Some of those who read my blog – secure in your married status, couple-dom or even as a celebrated singleton – might sometimes wonder, ‘boy, she really does write about dating a lot’ and make some assumptions. And you would be right. But before you jump to conclusions, let me pause to explain myself and bust some myths.
Myth #1. She is obsessed with men.
I love men. I do. I love the way they look, their bodies, how they smell and feel and their straightforward approach to life. I get on far easier with guys and tend to have more in common with them than women. Until I was in college, most of my friends were guys. So yes, I’m probably more guy oriented than your average American. I also like sex (with men).
But obsessed? Do I think of guys day and night, spend my hours pining over one guy or another, watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ on DVR and moon around wishing I was part of a couple? No.
Actually dating is a negligible part of my life overall. I’ve been largely single for 7 years (a fact my mother is acutely aware of). I am, however, never going to quit the idea of sex, companionship and shared intimacy. Which I ain’t getting from my girlfriends. So I keep dating and hoping one day I meet a guy whose breathing doesn’t annoy the shit out of me.
Myth #2. Single for 7 years? There’s something really wrong with her
Maybe. Or maybe not. I have friends who have been single for longer and some who have never been single since the age of 16. We all seem pretty sane. I actually think finding someone comes down to luck, perseverance, good judgement and timing. If you found the right person in college and you were mature enough to know it.. man, props to you and why aren’t you POTUS yet? The years I could have saved if I’d had the judgement thing down a little earlier.
But I’m headstrong and I like to learn by failing, so I have spent a lot of time putting my hand on a hot stove and wondering why it hurt.
These last few years my judgement about men has improved, and I’ve never been short of perseverance, but damn my timing has definitely sucked. I moved to the US in my mid 20s just when the first round of marriages were hitting, learned how to date US men by my early 30s (and got married), then got divorced just as the final round of sane, smart, passionate men were saying ‘I Do’. After indulging my post divorce freedom for a year or two, I found that at the age of 38… pickings were slim and most guys really don’t wake up thinking ‘I really want to find a British 38 yr old women with a smart mouth and more illnesses than your average AARP member. Oh and please make her slightly anxious’. What can I say, the queue stretches around Denver three times.
And if I do bump into a cute, nerdy, athletic, single dude who finds blindness and varicose veins attractive, well I’ve got standards and I’m not ever getting divorced again so maybe that’s why I don’t make it past date #1 very often, and date #5 even less.
Myth #3. Oh so she’s really picky. She thinks she’s going to find Mr. Perfect.
Have you been speaking to my mother?
I don’t think I’m picky and based on some of my dates – Albino man, mole man with the crossed eyes, ‘dude who ran from a bear’ – I actually don’t think I’m picky enough. I just generally assume the best of people and that everyone is sort of like me – honest, high integrity and fairly consistent. Which might be where things have gotten sideways. Apparently those aren’t a given.
My list of prerequisites is actually really short (though they are non negotiable – a chica needs her standards):
- athletic (because my life is)
- positive outlook (because downer people bring me down)
- good dental hygiene (I like kissing)
- not an alcoholic (I just can’t)
- passionate (I married otherwise and am hence divorced)
- doesn’t want kids (I’m 41.. you do the math)
Of course if you are crude, rude, a slob, a liar, abusive or smoke weed from morning to night.. I’m probably not going to start planning any camping trips but honestly, like most women.. its pretty simple.
Myth #4: Oh but she doesn’t mention he has to look like George Clooney
Actually I’m a nerd fan and I love nothing more than a dude with skinny calves and glasses. Pretty men tend to always be looking for better, younger, hotter, more perfect. Give me a nerd who’s obsessed with something – cycling, Crossfit, backpacking, growing tomatoes, hell even thimbles.. ok maybe not thimbles..But I’ll take nerdy and passionate over pretty and always looking any day.
Myth #5: She makes it sound like she’s not fussy at all. Maybe she’s ..um…a bit slutty?
Slutty is such as loaded term and its rarely, if ever, applied to men. I’m over 40. I’ve been ‘active’ since 17 and I’ve been married. So no, I’m clearly not going to be getting married in white.
I’ve had phases when I was more ‘active’ and years when I was single and didn’t go on a solitary date.
These days I go on a date with anyone who I’ve talked to ‘live’ who’s made me laugh and who isn’t living with his parents or his ex. Which averages maybe meeting 3 or 4 guys a year. Maybe there will be a second date. Maybe there won’t.
Myth #6: Sounds like she doesn’t get out enough
I’ll agree there. I work at home and that pretty much limits the men in my life to the UPS guy (in his late 50s) and my mailman (easily 300lbs). I live in an apartment complex which is full of awesome people but I don’t like to date my neighbors (been there, done that.. very uncomfortable and had to move. Twice). But I do a lot of stuff – running, yoga, Crossfit, gardening, hiking, riding – motorcycles and bikes – walking my dog, happy hours, nights out with friends.. I just don’t meet guys while doing all that. How do you meet a guy while riding 70mph? Or breathing so hard you can’t see straight?
So I online date, which is its own twisted weird world. Through that I meet 3 or 4 guys a year, go on a handful of dates and then decide ‘fuck it’ and hibernate for another 6 months.
I only have so much bubbliness for each year.
Myth #7: So why keep writing about dating?
Because everyone has been single at one time or another ( 60% of all marriages end in divorce people..) and most of the women I know are single or dating. They say to write what you know and I know dating. My girlfriends and neighbors date, my Crossfitting friends date, and yes, I even know some guys who are do the ‘I think she might like me’ dance on a Sunday morning. Dating – especially as you get older – is so different from doing it at 16, or 20 or even 25. Its random, bizarre, stressful, occasionally wonderful and hell, it gives you stories you’ll never forget. I will always treasure my marriage, but it will be my dating stories that keep me laughing into my dotage.