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Why It’s Harder To Fall In Love When You’re Growing Older (And That’s A Good Sign)

Why It’s Harder To Fall In Love When You’re Growing Older (And That’s A Good Sign)

Never Love Anyone Who Treats You Like You’re Ordinary – Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde would have been wasting his time preaching those words to me in my youth. I never listened to anyone and fell in love with the wrong people time and again – people who didn’t treat me well. But I didn’t care as long as I got the one I wanted.

As I matured I slowly learned that to be treated well, not only would I have to demand respect but I would also have to become more selective in finding a partner – and that’s when it got tricky, but it wasn’t such a bad thing.

Here’s why the struggle to fall in love when you’re older isn’t that bad after all.

1. You Love Yourself

As we mature and put bad life experiences behind us, many of us learn that to move on in a positive way we must learn to love ourselves.

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When we love ourselves we put ourselves first and this really is a good thing. Sure, we may need to give to others but we can’t do that without looking after ourselves first.

But when it comes to love, many people shy away from a partner who is only attentive to themselves – and these are the kind of partners you want to avoid.

You want to attract a partner who appreciates your worth and admires your ability to put yourself first. While it may take time, this makes it easier to sift through the pile of potential love interests, getting to the best ones on the top.

2. You Have a Full Life

If you have been single for a while you have probably filled your life with very interesting things. Fun activities, family visits, holidays and work all take up your time.

You may even have children from a previous relationship and it can be hard to fit a date into the middle of all of this. Isn’t it wonderful to have such a full life and so much choice available to you.

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You can re-prioritize if that is your wish. You can juggle some things around to fit in a prospective partner and see how it goes. It is entirely up to you how much time you wish to devote to a significant other. Make it work for you.

3. You’re Self Protective

Many of us have been seriously hurt by someone we held dear and these wounds take a long time to heal. We can become weary of meeting someone new and put up our guard. Being self protective is not innately a bad thing.

If anything, this is the intelligent thing to do. Why would anyone rush back into another relationship for the same thing to happen again? When we’re self protective we are cautious about who we let into our lives.

The more careful we are the less likely we are to fall in love with a loser or a user.

4. You Enjoy Your Space

It is a lovely thing to be able to enjoy your own space. During times of solitude – be it a weekend alone on a break or a night in by the fire – we allow for self-development and introspection.

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This is very healthy and helps us to become more well rounded people. Sometimes, however, while we want a companion in life we don’t necessarily want to share all of that space with them.

This is perfectly understandable and anyone worth their salt will respect that and give you your space. If they are happy to give you your space you will know you are on the right track.

5. You Don’t Suffer Fools

Over the years you’ve learned not to entertain people who seem highly likely to waste your time. Through experience you’ve figured out who these people are likely to be and you don’t take long in releasing them from your life.

This is truly wonderful. Wisdom is a great reward. The path to meeting someone who is truly right for you is clear because of this gift.

6. You Have Your Independence

You learn to look after yourself in every way when you are single. You work so you have your own money and you have your friends and family for company. There comes a point when you can survive easily if you never met someone.

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The choice is ours when we reach this point. We can do as we wish – we have no need to meet someone unless we really do want to fall in love.

7. You Want A Meaningful Relationship

As we grow older we want a relationship that will be rewarding and meaningful. We want to be on the same page as our new date. We want to have a lot in common, be able to talk together and have that physical attraction at the same time.

It’s not good enough anymore to simply hook up with the first person we feel attracted to and hope for the best; as mature people we want more.

Experience and wisdom are fantastic assets when it comes to falling in love.

Falling in love gets harder as you get older but is it really love that we find in our youth– or infatuation? Real love is what we look for as we mature and while that may be harder to find it is longer lasting and far more rewarding.

So take your time, at least you know when you find them they will be a good fit for a long time.

Featured photo credit: Stephan Blomberg Photography via static.flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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