The subtitle of this article is “Rethinking relationships”
I am 59, a nomad, always standing out in a crowd in the countries I date, yet I cannot find what I am looking for.
How is that possible? Well, because I am always new in town, and leaving after a while. And because I am not the person for casual hookups.
It is hard to maintain a relationship when you are a digital nomad
Nomad-life and love life is a tough combination. IF you cannot find a person that travels with you, you are doomed to travel alone or to date casual. Since I am not the person for a one night stand, I struggle with the Disney Romance dreaming girl deep down inside me that wants to settle down with mister right after he came galloping to my rescue on his white stallion.
And then it all goes wrong: For I do not need to be rescued, I can do it myself, I do not want to ride off in the sunset with him, I want to ride off alone. And settling down…..Nah, not yet……
I have looked in the dark brown eyes of many local men. I have even looked in the eyes of an ex-pat here and there, but I cannot find what I am looking for.
I struggle with the definition of my love life while travelling the world
I have been on the road for 5 years now and this month I wrote about the benefits and the negative side of a nomad-life. Relationships are a sheer balance between good and impossible.
I do not want to get laid, and I am not ready to settle down yet, I certainly do not want to raise someone else’s kids and I do not want a city life. I am not rich enough for a real toy-boy and I do not want that either. And yet, I love dating younger men, but not too young and preferably capable of taking care of themselves both emotionally and financially.
I love it when a man is emotionally available, but I start to wonder if I am available myself. With my craquelé heart, I travel the world following my nose with a longing that does not seem to be fulfilled no matter what I try.
Time to sit down and rethink relationships
In the 5 years, I have travelled the world, I had a lover in the Philippines, a very fun yet complicated relationship under the pressure of family greed and impossibilities on his end.
And I realized I have to rewrite my wishlist because dating in a land where a woman is more objectified than respected and a second wife is a common thing, people feel that they are divorced when their partners live in another city, men fuck for the sake of fucking and call it making love, I definitely need new parameters to make it work and to keep myself safe.
At the age of 59, I realize I have to take back control over my love life and become more selfish
To maintain that safety, I think I should take back control and start seeing this whole thing as a business deal with a little romance to spice it up. I was born and raised in a very traditional family on the Dutch bible belt, and I struggle with the modern dating style. But I need to loosen up a little. So here is my new idea.
I want a lover. I am not primarely looking for a boyfriend or a husband, I want a lover.
I want to have the consistency of date-nights, fun outings, beach walks, and good sex, with the same person that likes me and respects me for the time being.
And I am the one to decide when it is time to let go.
I will be clear about my intentions from day one, and it is up to my partner to guard his own heart and set his own boundaries. But mine are pretty much fixed.
I throw away the old Bible belt conviction of finding a lifetime partner and I follow more the philosophy of a late uncle of mine that was a sailor, who once told me: you change your partner when you change ports.
And maybe one day I find the one, that person I want to stick around for a bit longer, and maybe even settle down with to grow even older.
All this is more difficult than it sounds. You would think men jump to the occasion, especially here in Mexico. But they seem to be so shocked when I take the lead, and they seem to be so eager to fulfil only the sex part without the fun part. It is a tough nut to crack.
Once I struck gold, the man I am in contact with goes way overboard in the romantic thing, making it far more than it should be and clouds my mind. Until they realize that I do not want more, and I do not want to be domestic and iron their shirts and cook Mexican food.
Besides all that I struggle with my new concept keeping a close guard on that romantic heart of mine and trying not to hurt anyone. Especially myself. So far I am not doing very well.
Being raised in the Dutch BibleBelt with marriage as the ultimate goal for a woman, I walk with a new guidebook in my hands
It feels like I have shaken off the last chains of my religious upbringing but still every time I end up sexting with a guy it feels like my mum is looking over my shoulder judging me for my hellish attitude, for good girls go to heaven and I am so not good doing this nude picture thing.
Yet this new relationship style fits my nomadic life. I can have a lover in one city, leave and replace him with another, or he can travel a few cities with me. But he knows we are ships passing, he is like a passenger on my orient express, A luxury train-ride between two stations: My arrival and my departure.
Although setting up a date on my next location while being in the arms of my current lover feels like a betrayal, that comes with my upbringing. Monogamy rules on the Dutch Bible-belt. And although I want the relationship at that moment to be monogamous, I am in a conflict when getting to know my future date.
And sometimes it is hard to keep the man focussed when he plans a future. They can get carried away very easily. They have to remember I told them there might not be a future.
My heart is doing okay in this new setting and my mind is getting used to the new values
My heart is doing okay, and so is my mind. I feel kind of indifferent when the romance is dosed well, and that indifference keeps me on my track for the departure. My love-life always intervened with my future and now it does not anymore.
Now it is complimentary.
I like a good pursue and it feels off to be the one in charge, yet when my mind is made up about a guy and I have “selected’ him I love for him to pursue me. And I love for him to take the lead from that moment on.
I love the good morning and good night text and the plans for free-time, to sexy photos and smileys and stickers that express his adoration for me, and I return them abundantly.
I keep in mind that I deal with grown-ups, I am upfront about my departure and my future, some may choose to ignore it, for their own dream, others love me even more for the temporary part of it. For it fits their needs as well.
As long as the balance is good, the emotions are manageable, feelings do not get overboard and our hearts are happy, we can live our dream day by day before I ride off in the sunset until the day I meet him……the one I will miss so much I might return to him and iron some of his shirts…….
The comment section is yours. I will answer your comments as soon as possible. If you have any questions about relationships, by your special time with me so we can exchange thoughts.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.