When I was younger, besides playing role-playing games like dungeons and dragons and Robotech the role-playing game, I played a game called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles another strangeness. In addition to allowing players to play as the titular ninja turtles, the game also allows players to create and play as other mutant animal characters. One of the supplemental game books for this game was called “after the bomb“. This version of the game offered players a view of a post apocalyptic world where mutant animals animals fought against the evil “Empire of humanity”
As with most of your post apocalyptic stories, the earth itself looks like a wasteland, usually a desert. Burned out, decayed ruins are there to remind the characters of what the world once was. The majority of other human beings are gone. All that’s left are survivors. No one is really prospering. Everyone is simply in survival mode. They are hanging in by a proverbial thread, desperately clinging to the hope of a better life
When you put yourself back “out there“ trying to meet somebody again after a divorce, sometimes the dating scene is a lot like a post apocalyptic wasteland. Take your pick: mad max, The Walking Dead, the matrix or even those crappy Knightmare sequences in “justice league“ .
The dating scene in your late 30s, or late 40s… or I presume even in your late 50s… Is very much the same thing. It’s not that there aren’t good people out there; there are. But like the people hanging on by a thread in Mad Max or The Walking Dead, they are battle hardened and jaded.
Experience has made us wise. But not only wise, it is also giving us a thicker skin. Unfortunately it has also made us more guarded. We will bail at the first indication of trouble. In fact, so guarded are we that sometimes we bolt at what we perceive to be the first sign of trouble. Sometimes, we have been hurt so badly that we would rather resign ourselves to a life of bachelorhood / bachelorettehood, rather than run the risk of getting our hearts broken again.
We aren’t doe-eyed anymore. We are no longer love “the idea of being in love“ more than they would actually love another person. We still want companionship.
But it’s not all hopeless. We’ve also learned about our own happiness. We’ve learned that being alone and being lonely or not the same thing. The popular line I’ve seen on several peoples dating profiles online has said “I don’t need a relationship, but I want a relationship”. The fact that all of us are still out here trying to meet someone, is a sign of hope in and of itself. Like Rick Grimes or Mad Max or Neo and the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar, we are all still fighting for a better, happier life.
I mean, what the hell is the alternative? Give up? Lay down and die? Resign ourselves to a life of solitude?