This year I decided to stay stateside to bring in the New Year and my birthday. I figured it’s a perfect time to take a short road trip to explore a new part of the state I’ve never been to before. Since I love fishing, I chose Fort Pierce, Florida the fishing capital of the Treasure Coast. It’s old Florida, and such a welcome change from the busy, overpriced, and overrated Broward and Miami-Dade County areas.
I got a little cottage on the inter-coastal waterway, in walking distance from the jetty park and beach. It was very relaxing and interesting. I went off the grid, fishing from sun up to sun down and into the midnight hours. I met lots of friendly snow-birds (seasonal guests), vacationers, Mid-Westerners, and lots of local men. Lots of single men. Older men. Retired men. Nice men. Funny men.
Did I mention I met lots of men?
I Met Lots of Lonely Men On My Vacation
I got one marriage proposal from a single, retired Black Hawk Helicopter mechanic because of my fishing skills and my ability to back a boat trailer into the water (lol). I met a really nice single (divorced) retired longshoreman who was a disabled due to the toll the job took on his body over the years. He drove a nice motorcycle to the park to sit and talk for hours to complete strangers because he was lonely. The gentleman never mentioned being previously married or whether or not he had kids.
He talked about hunting in New York, fishing, and boating, just some of the things he wished he had a female companion to enjoy with him. He noted that while he had money, he didn’t have money for many of the Florida women of today…so, he finds himself alone.
This gentleman said he’d just had neck surgery a few months ago and was just getting out for the first time since September. He had to get a friend come from North Carolina to help take care of him during after his surgery. He appeared to be grateful for the friendship, but it did not appear as though the man had family connections nearby.
He explained he was a former drinker, came from a family of addicts, and really didn’t want to get into a long-term, serious relationship with a woman because it cost too much. I shared with him about dealing with my father’s addiction and how he also overcame it, and we went rolling right along.
The gentleman shared with me most of his friends still worked, so he had to find things to do during the day. He was lonely local Floridian in search of companionship, but money (or the lack of it) keeps him from finding love.
How sad I thought, but I respected it. We spent hours laughing and just talking. He eventually moseyed along to the next interesting person to talk to in order to kill some time.
I met a few more nice men just like the two I previously mentioned. All the men were very nice middle-aged White guys who were complimentary, mellow, funny, and helpful (a few shared great local fishing and attraction tips). The most obvious characteristic of all the men was that they were painfully lonely.
My heart went out to each and every one of them. Why do we allow money to make us and keep us lonely? I don’t know all the reasons or have all the answers, but I’m glad I’m able to provide some sunshine into a lonely person’s day. During times like these, I’m not a feminist, I’m not a social justice activist, I’m not fighting racism, classism, or income equality.
At times like these, I’m a human-being connecting with another human-being desperately starving for a connection, and I’m happy to do my part as a good human-being in the moment. Having sons has made me sensitive to men, and for some reason, men apparently can sense I’m a safe space to share some of their most intimate feelings. It’s a blessing.
It’s also sad that I can’t do more to help. That walk is one these men must take alone.
There was something really sad about having a conversation with a lonely man that is soul-stirring, then having to end the conversation without a proper ending. The way the conversations end are always the same. I’m thanked by the gentlemen for allowing them to intrude on my fishing, I wish them safe travels, then the gentlemen walked away.
Always slowly, without purpose, looking to stumble upon the next soul or vessel to keep them company until it’s time to go home for the evening.
What a sad and painful existence. They were older, more mature, and way over the superficial crap most men chase and overvalue in their youth. At least they sounded that way. These men were settled and simply trying to live a little before they died. Was it too much ask for a kind, fun-loving woman willing to accept the gentlemen where they were at this phase of life who isn’t a gold-digger?
Why do so many of us allow money to keep us from happiness? Money can’t buy you love, but it seems money is a powerful little devil that keeps a lot of us from finding and attaining love too.
We Have Lots of Things In Common
I was the only Black woman, and the only Black fisherman everywhere I went the few days I spent in the little fishing village. Each day, I met a few more new, retired gentlemen looking for companionship.
I was fishing, not looking my best and a guy found that attractive enough to lay a marriage proposal on the table albeit a kind of superficial way to strike up a conversation that could lead to more, but a respectful method no less. I’m always shocked at the men who can find beauty beyond makeup, expensive clothes, painful shoes and done up hair. There was nothing to see but natural me and a bunch of fishing rods along with a stinky bait bucket.
I found it funny how they all managed to notice I didn’t have a wedding ring on. Another sign they were contemplating breaking their own rule of no relationships. These men were looking, yet afraid to take the leap.
I spent hours talking about fishing, kids, work, divorce, work injuries, a little politics and a lot about life with complete strangers. We had more things in common than we realized.
None of the men said one thing derogatory or out of the way. They were absolute gentlemen, and it was such a pleasure.
One guy said he put on his Tinder profile he had a house on the inlet and boat. Still no takers. For the record, I didn’t actually see his profile to verify whether or not what he was saying was true, but he sure sounded as if he was using bait trying to get a bite, and the bites were slow. I thought to my self, Tinder…oh gawd no!!!!
At age 55-years old and up, you gotta be pretty desperate to still be using Tinder, I’m just saying. If a person middle-aged man really wants to meet someone nice his/her own age, you gotta get out and meet them. There is no substitute for selling yourself to another individual if you’re in search of something serious and long-term than doing it in person. Sorry!
There is no magic pill for human connection except connecting with someone in person. Forget what the internet gurus say. We are not robots, we are humans and we need to connect to each other in intimate, meaningful, and respectful ways unless we are some type of sociopath or psychopath.
Money Won’t Make You Happy
Ladies and gentleman. Money won’t make us happy, and money won’t keep us happy. Companionship, love, and intimate friendships will be the only thing that sustains us as we age.
There are too many lonely people walking around bound to all types of rules, stereotypes, and unrealistic and unattainable expectations.
Men aren’t the paychecks. Women aren’t their vaginas. All men aren’t racist, neither are all women.
You Have to Find Happiness
Happiness ain’t running around jumping on our windshields. We must find it. Finding it for some of us means changing our ways and mindsets. For some of you ladies, it means dropping a lot of your unrealistic standards. You’re looking for kings and princes when were aren’t queens and princesses. Many of us need to lower our standards. If your standard is keeping you lonely and miserable, you probably attached yourself to the wrong set of standards.
Changing isn’t easy. Being lonely is much harder.
We’re imperfect people searching for perfection which is absolutely ridiculous. Stop saddling yourself and others with unattainable measures that have nothing to do with the making of a successful relationship.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have or don’t have, if you’re a shitty person you’re just a shitty person. Money can’t mask that. As a matter of fact money (or the lack of it) often unmasks your true character.
Times are getting ready to get a lot harder over the next few years. Nobody wants to go through that shit alone.
Middle-aged men, all women aren’t gold diggers! Find the right one. Look beyond physical appearance and superficial trappings. Not every woman is seeking a rich guy, or a perfect guy. There are lots of down to earth women seeking a nice long-term companion. Finally, don’t be afraid to step outside of your favorite ethnic group to find companionship. You never know what you’re missing if you’re stuck on stupid stereotypes or worried about what your friends will say.
If they are booed up and happy and you’re sad and lonely, you probably should disregard their feelings.
Ladies, check yourselves because you’re wrecking yourselves. Are you a middle-aged woman looking for a man but you have a long laundry list of shit you’ve been holding onto mentally or in some journal but you haven’t found him yet? You probably never will. You’re probably looking for a perfect man free of problems with a truckload of money to provide for you. Sorry to break the news to you, he doesn’t exist. Change your mindset, let go of unrealistic expectations and do something different.
Are you living to please your family, friends, church, etc. and you’re still lonely, ask yourself how’s that working out for you? Does it feel good?
If you want different results, you gotta do different things.
Let’s stop allowing money to keep us from happiness. Most of us have a few great characteristics that could compliment someone else’s life perfectly. Let go of fear and money concerns to find true love.
Make your New Year a good year. If you’re lonely and seeking a companion that compliments you, get out. Change your mindset. Let’s starting looking at each other as humans instead of paychecks and sex pets.
There is someone out here in the world for anyone desiring companionship if we simply open our eyes, open our hearts and change our mindsets on what a companion should look like. If you’re lonely it’s not because there aren’t any suitable partners, it’s because you want to be alone.
Marley K., 2019