Yesterday I met a man my age (in his 50s), and during the group activity we did together we talked a bit, and I overheard him talk with other people. I came to know that his girlfriend of 3 years had broken up with him a couple of weeks before.
He was kind of miffed because he said it was “such a beautiful relationship”. They didn’t even fight a lot and treated each other with kindness. He was at an absolute loss why someone would end such a relationship. He asked me directly what a man is supposed to do “when even being kind is not enough”. He thought he might have to be meaner in the future.
The kicker is, from the conversation I got that his girlfriend was still a student, so I asked him whether she was a lot younger than he. He said yes, in her 20s.
I was a bit at a loss how to phrase this politely, but I said to him that being kind is just the bare minimum. You should be kind to everybody. In a relationship, there’s a lot more that matters than being kind and the initial attraction. There are other things like shared values, goals, and where everybody’s at in their lives.
I noticed that he had stopped listening halfway through the sentence and his reply immediately after I stopped talking? “You’re just jaded from your recent divorce”.
You can imagine that this interaction did nothing in order to change my resolution not to get romantically involved with a man ever again.