The Age Factor

The first time I ever dated a considerably younger guy, I repeatedly asked myself “What in the hell are you doing?”

It’s not like I was new to dating younger guys. In fact my first boyfriend was younger than me, my ex-husband was 7 years younger and my most recent LTR was with a guy 12 years younger. It wasn’t exactly new to me. But then out of nowhere it seems, the 20 year olds started appearing. I’d been hit on by 20 year old guys before, but none of them were ever able to truly capture my interest. There’s nothing remotely appealing about “Heyy whats up babe?” or “How r u?”  If he can’t string a simple sentence together, you kind of already know the deal.

But then twitter happened and it opened up a whole new group of guys – of all ages – who were actually thoughtful and funny and intelligent. Then add tinder (no explanation needed there) and the flood gates opened.

That’s when I decided to rethink the whole age thing.

I started out with just simple conversations.  I’d often ask these younger guys why they were interested in older women? Their answers were always the same:  Girls their age demand too much. They get upset if you don’t text them 20x a day. They don’t give a guy his space. They need to know where you are every minute of the day. They’re too dramatic. She was only interested in money. She wanted a serious boyfriend. She wanted to get married.  She was insecure. She was extremely jealous. The list goes on. All huge turn offs to a guy of any age.

Which brought me to why they were drawn to older women: Older women are confident. We don’t need to know what you’re doing every second of the day. We don’t care about that girl who you were talking to at the bar. We’re too busy to text you every single day. We don’t care how much money you make. We are busy with our own lives and careers. We’re more open minded and experimental when it comes to sex. And we certainly are not looking to get married.

Maybe dating a 20 yr. old would be fun.  I decided why not.

One guy in particular made me change my mind. It all started with a few sweet words. Not only was he articulate but extremely intelligent. Two things I can’t resist (even though I tried). Instead of partying with his friends, he chose to spend time with me. He was emotionally mature and genuinely interesting- both extremely sexy- which made him irresistible.

One of my flaws is that I sometimes try to end things at the first sign of trouble. Even if the “trouble” doesn’t actually exist.  I’m like the Runaway Bride of dating. So after only a few months of amazing sex and great conversation, I told him I could never see him ever again.

WHO DOES THAT?

Me, apparently. Well, I used to. (But I’m getting better.) It’s easy to let your head overthink and complicate things, but sometimes you need to think with your heart, which is kind of the same as NOT thinking.

Then a friend told me “Just let the relationship run it’s natural course.” Words I sometimes forget but should definitely try to remember. It’s sometimes difficult to enjoy time with someone when you’re constantly thinking “This can’t last.”

Luckily, he wouldn’t let me end it, so we continued to see each other.

And each time I would start to overthink it, friends would weigh in with “Just have fun. Who cares how old he is?”

It’s our experiences and the people we meet and share time with who ultimately shape who we are and who we become. So I did my best not to overthink it and just enjoy it.

Here is what I discovered. Age really is just a number. Your brain doesn’t say “You cannot be attracted to this person because they’re not the *right* age.” It’s all about chemistry and connection. It’s probably true that a guy in his 20’s isn’t looking for a girlfriend and is more interested in just having sex.  But that’s often true about guys in their 30’s and 40’s, too. And it’s a common fact that women reach their sexual peak in their mid 30’s to 40’s. We think about, enjoy and want sex, too.

I had dismissed many guys simply because I thought they were too young.  But there’s a difference between someone’s age and  emotional maturity. And just because a guy is older doesn’t mean he’s emotionally mature either (I’ve been down that road before, too).

Age doesn’t determine chemistry. If you connect with someone who’s fun and interesting, why not just enjoy it?

It’s all about mutual respect and how you make each other feel. If he makes you feel sexy and beautiful, and he’s respectful and honest, where’s the harm in that?

It doesn’t mean it has to turn into anything serious. Having fun together does not always equal love. It’s not a promise for forever. (I admit that’s a beautiful and romantic notion, but it’s simply not realistic.) It’s just fun and enjoyable and one more life experience that makes you a more interesting person. I mean the world could END TOMORROW. Would you really say no to having fun and good sex if you thought you only had one more day to live? I THINK NOT.

Find a person who you connect with, who you feel comfortable with, who you respect and trust. That’s when the sex really becomes amazing. If those pieces are missing, then you’re probably just having mediocre sex.

And age has nothing to do with finding that connection. Connection has to do with chemistry. And you never know who will have chemistry with until you actually spend time with someone. You shouldn’t dismiss a person simply because of their age.

I don’t often meet guys who can capture my interest. So when I do, why would I dismiss him simply because of his age? It’s all about how he treats me, how he makes me feel and how we interact together. And if all those pieces click, then why not just take it for what it is and simply enjoy it?

 

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50 First Dates

After another horribly cold winter, I decided that once spring arrived I would force myself to start dating again. Ugh.

And while dating can be a lot of fun, it’s also a lot of work. Manicures and blow outs and coordinating schedules and what shoes to wear? Is this guy worth my most expensive perfume? And is this outfit too sexy, too slutty or both?

I admit I watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and even though it’s a complete drama-fest, it’s quite addictive. I mean even the men cry. Men crying and fighting over a girl they all met 5 minutes ago? Come on. Who wouldn’t want to watch that?

I always thought it would be fun to be on that show and have 20+ guys all vying for my attention. Since I’ll never have men fighting and crying over me on national television, I decided the next best thing would be to go out on as many dates as I could squeeze into one summer. After all, I’m single and my girls have been gone on vacations for most of the summer and I have really pretty hair (okay that’s not really a reason). But why not?

So 50 dates? I doubt I’ll have that many, but I figured I would document my experiences as I go along, just for fun. (And imagine a camera crew is following me around and filming my every move. Translation: No one night stands allowed because then everyone will know and think I’m a slut, which of course I’m not.)

Not all of the guys I’ve met so far are worth mentioning and some dates have bored me to tears, but here are a few so far.

(Oh, I should mention I sometimes give them nicknames because A. it’s fun and makes them easier to remember and B. to protect their true identities, DUH.)

1. Robert Downey Jr. I swear this guy could have been RDJ’s twin brother. Although he was nice and very handsome, I wasn’t really feeling the sparks but he looked so much like Robert Downey Jr, I had to at least mention it.

2. Cute Tattoo Guy: So adorable in all of his photos (I met him on tinder). After speaking on the phone, I was 99% sure we’d have absolutely nothing in common, but I still wanted to meet him anyway because I’m a complete sucker for a cute face. When we met, one of his eyebrows was partially shaven off and I spent the entire time trying to figure out how anyone could do that. I really wanted to say “Hey, so why is your eyebrow half shaven off?” but I thought that might be rude and everyone knows how terribly polite I am, so of course I tried not to stare and said nothing.

3. If you’ve never seen Arthur (the original one with Dudley Moore), go on Netflix right now and watch it. It’s a must see. Guy#3 was just like Arthur: funny, sweet, a great dresser and always laughing and smiling. The one thing I never do is ask a guy what he does. If he volunteers the information, great but I never ask because to me, age and income are irrelevant. I’m more interested in his personality and how he treats me. So I was quite surprised when he picked me up in his limo (yes, he flipping owns a limousine) and gave me the key to his loft apartment overlooking the Inner Harbor for me to stay (ALONE) overnight. (Not where he lives, but a private apartment he keeps for guests.) We took the limo to dinner, followed by a night of drinking in the limo and driving bar to bar, all over the Inner Harbor. All I could think about was Dudley Moore in Arthur. Because he was so much fun, this guy has a very good chance of getting a second date (but that’s none of your business so please don’t ask because I’m not telling).

4. Mr. Perfect:  This man made me feel like a princess the entire night. He took me to one of the most expensive restaurants in Baltimore and put me up in a 4 star hotel for the night because he knew we would be drinking (no, he did NOT spend the night). When I arrived at the restaurant, the valet took my car and later, he even arranged for them to drive it back to the hotel for me. He ordered 3 bottles of the most expensive wine (all different so we could sample them) and we had a beautiful meal. After dinner, he drove me back to the hotel and he went home. (What a huge waste of a great hotel room. Ugh, again.) He was a complete gentleman. Every girl should have at least one date like this one where you can get ready in a beautiful hotel room and not have to worry about one thing the entire night. Amazing, to say the least.

5. Justin Timberlake. (Okay, he looks nothing like JT but he was super hot.) While having dinner with friends, we had the most delicious waiter. He was so nice that after flirting with him all night, I decided to leave my phone number on the back of the receipt (giving new meaning to ‘nice tip’). I’ve never done that before and I really didn’t think he’d call, but the next day he sent me a very nice text and we arranged a date. This is all I am willing to say about this one, except that I would highly recommend leaving your number with a cute guy (waiter or otherwise) because you just never know.

The only real problem with all of these first dates (besides having to pick out a cute outfit every night) is what happens if I meet someone I really like? [Or maybe I already met someone I really like and maybe he broke my heart and maybe this is my new plan to get over him. Maybe.] I haven’t really thought about that but most guys get bored easily. Whatever happens, happens.

Ideally, I’ll meet one fabulous guy and we’ll have 50 fun dates together but let’s not get too crazy. For now, this is a fun experiment and a great way to learn about men and maybe make some new friends along the way.

So today is Friday. Guess what? I have another date tonight, tomorrow night and another on Sunday.

And frankly, I’m exhausted already.

Photo courtesy of www.lovepanky.com

 

 

Pretty things

December 2012: One of the low points in my life. I had lost my job earlier that year and now it was almost Christmas.

I wanted to hide away from the world. Not only because of the embarrassment and shame that accompany hard times, but mostly to focus on getting my life back together.

I took my daughters to the Family Dollar Store to buy some packing tape. Possibly the most depressing store ever.

I found two kinds of tape. One was $2.99 and the other was $1. I joked to the clerk that I was too poor to afford the $2.99 roll as I paid for the $1 roll. After we left, my older daughter (who was only 10 at the time) said “Mommy! Don’t tell people we’re poor!” Clearly, I had embarrassed her.

A week earlier, I created an eBay account. Being out of work meant I had to start selling some personal things. In just one week I had sold two items. I was excited, until I got to the post office and spent $18 for postage on an item I had only charged a $3 shipping fee for. Live and learn.

As soon as I got home, I immediately readjusted the shipping fees on all my other items.

Which brings me to the rings. Years before, my ex-husband had given me a beautiful 3-stone engagement ring. One large center diamond, representing the present and two smaller diamonds on either side, representing the past and the future.  The other was a beautiful custom made engagement ring given to me by a man I dated for 4 years after my divorce. A beautiful 1.5 carat cushion cut diamond, surrounded by beaded diamonds and a diamond wedding band to match.  It was beautiful. I tried to return it to him after we broke up, but he insisted I keep it. Both gifts from men who had loved me at one time. Now gone, but with memories still attached.

I never imagined I would have to sell such things, but I never imagined a lot of the hard times I’ve faced in my life. Sometimes things just happen. Reluctantly, I posted both sets on eBay. The custom set alone was worth well over $5,500, but I asked for less than half.

Being new to eBay, I assumed no one would buy them, so I took them to a local jewelry store. The appraiser took all four rings (two diamond engagement rings, and two bands) to a room at the back of the store. A few minutes later, he returned and offered me only a small fraction of what they were worth. I knew his offer was unfair, but before I could think, I heard myself say “Okay.”

As I left, I suddenly felt sad. It wasn’t that I would miss the rings (I hadn’t worn them in years), but that each one had a string of memories attached. Like the warm spring day when my ex-husband got down on one knee to propose, and all I could think about was how corny he looked. (Maybe I’m just an awful person.)

Or the December day, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, and lost my engagement ring. We had been Christmas shopping all day. I never realized it was gone until after we’d returned home. We spent hours that evening, driving from store to store, retracing every step and scanning the parking lots, searching but never found it. The next day, on Christmas eve morning, I took the dog outside for a walk.  And there in the grass, reflecting in the morning sun was my ring.

Or the day my ex-boyfriend threw the ring box at me and said “Here. I got you something.”  A gorgeous engagement ring, custom made just for me and how he threw the box at me. So terribly romantic. Anyway…

I had always imagined passing my rings and all my other pretty things, down to my daughters. Not that I owned anything spectacular, but each piece had meaning.

And now they were gone. And that made me sad.

But when you’ve been unemployed for 6 months, and it’s 3 weeks before Christmas, diamond rings don’t seem all that important anymore. Not to me, anyway. I used the cash the man at the jewelry store had given me to buy Christmas presents for my girls.

Gifts for two deserving little girls who still believed in and were expecting the arrival of Santa? Or a few rings?

To me, the answer was obvious.

To most people, a ring is a symbol of everlasting love. But to me, a ring is simply another pretty thing that you can wear. Perhaps nothing more.

I’d give up a hundred rings to have just one person who won’t abandon me when things get tough. Someone who will always be there to support me, no matter what.

No material object – and certainly not any kind of ring – can ever replace that.

I’d rather have a man strong enough to hold me when it feels like my entire world is falling apart. Or when it feels like I’m falling apart.

I’d rather have the love and support of my best friend and lover holding my hand, every single day. Because rings and objects don’t mean anything when you’re alone.

In the end, all that really matters is having the people who you love, standing beside you.

And no piece of jewelry could ever be worth more than that.

 

Photo credit: the-collectiveonline.com

Photo credit: the-collectiveonline.com

 

Sex, Porn, Love

Sex, Porn, Love

This is just like Eat, Pray, Love, with the exception that it’s absolutely nothing like that. Do I need to include a NSFW disclosure? Done. So my ex had a porn addiction. Collection. Whatever. Let me preface this by saying I … Continue reading

When Love Is (Or Isn’t) Enough

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  The story of a couple who meet, fall in love and break up.

Their break up is so painful they both decide to undergo a procedure that erases all memory of their relationship.

After their memories are erased they become strangers and go their separate ways.

But they meet a second time and are instantly attracted to each other, as if meeting for the first time.

The movie ends there, suggesting they fall in love all over again, despite their past.

The whole thing- falling in love, meeting a second time and being given a second chance- is appealing on many levels.

Most people have one person they wish they could have a second chance with.

A past relationship that was electric and exciting and passionate that you wish you could do it all over again. Even if there was some bad mixed in with all the good.

No relationship is ever perfect and every couple encounters problems and misunderstandings. People change, circumstances change and feelings can change, too.

And a history that took months and years to build up, can all fall apart as easily as a sand castle being washed away by the tide.

You might try and save it.  You grab your bucket and add more sand.

And things are good again. Maybe not as perfect as before but there’s still a lot of good left so you both hold on.

But the issues and the tide will reappear again. And unless both people are trying to fix it, you realize you can’t do it alone.

The whole situation can seem impossible and overwhelming. And sometimes it’s easier to walk away when you feel hurt, even if you love someone.

But after some time has passed, you start to miss the other person and maybe even wish you had a second chance.

But what if all your bad memories-  every fight, every lie, every hurtful word ever spoken – were all erased.

What if you met again as strangers without a past.

Maybe this time you would both be different.

Maybe if enough time had passed and if your experiences had changed, maybe you’d both be better.

Maybe. Or maybe erasing the past wouldn’t make any difference at all.

Don’t mistakes teach us what not to do next time and how to be better?

How would we know what to do differently if there were no past to learn from?

Maybe a second chance with someone wouldn’t be wonderful at all.

To go through the hurt and pain of breaking up all over again? No one would ever choose that.

And what if the other person walked away without a fight. Or they treated you badly the first time?

If they really loved you, wouldn’t they have tried harder and treated you better? Would it be any different the second time?

It takes mutual love and respect and the effort from two people, to build the relationship and to protect the sand castle.

These are all just words and words don’t really mean anything unless the person who they are meant for actually reads them.

And even if they read them, there are no magic words that can change the past and make things work. Not even “I love you,” not even “I’m sorry,” and not even “I really wish we could start over again.”

Love isn’t always enough and some things were just not meant to be.

What does matter is finding someone who won’t give up on you. Even after you’ve messed up.

Someone who is as passionate about you as you are about them.

Otherwise, all you end up with is a pile of useless fucking sand.

“If you love something, let it go.

If you don’t love something, definitely let it go. Basically, just drop everything, who cares.” – B.J. Novak

 

I Love You, by Banksy, canvas print.

I Love You, by Banksy, canvas print.

 

   http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2954530560/tt0338013