I enjoyed this article and I feel the same way. I also have lived long enough that these are unrealistic expectations. Marriage or any relationship for that matter is about what you can accept, and what you can tolerate. Having strong preferences and desires sounds nice on paper, but the one factor no one can control is that people change. You can be (or pretend to be engaged) today in current events, history, business, etc,. but something can happen to make a person change their perspective and views. I have found that many older, professional men ask these things of women, but they actually don’t come with the same things they are asking for.

A woman that reads you’ve dealt with a wife that was an alcoholic, and you have a daughter who struggles with depression is quite telling about how you’re going to treat her I’d say. Everyone has emotional baggage, to include you in which you freely acknowledge. I respect that and understand it wholeheartedly. What I read between the lines is that you’ll have double standards, and you desire the moon, stars, rainbows and unicorns from your girlfriend, but you clearly don’t understand enough about women to know what they need, want, and will tolerate from you and your five children. If you have adult children, that is an entirely different situation and set of problems. A combo of youths and adults, another problem. Ex-wife issues, yet another problem. Are you broken from dealing with broken people for extended periods of time in your life? Could be yet another problem.

We should all have expectations and standards, but you can’t expect perfection and all-encompassing when it’s not at all a reality. By the mid-forties, we all have battle scars. Most of us know what we don’t want, but we haven’t really experienced life exposed to enough different things to indeed truly know what you want. I enjoy being alone. It really sounds like you do as well. I hope you find that perfect fit, but I can tell you most women aren’t able to detach and reattach like men, so your desires for a girlfriend will be a huge issue perhaps.

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