One main thing I try to keep in mind nowadays regards the impulse to try to rebound from failed romantic love experiences by finding someone else to love. I really try to refrain from acting on that kind of impulse these days. I tell myself, "Think about it; whenever I try to rebound from failed romantic love experiences, I start trying to look for someone to TAKE THE PLACE of the failed love interest. What's wrong with this picture?"
I see young women in my world who certainly have the good looks and youth to take the place of a typical failed love interest, but there are some key differences from the old days when I would try to rebound from such experiences as a matter of course. The biggest difference I can see regards the notion that I don't fall in love quite so readily with this or that attractive young woman in my world the way I used to. Therefore, I don't have the same tragic crash and burn experiences that defined much of my younger days, and, therefore, I have little "need" or desire to try to rebound in the first place.
I can think of quite of number of times in my youth when I decided this or that love interest represented THE ONE, and that all I had to do was play my cards right to win her. I could make such a decision based on the most minor of flirtations from the other party. Sometime along the way, I became conscious that these decisions did constitute a choice, and that meant that I keep making fucked up choices, and what should I do about it.
One can reread my many posts on this topic, but I'll try to summarize how I manage to not fall in love as easily as I used to; I basically make it okay to have an outcome where I don't wind up with the gal in the end. I will let supposed opportunities slip through my fingers pretty much on a self dare. I've seen so much of the other side of the coin through this process, particularly in instances where the young woman who vied for love interest status had an agenda that had nothing to do with being my girlfriend.
In the past twenty years, I can only think of ONE woman that I would want a do over on in regards to a missed opportunity. Also, I remember a couple of other instances where I attended gatherings and a couple of women seemed to want to talk to me, but I became too intimidated by the beauty of these woman, and I just bailed. So, that's three instances in the last twenty years I can count where I just didn't have what it took to go for it. On the other hand, I can count a huge number of times where I went for it alright, and came up empty, or more recently, just let it all go, and found out that no opportunity existed in the first place.
I still have attractive young women in my world whom I would love to get to know better, but that probably won't happen. In my teenage years, I became fixated on a couple of females, one in high school, one in college, who didn't have any kind of fucked up predatory agenda, but I just got hung up on their overall unavailability. The girl in high school didn't have a boyfriend when I got hung up on her, but my shyness and insecurity got in the way of me trying to act on my feelings of intense attraction to her. The girl in college had a serious boyfriend, and I just couldn't reconcile my intense attraction to her with the reality of her circumstances. Neither of the two gals had any kind of fucked up agenda where they had any desire to hurt me, but I believe that the fact that I became so fixated on these two exposed a true vulnerability of mine to other woman who had totally fucked up agendas later on during college.
So, with these attractive young women in my world, I sometimes worry that I might become hung up on one of them, because I don't perceive any fucked up agenda on their part. They just seem unavailable due to various things such as age difference, the fact that I only know them at all because they work at businesses I patronize, and therefore we probably don't have much of anything in common even if they were single, which I don't know that they are. But, here's the thing. I've become pretty good at sniffing out the motives behind women who do have really fucked up agendas, and this might mean that I just don't fall in love as readily as I used to, under any circumstances, whether the unavailable woman comes from some fucked up place or not. This thought makes me happy. Life can be like an experiment with no discernible boundaries for what constitutes success or failure, so I guess that I just have to see if I get hung up on anyone in the end. I'm pretty confident that I won't.