Are you longing to end the quest too soon?









Most of the people I talk to about dating want to find “The One” quickly and get the dating roller coaster ride over. They don’t enjoy the process of meeting new people and being disappointed when there isn’t mutual attraction. Or if there is, it doesn’t last long.

One 60-plus woman friend who recently found herself single after a 20+ year relationship ended, shared that she didn’t expect to be unattached within a year or so. However, her plan for finding her next mate mostly relies upon him finding her. She wasn’t really interested in putting much effort into it and was definitely not interested in going online. She’s attractive, but not a stunning beauty, and isn’t well-off financially. She also has some pronounced personality flaws that drove away her last long-time love.

A male friend expressed that he can’t wait to settle on the many women aggressively pursuing him. He hasn’t been dating long, but is already tired of it. He wants the quest to be over so he can devote his energy to other things.

Both these people see dating as somewhat of a chore. There’s no interest in seeing dating as a way to better learn what you want as well as meet interesting people. Their attitudes are best summed up with Ashleigh Brilliant’s cartoon above.

What about you? How do you see your dating life? Is it a chore or an interesting journey? What advice would you give others who are wanting to rush the process and settle on the first person who meets their minimum criteria, just so they can stop the dating game?


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10 responses to “Are you longing to end the quest too soon?”

  1. Almita Avatar

    I have never been married. Having been in the dating scene now for 25 years, I go through phases where sometimes dating is exciting (like when I move to a new city and there is a fresh pool of men) and sometimes I consider it a chore (when I have date after date with duds).

    Regarding your question: Is it really rushing the process to settle on the first person who meets your minimum criteria? I am sure you are aware of the research on maximizers versus satisficers. Maximizers are always looking for something or someone better whereas satisficers will go with the first option that meets a certain threshold. Research has shown that satisficers tend to be happier with their decisions and happier with life in general.

    I tend to be a satisficer; however, I haven’t met anyone who meets my minimum criteria yet : ) Believe me, when I do meet him, I am not going to waste any time dating around with the hopes of finding anyone “better”.

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Well put, Almita! I seem to have come across a lot of maximizers! And like you, I haven’t found many who meet my minimum criteria.

  3. Teresa Avatar

    I am 57 divorced I know what works for me what I am looking for I don’t neeed to date in order to learn what I want in a man/relationship. I meet many interesting people in my day to day life work, travel, volunteering I don’t see dating as a way to meet interesting people.

    It’s been 7 years since my exh and I split and I have yet to go on one date. I spent 2 years on various internet dating sites most messages were from cougar hunters or men looking for a fb. Lots of interest from men who lived across the country but I am not interested in ldr.

    My strategy for the last year or so is to stop the chase and just live my life. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle in theory I don’t want to endlessly date but I am not in a rush to settle down either.
    The reality is that the chance of finding someone at my age with whom there is mutual attraction and true compatibility are very low.

  4. Lisa Avatar

    I agree with Teresa that meeting interesting men is not a “side benefit” of the seemingly endless pursuit for a compatible partner. I also meet interesting people in my work, so meeting them on dating sites just doesn’t really make me feel better. If there is no attraction or a strong common interest for a continued friendship it gets discouraging to keep going through the same routine year after year.

    Sometime I feel like my dating life has just been years of go nowhere single dates for all the same reasons–no mutual attraction, unbalanced attraction, depressed dysfuncational mid-life crisis suffering men who aren’t fit for any woman, etc. I have to make myself think back to what it feels like to feel that sense of attraction so that I know that it can exist.

    I think it is sort of sad about the women DG mentions who are “aggressively” pursuing this single man. I never want to be the stereotypical lonely middle aged woman throwing herself at someone just because she wants to be in a relationship. I have known women like that, and the guy never quite seems worth it. I was friends once with a man who had a lot of “issues”–was broke and basically unemployed, lived in a hovel often without utilities, needed his parents to still support him and his son, etc. yet he found a lonely middle aged woman who was a doctor to marry him and take him in! I think she ended the quest way too soon in my book!! So maybe it is both a blessing and a curse to be ok with your single self?

  5. Don Avatar

    At first I disliked dating. But then I took a more positive outlook and realized that dating allows me to learn more about me, what I want in a partner and what I don’t. I learned so much while dating and I grew a lot emotionally as well. Without dating, I think that my current relationship wouldn’t have survived because I would still be emotionally immature and insecure.

  6. Destiny Avatar

    I’ve never been married, and now I find myself at 40 still single. However, I refuse to rush into anything. With age has come the wisdom that we all need to slow down and enjoy life. I include dating in that category. I am just enjoying meeting new people and learning new things.

    It also helps tremendously if you genuinely like yourself and are not afraid to spend time alone. Remember, you have to love yourself first before anyone else will.

  7. Marie Avatar

    I’ve had the positive attitude, but I left my marriage 12 years ago. Since then I’ve had one three-month relationship. At this point, I truly am tired of dating. I’m still doing it. And I do enjoy meeting new people. But at this point I’m so way overdue for a happy relationship that I’ve lost my patience. I wish I could just meet someone in person and have things click, so I can stop going online, stop going on coffee dates with men I only know from an online profile, and just enjoy being in a relationship.

  8. Christine Avatar

    After a 20 year relationship ended i gave myself a gift….time to grieve. I didn’t want to take more “baggage” then necessary into what has become my new life. Hoping to make better chooses by healing i have found myself in what could only be described as “freaked out” by the links in which one must go to in order to find suitable men to date. I would love for it to happen organically without internet profiles and only my best pictures in hopes of catching the eye of a man with substitutes. I’m not sure if that happens anymore. So after giving myself 5 years to heal i’m ready to date again and i find i am ill equipped for this new world of online dating and do i really have to resort to it? Could there be another way i am just not seeing? And is everyone as scared as i am about meeting people in person you “met” online?

    Step 1: breath Step 2: breath again Step 3: ??
    I know with time i will find my “sea legs” but until then pass me the barf bag please….

  9. Marie Avatar

    Christine, I’m finally realizing that this is more scary than I was admitting to myself. I’ve survived it, and met some really nice guys in the process. But I don’t like it. You might try Meetup ( You can find groups of people who are interested in just about any activity or interest you can think of. They have to meet in person or they can’t have a group. There are groups for singles too. My favorite dating site is OK Cupid. It’s free and if you answer a lot of questions, you can find out a lot more about the guys. All the same, I will still keep breathing. 😉

  10. Beth Avatar

    Hi all,
    I’ve been involved in Meetup’s singles groups for quite awhile in the SF Bay Area. Although it seems like a good idea, 90% of the time the ratio of women to men that attend is 3 to 1. So it is not much different than the bar scene. I’ve met 2 guys that I’ve dated through those groups, and they both turned out to be duds, even though you have the advantage of meeting face to face in a relatively safe environment.
    I’ve made some good female and male friends through the groups though, so if I want to go on a hike or go listen to a jazz combo, I don’t have to go by myself. I’m thinking it works best when you actually stop looking so hard, and just go out and have fun with your new friends from your meetup group. Maybe one of those male friends will become your next beau. Or not. At least you had fun doing something you like to do in the interim.