Have we become grumpy old daters?

As people age, some become happier and more care free, choosing to look at each day as a blessing, and not to sweat small inconveniences.

Others seem to focus more on pointing out any inconvenience to those who they think caused it — or anyone within earshot.

I’d been told that during my search for my next love I’d encounter more of the latter than the former. Grumps who were set in their ways, and are quick to point out anything that didn’t match their view of how the world should be.

However, I can say the majority of men with whom I’ve had more than a quick conversation or two have fallen into the positive camp. So I was surprised when my normally chipper suitor-de-jour was argumentative during our thrice-weekly phone call (we have yet to meet).

I’d noticed a voice mail from him on my cell phone, which is unreliable in it’s notification of messages. I deleted his message after listening, then realized I hadn’t noticed the date he’d sent it. We’d just talked the day before so I was unsure if his message was before or after that. So I called and left him a message stating this.

He called back. “You called and didn’t leave your phone number.”

“I knew you had my number since you’ve called me numerous times. Can’t you just hit ‘Call back’ on your cell?”

“It would have been more convenient if you’d left your number.”

“More convenient than hitting ‘Call back’?”

“I hate it when people don’t leave their number.”

“Even if you have their number?”

“And you were lying saying you didn’t know when I’d left the message. You just wanted to hear my voice.”

To which I thought, but didn’t say, “Now I don’t.”

“I was not lying. I told the truth. You seem a bit grumpy today.”

“I was just kidding.” (His voice tone did not sound like kidding.)

I don’t like to be accused of lying, even if kidding. I also don’t like to be told I did something wrong when the other person just doesn’t know how to use their tools (like the Call Back button) or easily look up my number in his phone. He can even ask Siri to call me (he has an iPhone) but he refuses to learn how to use Siri.

So instead I got a grump.

It made me look at my own triggers to crotchetiness. When do I get crabby and how do I express it to those around me? I saw how unappealing it is to be on the receiving end, and how this can be a detriment to someone who’s interest you’re trying to arouse.

How do you handle your own testiness when you’re in a budding dating relationship? Have you learned how to express your displeasure in a non-cantankerous way? How do you react when someone you’re beginning to date is churlish with you?


Embracing Midlife Men: Insights Into Curious Behaviors Embracing Midlife Men


7 responses to “Have we become grumpy old daters?”

  1. johnc Avatar

    I have had to become a better person, better able to communicate in a light hearted manner. Clear communication is important.

    However, I do not tolerate bad behavior. We – including me – have no excuse to act that way.

    I think that many times people act grumpy because of a shortcoming in themselves. For instance, the grumpy guy could have been annoyed at himself for not knowing how to do a call back. Or, he could just be a grumpy old man that thinks people should leave numbers because he was raised up during a time BEFORE caller ID and has never successfully made the transition. Either way? Send him packing. It won’t get better when he is no longer exhibiting his best behavior. And if this is his best…….

    Finding someone that has a positive, cheerful outlook on life without drama – which is all that grumpiness is – is gonna be tough. Just sayin’…

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Thanks, John, for your thoughts on this. He has other positive qualities, which is why I’ve hung out talking to him without meeting yet. But I’ll keep your “send him packing” advice in mind.

  3. Heather Avatar

    I think John’s explanation is worth taking on board. I agree that many times we act grumpy because something has made aware of our own shortcomings or insecurities. If you’re communicating with someone online it’s easier to read it over and edit, but face to face, or over the phone you can’t take it back. Blaming is never attractive.

    I’m a pretty easy-going person, but in a long distance relationship, I found myself occasionally taking something the wrong way. I have no doubt this related to my anxiety over past experiences of long distance relationships. Once I let go and decided to be less invested in the outcome, the tension disappeared.

    I guess we can all have grumpy days, and they can be forgiven if there are other redeeming qualities. Whether or not someone realises and apologises is pretty crucial

  4. Melanie Rubin Avatar
    Melanie Rubin

    As this post demonstrates, dating for women in midlife can be darn tricky! It can also be tricky for men.

  5. Henry Avatar

    It may be tricky, but if you will look at the bright side you will see them exploring. They still want to be in love which is a good thing.

  6. james Avatar

    First of all, I am glad to see that your site has some real help and support with content that provides real answers. I have searched for days for the information that you are giving and your site is right to the point on every detail that I need. Your site doesn’t waste my time with a lot fluff like many other site that clam they know what they are talking about. You have a 4 star rating as far as I am concerned. So again thanks….James

  7. Lewis Avatar

    For me long distance relationship will not work. I have a friend she had a long distance relationship.and it didn`t work. Because the guy looked for another girl. So you must know the attitude of your boyfriend. If you can still trust him even you’re miles apart.