Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dating Through the Ages

Going grey has really changed my self-perception and my awareness of the world. When you make the decision to go grey you really are making a stand for yourself. You undergo a lot of criticism and some of that criticism turns into accolades, some to quiet acceptance, and some remains criticism.

You also learn that your dating pool doesn't really change. It only changes when you change the way you see yourself. So if you see yourself as successful and together, then that's what you attract.

Now it's the dating mix, the mix of age ranges. I'll always get the same: men my age, men entering the winter of their life, and little puppies.

Older Men
Let's start with the older men (age before beauty!). The older men I attract are searching for their lost youth. It annoys me to no end. They're typically trying to display how much energy they have and how in shape they are. All the while I'm thinking, "Really? You're still insecure and shallow after all these years?" I also find that they're searching for someone to make them the center of the universe. Their problems are always bigger, their successes must in turn be bigger, etc. I watch my friends in these relationships and realize they don't have a partner they have a man baby. Now it's different when they're fathers but still that need to be the center of the universe has tended to remain.

I have to categorize these men into two groups: the 20-somethings and the 30-somethings. For some reason I attract a lot of 20-somethings. Makes me feel like a pedophile, it's weird. The good thing is they're not at all threatened by your success which is refreshing. For the most part I figured it was some kid living at home that wanted a place to crash. That or they want an experienced woman in the sack. I don't think that's out of the question. However recently a Millennial actually convinced me to give him my number. Well, that's what research is for! It starts out well enough and then he jumps right into what he likes about older women. He also texts on a Friday afternoon for weekend plans. It's too much of a hassle in DC to go out during the week so I always have weekend plans and politely declined. "You're even booked tonight?!" Mr. Presumptuous asked incredulously. "Yes." See there's no finesse, no wooing, and it doesn't mentally spark my interest. And if you can't mentally spark an interest with me, it's a no-go.

The 30-somethings are a mixed bag. I spent the weekend at a wedding with 30-year-olds. Lovely people who had some interesting life stories. There was always that one or two in the group that got blackout drunk. One in particular made an inappropriate comment. I knew he was just what I call "wasty pants" but some other girls heard it. They couldn't let it go. Instead there was this big drama created under the guise of protecting me. No this was all about drama, something I have no room for in my life. The whole thing got blown way out of proportion and reeked of mean girl mentality towards this guy. But then I noticed that little things often get blown out bigger than they need be. When I dated men in their early 30s there were arguments about stupid things that I'd scratch my head over. It just all became too silly and too dramatic.

Age-Appropriate (for me)
By 40 Life has kicked you down a few times. If you've lost a close loved one there is just so much you let go of- little things just don't have the impact they once did. Men my age understand that a woman my age wants some advance planning for a date and definitely in the beginning. The ones that really peak my interest are the ones that give good woo. I like some good woo: someone who picks me up, holds the door open for me, has a conversation with me, and ends the date respectfully with a kiss. There's something to be said to not revealing everything about yourself and letting tension build.

I've found through this research that I'm not missing out from these younger or older guys. Now I understand that these are just my experiences thus far and there are always exceptions to the rule. But I've found that I'm happiest with someone nearer my own age. It helps clarify what I DO want in a partner and I think that's half the battle.