Double standards in dating

This morning, an article on entering relationships that are unlikely to last popped up in my reader.

First, I thought of my divorced friend from those years ago.

Do they state their dating norms with such candor or aplomb? (I can’t tell you how many times women friends have said they couldn’t imagine getting naked in front of a casual acquaintance; it’s tough enough to do so with someone you love.) Leaving that last statement aside for the moment (a different matter), does the old dating double standard still exist when it comes to women?

She was a Man Magnet, and fell in like, in lust, and in love a few times a year.

Her household (to some degree) reflected the revolving door that characterized her social life. Was it their number, their speedy shelf-life, or was it genuine concern for her kids and the fact that her short-lived weren’t conducted more privately?

It doesn’t take new math to run the numbers: three, four, five years after divorce – and the play time has been plentiful.

I also know men who have had one or two relationships a year, and that arithmetic yields a less lip-pursing response. What if they fess up to four or six affairs a year? I might add that the women I know – particularly as they get older – are more interested in a relationship than a fling, in part because of aging bodies.

Before I was divorced, I used to raise an eyebrow over a close friend’s dating habits.



What bothered me at the time was the way she inducted the Most Recent Great Man into her family sphere, and then he would be removed from the picture when she grew disenchanted. If anything, I was in awe – even more so when a few years later I found myself divorced (in my forties), with two young children, and wondering what would come next. Was it seeing her ultimately repeating unfortunate patterns, since she expressed a desire to remarry?

Another might take his place a month or two later, in yet one more relationship that was doomed to end. Or was I jealous of what appeared to be a glamorous social life – which resembled nothing in my real life – ?

These liaisons are classified as fun, filler, “temporarily serious” – and occasionally longer term relationships.

In my experience, guys generally have no issue with saying they were involved with four or (or more) women over the course of a year.

Then I thought of another friend whose post-divorce dating life was also something of a dizzying series of escapades.

Most of the divorced men I’ve known openly admit – usually with a rakish grin – to a significant number of partners.


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