Not the doctor

19 06 2012

I am once again frustrated with the dating world, or perhaps with men in general, outside of the ones I’m related to.  I wonder why it’s so hard to find someone who understands boundaries, or the concept of speaking to a woman with the same respect they’d use in talking to a man. I wonder why I’m the one who has to explain.  I wonder why I’m the one who has to fix things.

Example 1: I met a man through an online dating site – and as I’ve mentioned in a previous entry, this can be a mixed bag, but in this case we wrote for a while before we met and things seemed pretty okay.  I also connected with him through a meetup group, and our first meeting was with other people.  He was fine, I was fine, it was broad daylight.  And we seemed to get along, so we met a few more times.  Early on he told me about his misgivings with dating – and at our age, a bunch of us have been out of the arena for a while, so I understood that.  It was perhaps more detail than I wanted, but again, we’re out of practice, so okay.

In a later date, he told me he wasn’t ready to be exclusive.  I’m okay with that, it’s early.  But then he went on to tell me about the woman he really wanted to date, a woman who didn’t feel “that way” about him.  Which would be odd enough, except that this is someone I know and like, and he told me things about her I just shouldn’t know.  This was a setback. Beyond the “why doesn’t he like me best?” issue, there was the much bigger issue of revealing personal details of someone else’s life.  I filed the information away and decided to move ahead, but slowly and with extreme caution.  He continued to send me nicely-written emails, and we decided to meet again.  And during the course of this conversation, I heard about how he had asked out yet another woman that I know and like, only to find out that she was married.  He presented this as a funny story.  I heard this as yep, I’m done.  I totally get and accept the non-exclusive thing – but seriously?  When you’re with me, be with me.  Don’t tell me about the other women you’re pursuing.  And why do I have to explain this?

Example 2: another contact through the same site.  This time a substantially younger man, who hasn’t posted his picture on the site.  He wants to get to know me.  I’m the best match he’s ever seen.  We could be special.  All a little over the top, but people have different styles and sometimes it takes a while to settle into them.  So I told him I’d be happy to write to him for a while, but that a picture would probably be a good start – I posted mine, it seemed fair.  Only to get back the lecture about how he didn’t send pictures… life is too short to fear what could happen, and I shouldn’t be afraid of love.  How precious.  How patronizing.  How nice for a man to tell me what I should or shouldn’t fear.  I know what it is I fear.  I’ve experienced it.  And this?  Is non-negotiable.  I haven’t heard back from him and doubt that I will, because you know, God forbid a woman defines her own boundaries.  And again, why do I have to explain this?

Which leads me to the necessary mention of example 3.  I met him on another site.  Professional man, and we had a very nice first meet over dinner.  The second time we went to dinner and a movie. We were in my car to go from the restaurant to the theater, and everything was fine through the movie.  I drove him back to his car and then things weren’t fine.  I found myself pinned to my seat by my own hair.  I did end up getting out of it okay… but then the next day had to tell this man why he would never, ever be alone with me again.  (Yes.  Another explanation.)

I can manage being alone.  Obviously I have been managing it now for several years.  I wish, though, for an actual live grown-up human companion, a partner to share things with.  I meet interesting people all the time.   It’s a question of finding the right person at the right time, like the stars have to align in a certain fashion.  It just seemed so easy the first time, falling in love and marrying and it was all obvious.   Maybe when you’re that age you’re more lined up with what society is expecting you to do – you get married, you have kids, you build a life.  At this age, though, all of those obvious “Do this next” signs are missing.  You have a life, the kids are grown, you may or may not feel like getting married again.  I can’t imagine being married again, in spite of my mother being absolutely certain that it will happen.  I’d do it with the right person… I’m just not convinced that the combination of right person, right time will ever happen again.

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