What could be scarier than Jason and Freddy? Going on a date with Bobby and Trey. Dating in your 40s is more frightening than any Halloween movie I’ve ever seen! Dating is supposed to be the time that two people get to know one another and see if they have common interests, a physical attraction, a chemistry between them. Yet, they are more like mini-job interviews where you spend a couple hours with someone having a drink and/or dinner/lunch and scanning through their BS for red flags or deal breakers.
Both men seemed nice and normal enough when I first met them and accepted their invitations for dinner. Trey is a 54-year-old retired military air craft specialist (I was shocked when he told me his age because he looks in his mid-40s). He’s 6’6”, blond with clear blue eyes, and works out at least four days a week. He’s put together very nicely. He’s been divorced 13 years and has one daughter who is 26 years old.
Bobby, on the other hand, is a 47-year-old divorced attorney with teenage daughters and a son still in elementary school. He’s only 5’8”, but has stunning blue eyes and sandy brown hair. He claims he works out regularly, but his body shows no evidence of it. He’s not overweight, just soft. Sort of like everything else about his personality. He’s more sensitive than any woman I’ve ever met.
I’ve gone on a couple dates with each of them trying to decide which, if either, I have anything in common with. Trey took me to a nice dinner, we had a great conversation, and a wonderful time. Two days later I get the ‘I miss you’ text. Whoa….slam on the breaks there, Mister!
Bobby took me out for ice cream. He was sweet, funny, and I enjoyed talking with him. I quickly discovered that when he wore his glasses he was a full-blown attorney, but when he took them off he was easy to laugh and mildly entertaining. But after our second date he confessed that he had ‘googled’ me and not only perused through my author social media pages/sites/reviews; he had downloaded and listened to all my interviews since I first got published. Now while that can seem flattering, it felt more like stalking and creepy and made me very uncomfortable. If he was going to do something like that, he probably shouldn’t have told me about it. Five days after our second date he got so clingy because of my limited free time between work and grad school, I remarked to my daughter that perhaps I should bring him some warm milk, cookies, and a Snuggie to pacify him while I’m studying.
I can’t do clingy…
I can’t do needy…
I can’t do overly emotional…
Therefore, I thought I would give Trey a second chance and went out of a third date with him. Five minutes into it, I realized it was a mistake.
We all have deal breakers/red flags that we look out for – for the most part they’re pretty much universal. But entering the dating scene again and after this last adventurous month, I’ve discovered a couple more to add to my list:
1. After two dates DO NOT tell me how I should be living my life!
2. Minor children and sometimes adult children living at home that you solely support can be a deal breaker (No, I’m not a bitch but I’ve raised by children and want to enjoy life without that added baggage)
3. Don’t complain to me about your four thousand dollars a month child support payment when I’m working two jobs!
4. While I command someone for getting the help they need, a man on depression medication and in therapy is not something I’m willing to tackle.
5. Whining to me about your ungrateful adult child and not being willing to make them stand on their own is your own fault, so stop bitching.
Of course, I am simplifying things immensely here and there is a lot that I haven’t confessed (red flags that appeared in conversations that I won’t make public), but you all get the gest. The fact is I’ve gotten extremely picky at this age – at least per my daughter, but I honestly feel I deserve to be. I know what I’m looking for and I refuse to settle for anything less. So, I suppose I’m going to remain single and enjoy the freedom it allots me.
Confession: I love having my own place with no man expecting dinner on the table when he comes home. I love having sole ownership of the remote. I love coming and going as I please. I love not having to do the extra laundry or worry about what he wants when I go to the grocery store. I love working full time as a research analyst and part time as a sales associate at Kirklands (nothing better than earning a little extra and enjoying an employee discount when decorating a new home). I love going to grad school. And mostly, I love for the first time in 25 years I have full control over my life!
Still, there is always that one friend, that one best male friend, that you love more than life, who enjoys above all else ribbing you about the sad condition of your love life. He called me recently to thank me for the huge increase in his dividend check. Confused; I asked him what he meant. He said that thanks to my dry spell in the dating world, his dividend check from Duracell had quadrupled in the last two years!
Talk about embarrassing! Well, at least someone is benefiting…