“Monopoly” (Post #28) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
I loved playing board games as I grew up with my parents & siblings. We played Parcheesi, Gusher, Risk, Sorry, Scrabble, and the infamous Monopoly. Monopoly was a game that originated in the USA and first published by Parker Brothers in 1935.
Subtitled “The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game”, the game is named after the economic concept of monopoly — the domination of a market by a single entity. It is currently published by the United States game and toy company Hasbro. Players move around the game board buying or trading properties, developing their properties with houses and hotels, and collecting rent from their opponents, the ultimate goal being to drive them into bankruptcy. Wikipedia
I still enjoy playing Monopoly as an adult, but unfortunately, other versions of the game have found their way in the dating games that people play. Allow me to explain.
As a dating teenager, I remember ‘dating around’. For example, if I went on a first date with a girl on the first weekend in May, we were NOT necessarily expected to go out again the following weekend. I may choose to date a completely different girl the next weekend. You get the picture. And that was true for girls as well. It was no big deal. At that time of our lives, we dated for fun, for companionship, for friendship, or just to have a good time.
Now if I stopped dating other girls, and if I happened to exclusively date the same girl for a period of time, we MAY start going ‘steady’ as we called it. That meant that we were choosing to JUST date each other. No rings were necessarily exchanged (I was too poor to buy one anyway). It was just a mutual understanding that we were choosing to go ‘steady’. Hypothetically, on date #7, I may have actually asked the girl “hey, do you want to go steady?”, and she would respond affirmatively or either think I was just kidding (it usually was hard for girls to tell when I was just joking or if I was serious).
Well, that was back when I was 17. I don’t know what happened, but the ‘rules’ drastically changed between those teen years and now when I’m in my 60’s.
For example, at age 61, ‘Polly’, and I enjoyed a few dates together. I invited her to attend a show with me (tickets were about $75 a piece), to which she readily accepted . . . until she found out that I was ‘communicating’ with other women. At the time, I was a member of an on-line dating site (where I had met ‘Polly’), and I happened to be swapping emails with a couple of other girls I contacted through that dating site.
Hey, I wasn’t even DATING any of these girls. I was merely emailing them every whip-stitch. Well, when ‘Polly’ was enlightened to that fact (…and I was just being honest with her), she politely informed me “well, if you’re still communicating with other girls, then I don’t think I can go along with you to the show.”
What’s up with that? I wasn’t ready to figuratively stick a ring on my finger! I was just keeping my options open. Is that so wrong? It evidently WAS in ‘Polly’s’ mind. She wanted to be the “one and only”; the Monopoly in my life. I really liked ‘Polly’, and saw the potential TO BE serious with her. But, believe it or not, I wasn’t ready! (I know you really can’t believe that!) The net result? We stopped dating, and I took ‘Plan B’ to the show.
Lesson that I learned: people my age (both genders) have a propensity to be prematurely serious in a relationship. And widowers are probably the most notorious at ‘pulling the trigger’. We’re sometimes so quick to commit that we’ll stay with someone that we really don’t love – convincing ourselves that we DO love them, or WILL love them eventually – because we’re so desperate for love and companionship.
The mindset of a 60-year-old IS DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT than that of a 17-year-old.