Navigating the Minefields of Dating!

I didn’t know it would be so difficult to date when I became eligible. It’s much more complicated than I remember when I was younger. No wonder there is a relationship status on Facebook that states ‘It’s complicated’ because it is! I haven’t met anyone who has not been complicated! There are schedules to consider, kids, parenting styles, deal makers and breakers, dogs, jobs, sports, compatibility, life style differences, distance and timing has to be just right…or does it? It doesn’t help when your best friend is your last partner. Try to explain that one to a potential date. They can’t help but have suspicions about the two of you getting back together at any given moment! Everyone seems to despise their ‘X’, which is hard when you really like yours! It’s hard to get to know someone when you barely have time for yourself. It honestly amazes me that there are second marriages let alone relationships between singles who are either separated or divorced.

You have to trust someone with your heart! Not everyone has good intention so it’s hard not to get discouraged! Are you getting the picture, it’s not that easy to date! It truly is a minefield that’s hard to navigate. I am so thankful to have girlfriends to talk with, be advised by and to have a male perspective that knows me better than any man out there! Which hasn’t been yet, but could also be something hard to maneuver with someone who doesn’t know me very well!

On the bright side of dating, there are lots of intelligent handsome great guys out there, who understand kid schedules and appreciate truth and honesty and who are eager to experience life in the moment. I’ve learned you just have to stop looking. If you go about your day they will come into your life when the time is right. Dating in your 40’s is all about acceptance and going with the flow, baggage included because we all have at least a carry on, some have truck loads!

At the end of the day, it’s really just all about enjoying everyone for who they are and exploring those personalities that intrigue you. Honesty is crucial and necessary even if the other person needs time to chew on it for a while. It’s a gamble like everything else in life, but I think worth the risks involved. Not everyone is honest, honourable or interested in the same things. Sometimes he’s just not that into you, or you into him and that’s okay! Timing is so important, it can turn a potential hot love affair into forever.

I am not trying to paint a negative picture of what its like being single. The experience is as unique as each of us. I truly love being on my own…most of the time. I’ve said before that I don’t need a man in my life, but would definitely love the right one. Everything takes time and the most important part of being set free in the world is enjoying the journey along the way. Trust your instincts, follow your heart, explore the possibilities of what if…you might be surprised at what you find!

"Exploring the never-ending desires that fuel all life, while finding lyrical beauty in everyday happenings."


  • Jane

    Marriage after Divorce Statistics indicate that 50% of all first marriages fail but are you aware the divorce rates of second marriages are estimated to be over 70%? Maybe this explains why many people end up married three and four times before they find that person to grow old and live with until, “death do we part”.
    Not to be taken as a downer, lol
    Any statistic can be proven wrong.

  • Lawrence

    Great piece, Tracy. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it would be to start over.

    You have a lot going for you so although it might take time to find the right one, being as open and honest and as passionate as you are, you will not have trouble finding like-souls to spend quality time with in the meantime. If misery loves company, so does passion. Whatever form that passion takes.

    As you pointed out, just keep doing what you love doing and the path will be paved and the right people will start to walk along that path with you.

  • Francesco

    Tracy…I sat with my hands poised over the keyboards for a couple minutes wanting to type something you could use or do to find the joy you deserve… so I re-read your post, looking for a clue to some inspiration and I find that I’m inspired by your words. Thank you. I still care and will keep seeking those words for you… until then, all I can share is a guardian angel.

  • Tracy Westerholm

    Wow I really feel strongly about responding to these comments.

    I don’t doubt the odds are against everyone in marriage or life in general these days, everything in our society is considered disposable so I see how that attitude attaches itself to marriage and our hearts as well as material things. Yes I agree any statistic can be proven wrong, you are the PERFECT example of that. Being with the same handsome, intelligent man nearly your entire life. That is what gives everyone else hope that they too can have what you have in life. xo

    You also have a romantic heart and so we relate in so many ways! My passion for life is what moves me forward in the direction I am meant to go. I am in no hurry to rush the incredible process of starting something new. I don’t think I am starting over, I am beginning a new chapter in my life. That thought makes me smile! Your insight is always loved! xo 🙂

    My life is filled with joy, I need not even look past the four walls I sit behind to see it. It is with every glance I take. I meant not for you or anyone reading my words to leave with a feeling of woe for me. I am merely sharing a moment in time from the thoughts of a hopeless romantic. If I were to spend the rest of my days in this world just getting reacquainted with myself, I would feel fortunate in being here. My life is full and I look forward to having it bubble over! xo

  • Richard

    Again the I find myself playing with a word in my mind.
    “Dating” – I turn it over and over and look at it through my lens as a hopefully intelligent sensitive passionate man. It feels strange to call meeting new people dating. As if somehow exploring oneself with others that may lead to romance needs a special name.
    I get it. We humans are taught to place emphasis on those things that we probably fear. I used to look at opening myself up with trepidation.
    I am recently “back in the game”. Funny thing is I saw the game and I didn’t like the rules. So I made my own. The first one is that there is no referee.
    Rule two – “I’ve learned you just have to stop looking.” Your words Tracy.
    Rule three – No fear
    Rule four – Throw away the first three rules and crumple up the word dating in my hand.
    I’m left with being me – alone – with infinite possibilities of friendship, love, passion and intimacy.
    I am left wandering in a meadow full of color and light; no navigating and certainly no danger!

  • Lawrence

    “If I were to spend the rest of my days in this world just getting reacquainted with myself, I would feel fortunate in being here. ” – Love this Tracy.

    Rick, wow. Love your outlook on life. Both of you souls inspire me for your passion and your drive to achieve your goals. Whether it’s writing, a new business, or being content with ‘you’.

    You are two awesome souls I am glad to have ‘met’. 🙂

    Have either of you seen Eat. Sleep. Love with Julia Roberts? I seen it for the first time last night. It’s a must see. A quiet night alone with a glass of something with your feet up and your mind open is just what the doctor ordered to take in this film.

    • Tracy Westerholm

      Ahhhh, I’ve missed your words Lawrence! I changed this Rick you’re referring to, to ‘Richard’ as to not be mistaken with our other ‘Rick’ who we hear from occasionally.
      Richard…I hope you don’t mind? 🙂
      I did see Eat Pray Love 🙂 and I loved it and that scene in particular spoke to me! I enjoyed the entire film unlike many woman I’ve met who didn’t seem to get anything out of it? Why I am not sure. xo

  • Lawrence

    I loved the nickname ‘groceries’. His character was good. Really hits home when he talks about the time he lost with his son. Good thing I was alone. 😉

    If you get nothing from that film, it can only be because you are affraid to. Wouldn’t mind trying some of that meditation myself.

    • Tracy Westerholm

      I loved the nickname ‘groceries’ but more than that I loved that Julia embraced the nickname because she was finally comfortable in her own skin. A similar reason I went in the same month after being on my own and got my nose pierced and two tattoos, my approval was all I needed. Meditation is something I wish I made more time for.

      You right Life takes navigating as well, and I no longer like the word ‘dating’. I know you will be very close in my proximity while I continue my journey! Love you for that…and so much more!

      You know me better than anyone and I am so grateful that you listen with open ears, never judge and still after a biz-zillion years don’t tell me what to do, I eventually figure it all out on my own in time. 🙂 xo

  • jacquie

    Trace, your post could just as easily been called ‘Navigating the Minefields of Life’. You just happen to be at a point in your journey where you’re dealing with uncertainties and unfamiliar personalities all the time. That creates it’s own challenges – as well as wonderful possibilities. Those of us in established relationships still have plenty of landmines we need to sidestep. Life will always be a work in progress.
    Not that I want to see you blown to bits, but I know you’ll continue to advance (get the army reference?) and I want to be right there to enjoy the journey with you (well, maybe not RIGHT there).

  • Jane

    I have no doubt that you will find happiness and a special man to share all that love that you have to give. Some lucky man in my opinion. Richard had a good point when quoting “I’m left with being me – alone – with infinite possibilities of friendship, love, passion and intimacy.” Sounds like a romantic man.

  • Bonnie Johnson

    Some times over thinking something just makes it complicated. Go with the flow. Appreciate where you are right now and everything falls into place. Look how much you’ve learned about yourself and what you want and don’t want in the past couple of years. Huge!
    I love watching your journey and cheering you on as you’ve always done for me too.

    Lawrence ~ I laughed out loud when I read your eat,”sleep”, love reference. That’s one way of going about it I suppose. 😉
    Jacquie ~ You made me giggle too with your army reference and “maybe not RIGHT there”. Funny lady.

  • Lawrence

    lol Bonnie. I just realized I wrote the name of the movie down wrong. Ha, ha… I guess if you fall asleep praying you haven’t accomplished your goal of focus. “Hummm, Hummm, …. snore.”

    I can only truly say that I have meditated once during a sweat lodge I somewhere got invited to.
    Most spiratual thing I have ever witnessed in my life. If that is what all meditation is like, I need to bring that into my life. It was so peaceful.

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