Tuesday, November 17, 2009
50+ and never married - what's up?
Here's an interesting email we received yesterday:
"I am on several Christian dating websites, including Cache, and have just as of Saturday turned 50....had a wonderful celebration with friends and family.
I just got rejected by a divorced guy on christianmingle.com for being "never married" at the age of 50. What gives? He says that my profile looks fabulous, but is hard to believe that there must not being something really wrong with someone who has never been married by the time they are 50. He says that there is a ongoing discussion out there about the group I belong to (the "never marrieds") and how we are not able to be pleased. He figures he doesn't want to get involved in a relationship where there is a lot of "knit-picking".
What's interesting is that originally in my searches, I have been casting aside the divorced man, figuring that there must be something wrong with a man who has not been able to keep a marriage together.
I bring this to your attention, not to complain, but simply to discuss this interesting dicotomy of sorts.
I know you must have encountered this discussion before, since you are a Christian dating professional. The other interesting problem a "never married" encounters who is pretty fundamental in their beliefs is the desire to uphold God's standards in the very stricktest sense. So, if a man is divorced, there is a desire to know that it was a Biblical divorce and not just a situation where two people did not get along. For if that were the case, and the woman he was married to is still single, there is still an opportunity for that couple to re-unite. The thought of me committing adultary by having intercourse with my husband is troubling. So, I want to honor God. But how do I understand the circumstances of a man's divorce without being so nosey and pressing?
In the "olden days" before the internet, there would be ways of knowing without asking about them directly. Within a community, people were known to one another.
Interestingly, the George Barna Group did a study back in March of 2008. 22% of all adults never marry in their lifetime and 25% of all adults have at least one marital split during their lifetime.
So, Linda...this is a rather long e-mail, but wondering if you've encountered this and addressed it with the Cache group?
My initial thoughts are that it is too bad that anyone is being judged by a simple mark on a website page, i.e., "divorced" or "never married." We have known some quality people who are over 40 who have never married and the reasons are numerous. Likewise, we all know that there are plenty of divorced people out there, but without knowing the reason for the divorce (i.e. if there were biblical grounds), we hope that folks are not being too hasty in marking them as "not interested." Our recommendation would be that if a person seems to have qualities that you find attractive, you should begin to slowly explore a friendship with him or her. However, this does not include an "interrogation" on the first date. People are very sensitive to this. Those tougher questions can be addressed if there is a Date No. 2, 3 or 4.