I decided to conduct some research this summer. Using the rubric I created (see What I'm looking for in my partner ), I jumped into the pool.
Bachelor Number One: My first older guy! ✔ He was 60 years old. We met online on a Friday night. We had a nice conversation that continued the next afternoon. We decided to meet for a drink on Sunday, at a local place. ✔ He assured me he wanted to start S-L-O-W. He had just lost his wife, meaning she died, in February. I was good with slow. ✔ I wasn't ready for anything major. This would be my first official attempt to jump back into the pool of fish since ending my last relationship in January. Slow and cautious. I was ready, and willing to try this dating game. It was summer. A real date. 👍
First date: Drinks. Our drink date went well. Easy conversation. But, I wasn't feeling that chemistry that I had hoped I'd be feeling. Still, we were going slow, so a new friend would be nice. In our conversation, I found out that just a few weeks before, he had purchased a pop-up trailer. He was set to retire on Friday and just after the 4th of July. He would be leaving to travel out west for six weeks...alone. I must admit I was a tad envious. Alone, and he would be seeing several of the National Parks? My dream. Jokingly..although I'm not sure just how jokingly it was... he invited me to come with him. He said the trailer had two ends...a bed on each side. This was information I all ready knew, as I grew up doing family camping where my parents owned a pop-up trailer. No, thank you. I wasn't attracted to him like that. A trip alone after such a loss would be wonderful for him, and something I'm sure he'd benefit from greatly. Our conversation was pleasant and the afternoon slipped away. We decided to end our date, but agreed to getting together again to continue our chat. Why did I agree? I wasn't attracted to him like that, I could tell quickly. Maybe I was thinking he would make a nice friend, and I would too, after all he had just lost his wife. Can't everyone use a friend? As we said our goodbyes, we had that awkward first moment. Do we shake hands or hug??? What started as a hand shake, segued into a hug. As we release, he still has my hand and he tugged me towards him, then kisses me. Whoa! THAT is NOT. GOING. SLOW.
In my surprise, I didn't know how to really respond. It wasn't horrible, but I hadn't asked for it. Did I give off some signals??? No, I definitely did not. My body language was saying you can have a hug, nothing more.
We sent texts back and forth for a day or two. He hoped to take me to dinner that week. That would be nice I said. He brought up the kiss. Did I notice how he snuck that in? Yes, yes I did, and THAT wasn't going slow, I responded. He said he couldn't help it. He couldn't help it? Okay. My take away: I would need to set very clear boundaries.
Second date: Dinner. He was really wanting to see me very soon after our first date. I know that's a good sign when you are attracted to someone. Maybe I just needed to give him another chance, with more boundaries set in place. As I had been invited to an event that week, I suggested we go there. I know no one else cares, but for me it is a big deal to be seen out in public with a guy. We arrived late to the event, and the place was all ready packed. It is at this point that my empathy kicked in and I start to feel horrible. I realize my date has hearing aids in both ears and cannot clearly hear what is being said. Sigh. Then I look up, and sitting across the room is a guy, who I have always thought is attractive. Although this guy is younger than I am and as we all know, I have set my "guidelines" for what I think I'd like in a guy (see above link again), I now have solid, physical, proof that I am not with the correct person. All I can do is suffer thinking the guy I'm with isn't enjoying this and I'd love to be sitting across the room. Not fair to either of us. On top of all this, my date had asked if we could hold hands while we were walking in and I told him no, because he was still in the friend's zone. lol...as if there are set boundaries for this. What the heck constitutes "The Friend's Zone"? Unfortunately, his kiss had crossed the line, and this was my attempt to set clearly defined boundaries. No hand holding. Before the night was over I realized my date didn't even listen to the same radio station that I did. Bummer for him. I am a public radio junkie. This was just less that we had in common, not a deal breaker in a relationship, but just another sign that this was not the right person for me. I also realized as we drove to the event that our tastes in music wasn't the same either. My world of music has opened up so much more than I thought...or maybe I've always been a very diverse person, and I just see that now.
We went back to my place and talked a bit longer. Again, it was pleasant, interesting, back-and-forth conversation. He would be retiring the next day. How nice for him. He had an early day ahead, our evening would be cut short. I set the boundaries....friends can hug, but no kissing. He said he heard me loud and clear. No kissing.
I was super busy over the next few days: grass to cut, summer camp lesson plans to get ready, a house to clean, writing to do...yet, he wanted to see me again. He had been persistent. I told him I didn't want to lead him on. I didn't feel our relationship was going to go beyond friends. I felt he was looking for more, much quicker than I. He instantly agreed and wished me well in my search.
End of Bachelor Number One's dating story.
Time lasted: Ten days.
*****After this date, on my blog I wrote my post to the Universe basically saying give me what I need, don't listen to my requests! I suppose I am allowed to change my mind after compiling completed research data.
A dry spell followed.
currently jaded, skeptical, and a non-believer in the existence of true love between unrelated human beings*
Epilogue: Dating sites are a hard place to spend time. I think they are probably as hard for men as they are for women. They hurt, not help self esteem. In order to be noticed, one must write a catchy profile and include just the right pictures. Even then, it's hard to meet the right someone. Pay sites have fewer subscribers in my "little" town and free sites have too many people whom I am not interested in getting to know. I suppose I'm grateful for the lessons I am taking away from this summer of playing The Dating Game. One guy sent me a message on a free site. He said, "Ask me a question. I'll answer" So I did. I said, "I have always wondered...Why do banks charge you for 'insufficient funds' when you don't have enough money in your account to pay it?" Needless to say, we never did connect.
I feel we live in a society where humans have trouble interacting in person. So many people play games on line, on a computer or at home through smart TV's and gaming systems. I think this separates us from reality and online dating is just another version of these virtual games. Maybe I'm wrong, and it's just harder when one has previously been married for a long time, or has children still at home to be able to connect with other available souls. I really don't know how to help my path cross that of others who might be ready for a relationship. I have this ominous feeling that unless I put myself "out there", I am destined to remain alone. Certainly others feel this way as well? Maybe this is part of the online dating game.
Goodbye dating sites. I need a life preserver to swim in your waters, and you don't provide this. In fact, you make my heart feel empty and alone, which is the exact opposite of what you say you are selling.
*this is just a stage, I hope.
Blogging listening music:
mostly The Piano Guys Pandora station...slightly classical, slightly romantic.
To read about Bachelor Number Two...click here
To read about Bachelor Number Three...click here