Dating Over 50: How to Cope If You Have Been Dumped, Ghosted or Love-Bombed
Dating at any age can be challenging. Here are some ways you can deal with the most common things that can happen in language that might be new to you!
Being dumped can be painful and impact our self-esteem. Sometimes rejection comes out of nowhere, and other times the writing was on the wall for a long time. Women tend to hang on to the last moment in fear of not finding another, being alone and losing self-respect.
If you’ve been dumped after any relationship it could be for a number of reasons.
Maybe you’ve been dumped by Mr. BBD, ‘Bigger Better Deal,’ the guy who wants to move on to the next. It could be a married man or someone that was already in a relationship on a ‘hiatus.’ Or it could have been a more sinister reason.
To make myself feel better, I would always create potential scenarios as a defense mechanism: he was married, really gay, a criminal, seriously dysfunctional, addict, psychotic, bankrupt or bad in bed.
Even if our keen radar has missed the red flags, there be circumstances we know nothing about. It’s hard but don’t take it personally.
If you get dumped online by someone you thought was your soul mate, remember you never met this person. Who’s to say they really exist and if their story is real?
My friend Brenda corresponded with a guy named Brian, who romanced her for weeks online. He was keen to not only visit her but also move in to her house! Google is a marvelous invention as it yielded a criminal history for Brian and his brother.
Have You Been Ghosted?
If after a flurry of dates, texts or phone calls you suddenly get no response, you’ve been ghosted. Ghosting has nothing to do with Halloween or haunted houses. It’s the sudden ceasing of all communication when dating with no apparent reason.
This can also happen with a platonic relationship. Surely, everyone has had a friend that out of the blue stops contacting you. This is usually a result of them being too afraid to tell you they don’t want to continue.
It could take the form of avoidance because of fear to hurt feelings, to have difficult conversations and an uncomfortable confrontation.
Remember that before ghosting there may be the ‘Fade Away’ stage. The fade away is a slow road to the ‘dump.’ The person does not completely disappear but does not make himself or herself available. There are longer gaps in communication until complete silence settles.
What’s Love Bombing?
If you’ve been showered with affection, gifts and promise of a glorious future after a first encounter, you’ve been love-bombed. It’s a whirlwind romance where you received daily ‘love bombs.’
They are anxious to progress quickly and show love, care and affection by throwing daily love ‘bombs’ your way. Their true colors are revealed when they become possessive, manipulative and furious when you show interest in anything other than them.
Love-bombing is a form of abuse. It is intended to manipulate and exploit another’s weakness or insecurity. Watch out for the narcissist, psychopath and controller. They could be entertaining but best to avoid. But do keep all those gifts.
Benching and Cushioning
Benching, also known as ‘bread-crumbing,’ is when someone you’ve been dating stops agreeing to meet in person, but continues to contact you over text, email and social media. These people, much like a sports coach – keep you on the bench while they play the field. Mr. BBD?
Cushioning is when you keep others on the backburner, communicating just enough to keep your attention when in reality, you’re looking for the ‘BBD.’ In previous decades, remember there was a double standard when we would call this guy a ‘player’ and a woman ‘loose’ or worse names?
Haunting and Cyber Stalking
Remember that person that ghosted you? Haunting is when they decide to make a reappearance. However, instead of having any direct contact with you, they’ll follow you on social media. This seems to be more a millennial practice, but I wouldn’t put it past some tech savvy seniors.
Cyber stalking is similar, but you may not know about it. Many of us are guilty of endless Google searches on a person we just met. There are so many great websites and ways to look in on the profile of someone you have just met.
Practically, you can get information about their work, past and where they live. I admit to Google Earth for this purpose, do you?
Tips on How to Cope
- Ask yourself what would I do differently next time?
- Was there a recurring theme or attracting same wrong type?
- List qualities you want in a mate – the dealmakers and the deal-breakers.
- Get physical – walk, run, yoga and a massage.
- Try something new and outrageous.
- Set some new clear goals and get back in the dating game.
If you are looking for love in your life, don’t give up. The numbers are on your side. The more “no’s” you get, the closer to a “yes” you are. Eventually, you might find the right mate.
Stay positive and believe there’ll be no rejection, ghosting, love bombing, benching, cushioning or haunting in your future. Always hope for the old-fashioned love and romance.
For more dating tips check out the boomer dating guide in “Suddenly Single Sylvia.” The guide is based on a team of dating and singles experts as well as my own personal experience of dating after divorce and loss.
Have you personally gone through any of these dating break-up experiences? Are you still hopeful that you might find true love and romance in your 60s? Please share your thoughts below!