Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Damaged goods

A few days ago, the 8PM news on Dutch TV warned again about dating scams for men and women of, say, 50+. I remember a similar warning in previous years. The Christmas holidays are a good moment to look for a new love. Nowadays, this search is online. Scammers have noticed this huge online dating market and hunt for vulnerable men and women. A little attention is often enough to put their claws into people craving for new love. Love leaves many blind spots and soon financial help will be on its way to support the new found love.

I might have been one of those people if the request for financial help would not raise lots of red flags, loud horns, and flashing yellow alarm lights inside me. Once I did help a Kenyan friend with a hospital bill but the amount was very affordable and I had plenty of reserves back then. When she came back a second time for financial support, I advised her to approach someone else. The Kenyan woman whom I have dated never asked me for money although it soon became clear that she had an overdue rent. When I left Kenya, I gave her money for the overdue and upcoming rent. For her it was a lot. For me it wasn’t. Why not help a friend in need if and when you can afford it?

A few days ago, I registered myself again at an online dating site. So far I have had lots of profile visitors and the visiting women range from 35 to 68, while I am 55. It’s amazing. A few of them – and of my own age – actually approached me. Apparently, I am not very skilled in dating and what to say and especially what not to say. I think that I am far too open and transparent about myself. And it’s probably best to avoid any sensitive topic while dating. I am not very good at that as I am proud of what I have achieved over the last 5 years. I am a survivor, not a victim.

I do not consider myself as a vulnerable person. I am sensitive but I am not vulnerable. And I am not desperately seeking for female attention as desperation – like love – also results into many blind spots. Yet I do understand these 50+ men and women. They are damaged goods just a I once also was. I survived after a heavy fight with myself. You can’t expect someone else to help you sort out your own problems. First and foremost you must help yourself. And desperation makes you an easy pray for people with good or bad intentions.

There can be so many reasons for ending up as damaged goods. I suppose that bad experiences as a child are the number one reason. As a child you have little tools to defend yourself. Dealing with those experiences as an adult is far from easy as they have long been buried deep inside in order to being able to survive. Getting those experiences out in the open may be too much. It’s much easier to continue pretending that they do not exist. And if you do not talk about it then it does not exist.

I suppose the number two reason for being damaged goods are divorces and/or break-ups. As I wrote in my 12 December 2015 blog, lessons in love are seldom learned. We treat each failure in love as unique and hurry towards our next relationship. We ignore that we bring our same personality into that new relationship. And the older we get, the less flexible our personality becomes. A divorce or break-up is the result of a clash between two personalities. Understanding yourself (ie, personality) is key in not repeating mistakes in life – and also love.

I think I have learned my lessons of life and love. And the last few days I have once again learned that online dating is not meant for me. And as Elvis Costello once sang:

Now I have nothing
So God give me strength
‘Cos I’m weak in her wake
And if I’m strong I might still break

God Give Me Strength (1998) by Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach
artist-BB, artist-EC, lyrics, video, Wiki-BB, Wiki-EC, Wiki-album+song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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