Signs you’re dating a 50 yr old boy

As a kid I had a lot of friends who were boys. We rode our bikes together, we explored tom cruiseabandoned quarries, build dams (or fires), and generally mucked about. I loved my boys-who-were-friends. They never seemed to have ‘moods’, they didn’t have unspoken rules and I never had one hold a grudge. Sure they called me nicknames and made fun of me in class, but I never had a problem with liking boys as I was growing up.

Fast forward through boyfriends, lovers and husbands.. and suddenly I have a problem liking boys. See at 12, 14 or even 18, a boy is fine. A boy is fun. But at 50? A boy is kinda pathetic, needy and sad. Not sure what a 50-year-old boy looks like? Here’s a taste;

He doesn’t want to touch your boobs. Boys are scared by boobs. What starts out as fear, turns into fascination (or at least appreciation) somewhere in the teenage years, but if he’s still snickering at them¬† or terrified of them at 50, you’re dating a boy or a gay man, but definitely not a grown up. Run.. run away before he shows you how funny ‘radio tuning’ them can be.

He sends dick pics: I thought this was for teens and married folks trying to spice up their love life, but apparently boys send dick pics at any age. And they’re desperate for your approval. Can you imagine a 50 yr old woman sending a vag pic?? I mean.. just.. no. Men.. men write porn texts and make dates.

He speaks about his anatomy in the third person. If it has a name, or an independent presence in a 50-year-old mans life, you’re dating a boy. Someone who thinks their dick is a separate thing after 50 years, either needs an education or to grow the fuck up. Unless you ironically call it Brian. I’ll okay a Brian.

He’s braggadocious.¬† If he’s oh-so-proud about his dating prowess, his hair, his job, his car or even his finances at 50, he’s still an insecure little boy who thinks that’s what’s appealing in a mate. If that were the case, we’d ALL be cuing up for a chance at The Donald instead of reviling him from afar and shuddering at his name for the last 30 years.

He dumped his last girlfriend for being ‘not hot enough’. I know all single dudes over 40 with a job and even the slightest sanity have a plethora of women to choose from, but really? Actually maybe this isn’t a case of being a 50 year boy.. I think this is a sign of being an ‘ass-hat’.

So there you have it.. boys will always be boys, even with grey hair, crows feet and thickening waistlines. Date one if you must. I can vouch they’re awesome at building a dam when you need one. Just make sure to put that on your Tinder profile.

Vulnerability

Being Vulnerable

So I finally heard back from my ever so hot date that apparently he ‘wasn’t feeling it’ ..which somewhat stopped me in my tracks. Not because I was surprised (I hadn’t heard from him since his ‘yay second date’ text a week ago), but because of how much the pinprick of disappointment hurt.

It was fleeting and over in a minute, but wow.. rejection doesn’t feel nice no matter how expected it is. He was cute, smart, witty and checked a lot of boxes, and I thought we had good chemistry. But apparently it was all one sided or he met someone else in the week since we met.

Ouch.

So, even though it wasn’t a shock and I have a date planned tonight with a delicious guy, my brain immediately went into analysis mode;

– Was I too honest? Too open?
– Did I talk about dating other people too much?
– Should we not have talked about being married?
– Should I not have told him he was cute?
– When he said he was’ really comfortable talking to me’ was that I sign I should have read?
– Should I have left after the second drink?
– Was I not engaging enough? Too old?
– Were my tattoos a turn off?
– Did he read my blog and get freaked out?
– Should I not have kissed him?
– Should I, could I, did I, was I…? The list was loooonng and I couldn’t help myself.I had to figure out which bit of me had turned him off and therefore was the bit I probably needed to change the next time around.

 A friend of mine recently send me a link to a Ted talk which really expounds on the the theme of vulnerability, which got me thinking about being single, dating, and the ability to actually ‘be yourself’ during the process.

After 7 years of ‘dating’, I thought my skin was pretty thick. I’ve been dumped by silence, email, phone, post it note and text. I’ve been called ‘boorish’ and ‘a slut’, ‘a prude’ and ‘mentally ill’ (I’m not, my therapist had me tested).
I was dumped by the guy I was planning to marry – just 2 weeks after he met my parents- and yes, I’ve done my fair share of dumping too.

Over the years I’ve experienced a lot of embarrassing and painful situations  and I’ve learned how to manage the inevitable pain, regret, remorse, anger and shame.. but I’ve never actually managed the holy grail of  ‘not feeling’. Whether I’m leaving or they are, it always hurts. Which is why I need to not date for half of every year. A person can only stand up to so many ‘feelings’. 

As anyone who’s dated, loved or married anyone will know.. to connect with someone you experience intense vulnerability. And in order to let yourself be vulnerable, you have to ‘be yourself’… warts and all. Tattoos and bad decisions. Cusswords and kinks. Probably not all on a first date (note to self), but over time, if you’re going to really connect with someone and achieve a degree of intimacy, you have to have the confidence to be – well – you.  And one of the risks of ‘being you’ is that someone might not actually find that attractive..in the words of my date.. ‘just not feel it’. Which hurts no matter how fleeting the encounter. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable – putting your authentic self out there – is risky, but its the only way to really enable a meaningful connection with another person.

And when the inevitable rejection occurs, you hurt no matter the circumstances.

There seems to be two paths you can take the next time around. You can hide who you are, (hide your blog) mask the characteristics that you know aren’t that pleasant and hope that eventually you can breath out and wear your big lady pants.. or you can keep being yourself, and know that when you eventually make a connection, its based on who you actually are, not who you’ve allowed yourself to be seen as. And if your blog freaks them out.. well… they’d probably run at a whole lot of other things too.

So, even as I ponder what happened between that  ‘can’t wait for our second date’ text and the ‘not feeling it’ text a week later , I know that at least I was my imperfect, honest (though slightly drunk) self on the date.. and while he saw more of me that he probably needed for a first date.. well… I probably just short cut the process. I was vulnerable by putting my self out there without hiding.. and hey, he didn’t like it.

Like Marmite and coffee flavored ice-cream, I have to trust that while I’m not to everyone’s flavor ..some people out there really really like Marmite or coffee ice cream. I just haven’t met that guy yet.

And meanwhile, I’m not going to pretend to be vanilla or Nutella, because I like my flavor just fine. 

Rejection

No matter how old you are, how well you can recover from a stubbed toe, a rear ended bumper or a jack ass move from your boss.. nothing quite stings like rejection.

Rejection has been around since long before Facebook ‘defriending’, being ostracized by the cool kids at school or even being dumped. In fact the term, first used in 1415, actually means to ‘throw back’. Ugh… even 400 years ago it sucked. .
Rejection is something we all deal with from the first time we try to climb onto a lap and get removed by a busy mother, through to the presidential nomination you didn’t receive (Hillary). We’re rejected all of our lives. And while you learn how to deal with the college acceptance you didn’t get or the job offer that never came.. rejection by a specific person, whether friend, colleague, lover or family member … well that never gets easier. Its just so damn personal.

Like most of us over the age of 12, I’ve been rejected by friends (‘sorry, you don’t have kids, you wouldn’t find it interesting), by family (for eloping at the age of 31), and of course, by dates. Oh the date rejection…its endless.

My first real taste of date rejection came in 1985 when Sean Lundy, a platonic boyfriend of sorts, agreed to ‘see me’ outside of school. By ‘see’ I mean ‘meet at the bus stop and walk around a bit’.  We weren’t dating or anything other than staring at each other a lot, but since he picked me to ‘see’ I had high hopes.
It was Christmas Eve, I stupidly thought it was appropriate to bring a gift (Fahrenheit, still can’t stand the smell of it) and it took all of 2 seconds for him to end my fantasy, ‘ Um.. I don’t like you any more’.
Potentially the fastest relationship of my life, I cried the entire bus ride home. But then promptly decided I didn’t like blondes anyway. At least I’ve always been good at bouncing back.

Straightforward rejection is relatively easy. Fast, painful but done;

‘You wanted a promotion? Sorry. No.’
‘You are not Americas Next Top Model’
‘Pack your knives and go’
‘I don’t want to be married any more’
‘The time has come for this phase of our relationship to end’ (yes, honestly)

But all the other flavors of rejection drive me nuts.

Rejection is often so hidden and low key, we don’t realize we’re rejected until days, weeks or even months later. I’m still waiting for ‘Todd’ to call me back after our second date in 1999, and I think I might actually still be dating a few guys who just fell off the map somewhere in the early 2000s. My ex husband and I never said goodbye, so I hope he knows we’re divorced (its been 6 years), and I can’t count the number of coffee dates who said ‘I’ll call you’ and then apparently were hit by a bus. That is.. until I saw them back out in Match.com, or in one delightful instance, working at Banana Republic. So much for his ‘career in sales’.
The low key rejection – the guy who stops calling, the email from 2005 which says ‘see you soon’ (I haven’t) and the low grade downgrading of communications is like nails on a chalkboard to a left brained logician. Either we’re friends or we’re not; lovers or not… but this weird slow death of things… this rejection drives me insane.

My friend is currently experiencing the ‘soft rejection’ from a guy whose calls have dropped off, sends one word texts and has ceased planning dates. To an outsider its done.. but you just know that as soon as she starts reaching out for other dates, he’ll reconnect and send her spinning. ‘Maybe I was just too keen?’ ‘Maybe he actually likes me?’ ‘Maybe now the timing is right?’ and the whole process starts back up again. He won’t ‘throw her back’… but he’s kind of  ‘teasing her on his fishing line’. Whether its deliberate or not, damn it seems cruel. I wouldn’t ever ask for her to be rejected (god I wish someone would actually get to know how awesome she is), but this ‘slow death’ .. I just wish he’d throw her back or reel her in. Its excruciating to watch and all I can do is be a good friend and sit on my hands (my preference would be to whack the guy upside the head and ask him to make a decision. 

No-one likes to think that they don’t matter and its not only a personal thing, its an ego thing. I was rejected via email after a torrid affair last year with a promise of ‘in 6 months maybe we can…’ I was definitely ‘thrown back’ but he told me his line was still in the water.  I couldn’t help myself but count the months to see if I truly was off the hook.. even as every cell in my body screamed ‘done’. Which is why I pray these days for the swift kick to the head over the slow death on a line.. its just cruel.

But its not just a guy thing. We’re just as bad at ‘throwing back’ men.
I used to have a pathological need for people to like me and would often deliver the ‘great date.. we must do this again’ speech even as I was deleting his number and blocking his profile. Those puppy eyes would make me think I was doing him a favor by rejecting him in slow, excruciating stages of non communication. I conveniently forget how awful it is to be on the receiving end of that phone which doesn’t ring, that text that doesn’t arrive. That absence which so clearly shouts ‘you don’t matter to me’. I didn’t want to tell him that I’ve ‘thrown him back’.. because…. well I didn’t want to be hurtful.

Such a hypocrite. 

These days I’m more honest and I call it progress to deliver the swift kick to the groin rather than the slow death of hope. There’s nothing you can do to soften the landing of rejection except speed the process by which you or the other person can get back up. It cuts down on the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘maybe’s plus hell, I figure if someone wants something bad enough they’ll pick up the phone and we can talk like adults. So go ahead and reject me, and I’ll reject you. But lets be clear about it so there’s no confusion and neither of us it sitting around checking our phones.

Now I wonder if I need to check that my ex knows about our divorce?