it’s definitely worth considering. No one really wants to be someone’s fuck buddy; it’s just that sometimes it’s the best and easiest option available. And, if the sex is good and you like them, then it could be a lot, lot worse.
Image courtesy of Randy Kashka