Dating when You Are 40

In another lifetime, I was married and then divorced. I had a son in 1990 and almost got married again to his father in 1994. But when I realized that things wouldn’t get better if we got married, and another divorce was not an option for me, I decided that being single was better than going to prison for the murder of my son’s father! So at the age of 28 with a toddler to raise and being a full time student, I put the whole dating thing on hold. I went out occasionally, always experiencing the thrill of possibility when meeting someone for the first time. But then I would also experience the disappointment of realizing they weren’t for me. “It’s ok”, I would tell myself, “it’s not that you’re too picky, you just want what you want!” and I would refocus my energy on college.

I finished my bachelors degree, finished my law degree and then started my professional career. Suddenly, I was 38 and not only was I without any prospects for a long term relationship, I was without prospects for a date! By now my son had entered his pre-teen years and I could already see him spending less time with Mom and more time with friends. This is how it should be, of course. But this is also when I realized that a very lonely future was looming on the horizon and if I didn’t make something happen soon, it may never happen. So I followed my good friends advice and signed up for an on-line dating service. Suddenly, based on my photo and a brief bio, I had guys coming out of the woodwork wanting to meet me. For someone who had had very limited experience in dating since high school, I mistakenly thought that the men I would be dealing with would have left high school behind as I had.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? The mentality of well, if she isn’t my future spouse, she can be my current conquest. The – I’ll say anything just to get her into bed- syndrome. The – I’m not ready to settle down, but we can have fun – affliction. Let’s face it, I thought high school boys were like this because of their raging hormones and relative inexperience in the arena of physical intimacy. At some point, I assumed that men would realize that sex was better with someone they had a true connection with, not just anyone who was willing. I want to share the best example of this with you.

I have my profile on this dating website (this is one of many I’ve tried and to be honest it’s pretty much out of boredom now) and I have purposely posted one of the worst pictures of me with very little detail about me except that I specifically spelled out that I want to get to know someone before I have sex with them. I even included in BOLD letters – no sex on the first date, probably not the second and only on the third if I really like you. No one can say that I’m not honest with these potential dates. Anyway, I get a request for communication from Mr. Magic. I know! I should have stopped it right there, but I didn’t. After reading his profile and his comments, it seems he might actually be a funny guy, the pictures not bad and he seems pretty interesting. And most appealing of all was the first line in his profile (guys take note, this is good). He said his philosophy on dating could be summed up in one word “Respect”. That’s good, I like to be respected. I figure if someone respects me, I have a good chance of having a good time getting to know someone before any thought of a sexual relationship comes up. No pun intended. So after a week of frequent emails, I give him my phone number. We talk a couple of times on the phone and decide to meet in person for dinner.

OK, I’m not a novice at this meeting people from the internet thing, so I let my best friend know where I’m going and who I’m going to meet and he agrees to call in an hour or so to check on me and see how things are going. So I’m feeling pretty secure. I walked into the restaurant about 20 minutes early (I’m always early, I can’t help it) and am surprised to find Mr. Magic has arrived before me and is bearing a box of chocolates. Right there and then he rose several points in my book. I mean, roses are nice, but chocolate is food of the Gods. We are escorted to our table and after ordering, once the beers came, I think I finally stopped my nervous chatter and we settled into a nice conversation about our families and jobs and interests. It was good, very relaxed and nice to have an attractive man so attentive and interested.

After dinner, its still pretty early to do anything else, so we take a walk by the river to try to decide if we want to go to a club downtown. The weather was nice and the walk was nice and he snuck a quick kiss and that was nice too. We then walked back to our cars and decided to go to a club. In a supreme moment of stupidity, I hop in his truck and let him drive me over the bridge to the club. Of course, it’s a big truck with a bench seat, but I have securely fastened my seat belt and am hugging the door so as not to give the impression that I am ready to make out in the truck. The ride was good, uneventful even and it wasn’t until we parked in the parking garage that I began to wonder exactly what it was the Mr. Magic respected about dating. It sure wasn’t me. Before climbing out of the car, he leaned over and kissed me and the next thing I know I’m falling out the door of the truck in my haste to get away. We go to the club, where I only had one drink because I was already trying to decide if I would chance the ride back to my car or get another ride.

At the club, Mr. Magic was making his move, gently rubbing my arm and shoulder with the back of his hand. Everytime I looked over at him he was either staring intently in my eyes or even more intently at my chest. When he quickly asked where I was going as I got up to leave for the restroom, I knew that Mr. Magic had misinterpreted my profile. Maybe to men, or Mr. Magic at least, just friends means sex with no committment. So when I went to the restroom and tried my cell phone, I couldn’t get a signal. I returned to the table and my date with Mr. Magic only to have him invite me to his secluded house in the country. I’m a 40 year old professional woman, do I have stupid written on my forehead? Apparently I did. I refused his invitation and actually expected him to drive me to my car and maybe make plans for a second date. Obviously, he was SO attracted to me that he could completely forget all of the times I told him I won’t have sex with anyone on the first date, I’m not looking for something serious, I just want to get to know new people. Why wouldn’t he want to see me again? After I threatened to get out and walk after another oh soooo smooth line in the parking garage (Please just let me see your breast?), we finally headed back across the bridge to my awaiting vehicle. He just wouldn’t stop pressuring me to go to his house and as I was standing outside the truck about to close the door, he said to me, “Please don’t hold this against me, I just don’t get out much!” Translation: It’s been a really long time since I’ve had sex, please let me hold it against you. And as I turned and walked to my car, my exasperation clear on my face and in my body language, I knew I would not be seeing Mr. Magic again. And I was right!

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