A while back I decided to get back into the dating game after being out for longer than I should have. Quite by mistake, I dialed up a guy I had gone out with the year before. Of course, I had stood him up like 4 times - so, out of common decency I had just stopped calling him. But, for some reason, he still wanted to go out... so, we did. He was quite a bit older than me (like well over 10 years) - so, I figured honestly? He was probably just grateful that someone my age who was actually cute would go out with him. Yeah, I know I'm going to hell in a handbasket... but, it was what it was.
I thought I had stumbled upon a genuis plan... go out with someone older! I always have dated older men; but typically it was late 30s... not mid-40s (I'm 31). But, this was perfect! They've got their stuff together, they've got to be over the games, right? They'll be a little more forgiving of MY flaws because hey, let's face it ... they know they've got them, too. The whole thing would be a little more chill because they probably don't have the stamina to be out every night at dance clubs or hot spots... And they'd be a little grateful and giddy about dating the young, cute, smart chick (smart is now debatable)... oh yeah, THIS? Was a good idea.
So, we went out again. And again. And again. I wasn't overly attracted to him physically; but, he had a goofy charm that made up for that. We're all old and wrinkly in the end, anyway; right? Over time, I found I actually liked him! He was attentive, he was extremely patient, calming, and didn't mind my then newfound obsession with fashion. But... there WAS something off. I couldn't quite put my finger on it.. but, I started getting the feeling that he was embarassed of dating someone so much younger. Little comments here and there; a request to come by the house after dark because the neighbors were talking about 'the young chick in the heels.' (1) About the same time? An older chick starts popping up on his Facebook page; clearly 'marking her territory.'
I think we all know where this is going. Come to find out? He was seeing both of us - in hindsight, regardless of what he said, I think SHE was the relationship and I was the Trophy... the chick that helped him recapture a little bit of his lost youth. I was pretty crushed and angry at first; noone likes being lied to or used. Then, I went into complete denial about what was really going on. He said he didn't want to lose me, would do anything to keep me... He didn't mean for it to happen... was just odd timing and he thought if he told me someone else was interested? I'd leave. But, he saw how stupid it was now and just didn't want to lose me.... Ok. We can work with this. He said he was going to tell the other woman what had been going on; friends advised me to check into that. At first, I didn't want to - but, then in my denial state? Seemed like a good way to see if he came clean so we could move forward.
You know where this is going again, don't you? Turns out, he hadn't. And his "I'll do anything?" Another meaningless turn of phrase that I bought hook, line, sinker. Of course he hadn't told her. In the end, I had to face facts: there is no foolproof plan when it comes to dating. There's no magical formula to protect your feelings or ensure that you're going to end up with someone who won't appreciate you or hurt you. Dating? Is a giant roll of the dice. While my experience with that guy hurt, it also helped me learn something - when you're spending time devising plans trying to protect yourself... you're shortchanging yourself instead. You're taking possibilities out of the equation that might be exactly what you need and better than you imagined. (2) Hopefully HE learned that a sure-fire way to get someone to leave is to lie to them over, and over, and over again. But... I'm not holding my breath.
1. Yeah... I know, YOU see the signs. I? Wanted to believe in him. Anyone else hearing "Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, duuumb" to the tune of that Tums Commercial? No? Just me, I guess. :)
2. Certainly better than wierd, much older guys that turn out to be serial liars, anyway. Just sayin.' ;)