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Is There A Place For Short-Term Relationships?

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All my life I sought a life-long relationship, and, yes, I found true love for ten years, (in my forties), only to lose it for my refusal to marry her (back then, a Holy Union), for fear of losing my Disability benefits and bankrupting her as a result.

As I approach my 60's, I realize I have become more complex, because of all the life experience I have been through, making it more difficult for me to find someone with whom I am compatible.  What brought this home to me was my experience with four Lesbian dating websites, (from my mid-fifties to the present), where the women my age (59) were more complicated and had more complex demands on a potential partner.

Slowly, it gradually occurred to me, that if I didn't find an alternative way of looking at love and companionship, that very likely I would remain single and have no romantic love and companionship for the rest of my life.

Gradually, I realized serial brief relationships (with the possibility of a relationship growing into a friendship or even a long-term relationship) would be a lot more realistic.  

Here are my reasons:

WHY IT'S BEST I LIVE ALONE

  • Am set in my ways.
  • Needs to use the bathroom on short notice.
  • Gassy.
  • Terrible odor when I use the bathroom.
  • Never shared my living space (not even with my lover of 10 years).
  • Can not share my apartment and finances due to being on Disability.
  • Needs to live in HUD Public Housing (if anyone wanted to live with me, they, too, would have to be "very low income," too).
  • Allergic to horses, dogs, cats and birds (most Lesbians not only have cats and dogs, but sleep with their pets).
  • Am actually happy with my apartment (and I am unlikely to find as good an apartment - especially HUD Housing - anywhere).
  • Only negative where I live is some residents in Beacon and many residents of my apartment complex, I don't like.  Avoid them and save money to take trips every three or four months.
  • Love my building.
  • Management treats me humanely.
  • Maintenance treats me humanely, and does an efficient and thorough job maintaining and cleaning the building as well as making repairs in my apartment. (Most HUD Public Housing properties are poorly maintained.)
  • Very low crime rate where I live.  (The lowest crime rate I have every seen at a HUD Public Housing property I have ever seen.)

Here are what I think are the advantages of short-term relationships:

The Advantages of Short-Term Relationships

  • Due to very low income (some would call this a "budget income," I can not relocate quickly to continue dating a woman (in order to avoid a "U-Haul" situation where I would move in with her, and hope for the best!)
  • Most women do not qualify (very low income) and are uncomfortable dating a woman who lives in HUD Public Housing, especially if it is poorly maintained and is in a dangerous neighborhood.
  • Able to enjoy the relationship before the drama and games begin.
  • Can't find a woman locally to me because of homophobia where I live.  (Most women are already coupled before they move here.)
  • Both parties should be single out of respect for other relationships and for themselves.
  • Sex is not the primary reason for such a relationship, but companionship.

Of course, there are many other reasons people may choose short-term relationships rather than long-term or lifelong relationships.

Would like to hear from others if they resonate with this in their own lives (especially if they are 60 +) and how realistic they think this is.

Am I selling myself short?  Or am I having realistic expectations for a 59 year old, average-looking woman, who is kind, compassionate, supportive and has many interests?

Thank you in advance for your comments!


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16 Comments

Posted

Hi Monica,

No, you're not selling yourself short at all. I do think realistic expectations are best and it's good to know what you want and need. So certainly, be open to short term relationships. Nothing wrong with that. As you said, they might grow into longer term, or "just" friendships, or people you socialize with that introduce you to others. All is good, all is available to you.

I do think, though, that looking for love or friendship, either short or long term, sets us up for anxieties and problems. Get out, socialize however you want and can, and see who you meet and enjoy talking to. If it's fun, have a coffee or lunch, that sort of thing. 

Good for you to know yourself so well. I know you've been exploring all you can to try to meet people in on-line and other relationship services. Maybe you had to do that in order to learn and be where you are now. You're much wiser as a result and can talk knowledgeably if that subject comes up!

Hugs,

Emma

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Posted

In my personal experience (which has run both ends of the spectrum, from insane what was I doing to hey I have my love stuff together!) I have learned one thing, there is no perfection.  There is no standard, no ideal, and no repeatable experiences.  Each one is unique, each one teaches us something, and most are worth having.  The ones that are harmful can still yield positives, but I can't bring myself to say they were worth having.  And this is from someone who got her son out of one, it's complicated in my head sometimes. 

I think in a lot of cases that one of our great societal problems is the concepts of short versus long term relationships in the first place, that one is 'good' and one is 'bad'.  You are asking yourself if you are selling yourself short by considering this, which indicates to me you have some lingering unresolved internal conflict with the choice that you need to resolve inside before you embark both for your sake and your partners.  If you aren't going into this openly without dealing with that feeling, it has a real potential to eat at you and the relationship.  Or I'm over reading into your post.  :)  Also, realistically, no one can tell if a relationship is going to be long or short.  Unless we want to go back to the random lottery of arranged partnerships, the whole reason we date at all is to explore and analyze the potential.  I've seen people stay in ridiculous relationships because they have some sort of weird concept of 'wasted time' or 'refusal to fail' instead of realizing they're continuing to waste time in a relationship that is failing them . I have no idea where this behavior comes from, but it seems unhealthy and pointless to me. 

On your con list, several of them are unrealistic cons.  NO ONE isn't gassy, literally no one.  It's a byproduct of human digestion, we all area.  Live-together couples deal with it.  Just we have this weird social taboo so no one realizes how bad it is for everyone, and things they are somehow weird or unpleasant to be around. No ones bathroom products smell good either.  You just deal with the little inconveniences of life when living with someone.  Nikki is awful in both those, wouldn't give my Nikki up, I just open the window a lot after one of us has been in there.  :) ​ Some Febreeze helps too.  Most people are more set in their ways than we realize, compromise is not an innate talent it's a learned skill, and there is nothing wrong with trying to find someone with a similar set of ways to reduce the amount of compromise.  The allergies and finances are more 'real' hurdles vs. feelings you have about yourself that make you hesitant in my opinion, and the best advice I can give for that is be open and upfront if you hit the point where short term may look different.  WEll, maybe prior to the first date with the allergy part, but the finances can wait.  :)  But ​health issues that can trigger on a date such as cat lady covered in cat hair at the date could be an issue.  But I clearly hear your desire to retain independence.  But I do ask have you spoken with someone in your disability office to ask how a marriage would affect that?  I know a lot of people on various disability who are married, but I'm not up on the laws. 

I am NOT trying to force you to change your feelings on anything, just giving my honest take on the list that you can do what you want with my thoughts.  :)  No ​one has to be permacoupled to be happy, but some of that really is normal for the course and not a barrier and I just wanted to be clear.  

Short term relationships aren't bad.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying them, and getting to repeatedly enjoy the thrills and highs of new people and relationships.  Society frowned on it for a long time because it didn't fit with the model of what they wanted, but monogamy is a social training in us, not a natural evolved instinct.  It was a solution to various issues over history, and remains in place as a tradition, but the only way to be 'wrong' in choosing to have several relationships over time (or even at the same time) is when lying is involved to the partners.  You are settled, in a good place in your life, and just want some companionship/romance, enjoy all the short term relationships you want.  LIfe is too short not to enjoy things.  And if you find it's not your cup of tea after you've tried it, then you can always re-evaluate your choices and options after.  You won't know if it fulfills the niche in your life or makes it worse until you start exploring. 

Go for it, see how it works for you.  You can stop at any time if it's not, you're not selling yourself short at all, and it's always better to try for happiness and it not go right than to not try at all. 

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Posted (edited)

I really like Bree's feedback. Very valuable advice in my opinion. :D

And, as I re-read Monica's post, I am kind of saddened to read "Reasons I Should Live Alone". It's as if she's rationalizing why, all in all, she should give up on finding friendship and partnership. Yes, she has some valid considerations relating to her disability and all but as Bree said so well, all of us are gassy at times (I know this about myself in particular) and all have other issues that we bring to the party. But those are not reasons to sell ourselves short.

So maybe to answer Monica's question about selling herself short, I worry that she is in some ways especially in her list about living alone. 

Edited by EmmaSweet
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:)  Glad to know my bizarre and storied dating history is finally useful to someone else besides me (It helped me tremendously build a life with Nikki having sorted out what I wanted and how to relate to others).  I was raised on the you'll know what to do when it's time ideology.  Only... I didn't.  I had no freakin' clue.  I didn't know how to manage a relationship, I didn't know how to diaper a kid, I didn't know how to budget, I didn't know how to leave a relationship (or even know when I SHOULD at the beginning).  I still got here, but sometimes I just look at my family and shake my head as they congratulate themselves on how well they did 'raising me' and lament how often I didn't listen.  LOL

Then I realized that a LOT of people have this weird idea that it's not okay to talk about a lot of things, and then weird ideas form around those things, both individually and culturally.  If I could get one wish for my society it would be for that society across the board to start realizing life is individual, and it's okay to talk about and share that individuality and learn from each other instead of judging each other.  Would make SO many issues easier. 

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Hiya Monica -

So much great input by two people.  Bree and Emma have said a lot of the things I was thinking and intended to comment on.

But I gotta add to the "gassy."  Yes, we are all gassy.  As Bree said... it's a by-product of digestion - there's no getting around it.  Well... maybe with a little Gas-X :lol:    But considering we are all four fairly close in age, we each know that such concerns are a result of primarily your mum and other female relatives hammering into your head what nice girls and women do and and don't do.  No doubt one of them made it plainly clear more than once that 'only men do disgusting things like fart.'  This kind of up-bringing applies to and has affected other alleged short-comings a person carries around with them.

That said... I see a lot of your concerns as a product of the era in which we were raised.  There were so many things that women weren't supposed to speak of, or even think about.  Men weren't supposed to know certain things about women.  Now, one would think that logically, as a lesbian, a woman wouldn't worry about things like being gassy - she's not trying to keep a man from knowing she farts too.  Both of you are in the Women's Secrets Club.  But because so many that were raised during the mid and late 50s thru the early to mid 70s (commonly known as baby boomers) were continually bombarded with all of what society expected of them...these things that were drilled into us are hard to escape.  And it is some of those things that affect our relationships.

As far as long- or short-term relationships are concerned and natural human imperfections notwithstanding, I dare say that religion, primarily Christianity, has played a big part in villifying short-term relationships - especially for women.

I think we can probably all think of reasons why someone else would not want us.  And the list of advantages for short-term relationships makes a little sense.  But I don't think that list should be used to draw a line in the sand.  One of those short-terms could end up being a long-term - if you let it.  You never know where that long-termer will come from.  No matter what age you are.

-Michael

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Companionship a issue - the need to share one's life  ... Thanks Monica for asking me to respond - As it is late I will sleep on this and definitely share my thoughts with you tomorrow.  I think you are a wonderful person deserving of love and compassion.  The other things you mention; the you of you, these are factors of relationships but are not the drivers.  See you tomorrow.  Best to you - Dawn

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Posted (edited)

Finally I have some time to respond.  I really do believe in the friendship and companionship aspect of life.  This means a kiss and hug, a laugh together, some shared memories.  A true friend is forever - my wife - and I have been together for 40 years and we are firstly just friends.  I have almost 100 other friends I have strong ties to.  I kind of collect my friendships.  Some know of my transgender leanings others do not.

About shorter relationships these all need to be friendships to succeed. The first aspect of being a friend is acceptance and realistic expectations.  One does not try to make a friend someone they are not.  If you have quirkiness that is you, who you are, this is usually the last thing a friend considerers - this may be something you joke about and actually could draw you closer, as all of us who are real have our quirks.  I hope this helps.  I know you through your writings to be a wonderful person well deserving of many good comments and relationships.  Best to you.    Dawn  :)

Edited by Dawn13
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Posted

Dear Friends,

Thank you for responding.

Where I live it is hard to find/make friends.  As one acquaintance recently told me, in the northeast, it is "dog eat dog."  Grew up hearing my own mother say the same thing. Since moving to upstate New York, I have learned how right my mother was in saying the things she said (I grew up here).

Definitely plan on being very honest UP FRONT about this, because I do not want anyone thinking I mislead them.

Probably I am not in the place where I belong.  Not one to live a lie.  

Will let you all know how it turns out!

Thank you very much for reaching out to me.

Yours truly,

Monica

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Do not give up what you have until you are absolutely sure you are bettering your present situation.  Date but stay living separately.  I am sure you can have sleepovers at each others places.  That way you will get to know whether or not you can deal with the other persons idiosyncrasies.  I can't see the pet thing being worked around so make sure that is in your Profile if you are using a dating site.  I am not looking for a partner nor am I a so called moral person.  I am looking for sex and am having a lot of fun.  A few of my men have been long term and the others are occasional.  One man did ask me if we could be exclusive and I said no and why.  He accepted my reasons and comes to see me at least once a week.  It is working well for me.  I am going out more often now because I found a club where I could meet other transwomen so my translife is expanding even at my age.  I am being complimented by men, women and other transwomen for my appearance and my openness.  My sexual needs are being met and my social needs are also being met.  If by some chance I do meet the man for me then so be it but I am not looking for him nor do I actually think I will meet him.  I am living one day at a time.

I have two other outlets that keep me going too.  I play a lot of hockey, as a guy, and afterwards there is beer and food so I am having a social life. I did come out to about 8 players of one group I play with so we do talk about it at times but not often.  The other outlet is a cyber world called Second Life (SL).  I go there most evenings and I started out as a pre-op transwoman but am now a woman for all intents and purposes.  I live a very happy life there and especially since I bought a better computer over a year ago.  It is a great place for those who live alone and can't get out much and you can create a beautiful young looking avatar.  Because of my lack of finances because I was married before I have worked as a stripper for most of my time in SL.  The money I made, in their currency, allowed me to buy clothes and a rent a place to live.  I am now a DJ at the club I was a stripper at.  Drama still occurs there because people are still people.

I state all this just to tell you how I have been coping with living alone.  It is not for most but maybe you can find something I do or think helpful.

Bonnie

PS   When I say I am not a moral person it is because many of the men are married.  To me that is not my issue it is the men's.  I did not go looking for them they found me.

 

 

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Quick note to Bonnie - will try to meet you in SL - Do you have a blog I can go to?  Dawn

 

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Monica,  Bonnie has some good points.  You must follow the course of your heart.  I am a moral person but I also understand that I am transgender, finally not lying to myself anymore.  The love I share with my wife is real and is unconditional.  Do we agree on everything = no.  When we married she did not know I was transgender but we have worked it out.  I am as close to being female as I dare to be and still keep family and friends.  A compromise - yes.  If I had known what I now know about myself I would likely be female today; would have transitioned as a youth.  More soon  - have to go again  -- Dawn

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Bonnie,

Can't seem to PM you.  Don't know if it is at your end.

Monica

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My mail box is full - will try to empty it tomorrow.  Dawn

 

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Oh hun, it's becoming ever evident to me that relationships are over rated , for 23 years now I have been a truck driving diesel dyke and at this point of my like I can say proud to be, I have always felt I needed to have " that someone waiting at home " and so I did just that convenient relationships ones that understand I come home seldom and am in no way interested in going out after getting home. Is this fare no I suppose not yet I pay all the bills, do all the household work when I get home and don't want, need sexual interactions, I have gone without for so long I am no longer interested.

Is it a bad thing this being alone, set in our ways, I think He'll No, your lists of why you live alone gave me a bit of a chuckle because a lot of the list was my thoughts for me. Connection is a wonderful thing but so is a bit of are you kidding me what the hell adds a lot to ones life, I can get that from co workers, or friends and some times from my beagle Skipper trust me he is a joy, a pain, a wonderful addition, no not everyone wants or needs a pet/fur baby but for some of us just what we need.

I am glad to know a bit more about you I love having you just a tap on the screen away, your opinions matter and the site Bennifits from your being here.

Hugs hun

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Dear Stephani,

Have grown a lot since being here on TGGuide.

You and many others are my real friends.

Thank you for being so supportive.

Yours truly,

Monica

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Ya know, something triggered another thought and I saw this thread come back up.  IS there a place for short term relationships, and the answer is, of course.  There logically HAS to be.  Because no one knows how long ANY relationship is going to last when they get into it. Whether you go into it with the intention of being short term or long term, relationships do their own things despite our best intentions.  I've had them last everywhere from the first date, to a week, a few months, to nearly 20 years.  I couldn't have predicted which was going to be what.

Also, I cant' remember if I spoke of this or not, but I do know several people who are in long term committed relationships, who don't live together.  They don't enjoy having other people in their personal space full time, so they just don't.  They each maintain their own homes and lifestyle choices, and spend as much or as little time together as makes them happy.  Some are monogamous, some are poly, but they all make their lives and relationships work for them.  This is also an option to be considered for this situation.  Living together is the 'norm' for dating relationships, sure, but it's not the only option and life is and always should be about personal choices and making our own lives work for us whatever that looks like.  

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