The Anti-Crack Date
Many of you who have read this blog for any time will no doubt take exception to my relentless attacks on the “crack heads,” those in the dating world who seek teen-like exuberant highs from their mid-life love interests.
“Of course I want to feel that excitement, Lex! That’s why I got divorced. Because the marriage was same-old, same-old every damn day and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to feel vital and wanted and loved again!” And you know what it feels like to be loved and wanted, because, well, you already did this once back in your teens and twenties.
My response is twofold.
First, are you really looking for the same thing today that you were looking for at age 19? Second, do you think that hormone levels, both yours and your mate's, played any role in driving the feeling of exuberance earlier in life? Is sex still the same driving force today that it was back then? If so, more power to you. You’ll probably need to look for a man in his late teens or early twenties to satisfy you. Should you fall short with younger men, perhaps find an older man on one of those performance enhancing drugs, if you know what I mean. : )
Meanwhile, you have me.
You’ll have to trust me that all my plumbing still works. My inner teen can be summoned at the right time. But sex is no longer priority #1. . . at least not all the time. I don’t think about it every 15 seconds like I did at age 15. What turns me on today is someone who remains young despite what life has thrown at them. Someone who has found their inner beauty, an inner peace. Someone who is comfortable enough in their own skin just to hang, just to be.
What does this mean?
Let me give you an example.
A couple weeks back, I had one date with Sarandon II and another date with Sarandon III. Hockey Mom (Sarandon I) and I also traded a few emails. I can’t criticize Hockey Mom. I still like her despite the odd ending. Nonetheless, our relationship followed the pattern of crack addiction I’ve outlined before. Feverish messaging followed by “I can’t get enough of this person” intimacy. Sarandon II was probably headed in the same direction.
Which brings me to Sarandon III.
Any time I come across an empty nester, I quickly disclose that I have two young children so as to give the empty nester a chance to run for the exits. I made this disclosure to Sarandon III, and she responded by saying she hoped to meet them some day. Hmm. Then I told her I traveled a lot and was in the process of moving. When this failed to make an impression on her, I dropped my final bombshell and told her I was newly divorced. How’s that going? She asked.
“None of this worries you?”
“No, why should it.”
So we meet on date #1. Twice during our two-hour date, neither of us had anything to say, and instead of saying something, we both just smiled. This would have been a death knell for countless others in our situation. But not for Sarandon III and me. We scheduled date #2, which went even better, and we have two more dates scheduled for this week.
My point is you need to reconsider what you want from middle-age dating. You need to dial back the expectations and put your life in perspective. Do you want something hot and passionate that is likely to be short-lived (because humans just aren’t capable of sustaining the intensity, especially at mid-life)? Or do you want to something longer lasting? If the latter, it requires a different mentality, a different approach. You’re gonna need to think of dating as a process. You’re gonna need to hunker down and forget about “searching for chemistry” on date #1. Forget about comparing the in-person passion on date #1 to your pre-date texting frenzy. What you need to do is put your brain into the on position and see if you are comfortable with the person you are meeting on date #1, comfortable enough to see if things progress on dates #2 and #3. It’s the subsequent dates that matter.
Date #1 is just an introduction, a chance to confirm that the other person is roughly the same person depicted in their online profile. Any attempt to come to some quick and easy “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” decision on date #1 will simply result in you writing off many-a-good candidate to be your next mate.