Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

50+ dating is like fishing in troubled waters (2)

Recently, a friend asked me why people at our age are not willing to invest in a relationship. People quit immediately once things get tough. It’s no longer “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” (artist, lyricsvideo, Wiki). I had to smile as she did the same to me. She disagrees. I understand her point of view. Still, she gave up on me following a future possibility.

I told her that I assume the explanation is about age or ageing (ie, arrow of time), the risk-reward balance (my blogs), and about pliability (Dutch: kneedbaarheid). 

At a young age, time is no constraint. Most of your time is ahead of you. At 50+, you know that the remaining arrow of time is limited. Most of your time is behind you. Hence, dating risks are low when you’re young. You can afford investing time in some future relationship failures.

The risk-reward balance is applicable in any situation in our lives (eg, dating, speeding). Humans aim to minimise risk and – simultaneously – maximise return or reward. To some extent, this concept is also known as homo economicus or – in Dutch – the calculating citizen. Those latter concepts are about maximising reward and do not include the risk minimising element. 

Given remaining time at 50+, risk-reward at 50+ is far more relevant than at a young age. A relationship failure is a risk; a success is a reward. Minimising risks and maximising reward translates in limiting our investment in time in expected future (relationship) failures.

At a young age, dating risks (eg, time) seem low and dating rewards seem high (eg, sex). Hence, some “fooling around and falling in love” feels fine (artistvideo, Wiki). 

Last but not least, at a young age, you assume that your romantic partner is malleable or pliable. At 50+, you know better: they’re not. Hence, most people at 50+ are looking for a romantic partner close to their home. They are not willing to relocate. Many people have already asked me why I moved so far away from my family and/or friends. It’s about a new start, by the way.

I cannot think of any other reason why people at 50+ are reluctant to invest in an expected romantic failure. In my view, these expectations are about determining (risk) probabilities and thus part of the risk-reward balance. Despite the above, I did not select the song “What’s love got to do with it?” (artist, lyricsvideoWiki).

 Time in a Bottle (1973) by Jim Croce (1943-1973)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

But there never seems to be enough time 
To do the things you want to do, once you find them

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

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