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Take a chance
Take a chance
I am 39 years old. I have never been married. I have no diseases that I know of, and yes I've been tested for HIV and such.
I have had two major love relationships. The longer of the two lasted seven years and the shorter lasted four years. Both breakups were devastating and felt like divorces, at least the way I imagined divorce would feel.
I have no children (again, that I know of). I can count the number of sexual partners I've had on two hands (give or take a finger or two).
I have a good set of friends, an active social life, "ties to the community", and a turbulent but good-hearted family. I have an exciting career underway with an impressive list of accomplishments and lots of potential for future achievement.
I am at a crossroads.
I would like to fall in love and get married. I would like to have children.
I have been attracted to women ranging in age from early 20s through 40s and perhaps beyond.
My dilemma is this: Because of my age I feel like my hands are tied when it comes to approaching women for dating (or even for FWB relationships).
I pay a lot of attention to the cues and hints women provide both through conversation and through profiles on sites like this one, blogs, and any other way I can learn about their thoughts and desires. I'm getting some confusing messages.
From younger women, particularly those in their 20s, I get two messages: "I don't worry about a partner's age as long as there is chemistry" AND "If a guy hits on me and he's too old then I think he's a creep."
From women in their 30s I get: "I'm sick of games and lies. Anyone approaching me had better be ready for a serious relationship and most likely children. And he should be hot because I still am."
From women in their 40s I get: "If you're younger than me, I most likely won't respect you. If you're my age or older and you have never been married and/or aren't already near the top of your career ladder, you have some explaining to do. And I either already have all the children I want or I don't want children at all."
These are anecdotes, colored by my own preferences, prejudices, and limited experience. I'm sure many women out there would prove invalid the "messages" I list above.
Regardless, I'm a little flummoxed.
For example, this evening I was working on a project and I spent some time talking and flirting with an attractive woman of 23. I couldn't tell how she felt about me at all. At times she seemed very intrigued with me and I made her laugh. At other times she seemed impatient with me. Figuring that there was a chance I wouldn't see her again so I might as well see how far things could go, I walked her to her car. She gave me a quick hug good-night and sped away.
I may see her in a week when the project members meet once more so I felt perhaps I could wait till then to ask her out. But I feel strange. I can't remember a time when I imagined women to whom I was attracted might actually be repulsed by the idea of dating me because of my age (except when I was 14 dreaming about a 17-year-old). As I come to terms with this reality I assume my best course of action is to wait for younger women (and older ones, frankly) to approach me. Here's my thinking:
* If a woman were to approach me to whom I was not attracted, I have good enough manners to at least turn her down kindly and at most give her a chance just in case it turns out I am missing out on someone pretty great.
* If a woman were to approach me to whom I was attracted, I have the grace to not only make her feel welcome but the social dexterity to maybe even get her to feel as though our getting together is my idea and hopefully alleviate any lingering awkwardness she might harbor.
* If a woman to whom I was attracted did not want me to approach her at all for whatever reason, we would both be spared any unpleasantness.
I know that the cliche is that males in my age range all want younger (sometimes much younger) partners -- and a lot of disdain is directed at them/us because of that -- but I believe the reality is that men, just like women, would like to find a compatible partner or partners, period. Preferences and "requirements" are nice to dream about but really we can only choose from among the people who make themselves available to us.
Some would argue that women hold all the power as far as sex and love are concerned while others insist that the opposite is true, at least to some extent. I think both sexes have nearly equal power which is why I encourage any women reading this to take a chance on approaching me or approaching any other potential partner they might spot on a dating site or in the real world.
Some men can be jerks and idiots to women who approach them. Some men cling to the stupid idea that it's always the guy's job to do the chasing. But I've dealt with women who have acted like jerks and idiots toward me when I've approached them and I've survived, and so can anyone.
In case this sounds like me making a long-winded excuse for not putting myself out there anymore, trust me: I put myself out there a lot. In the past month I've approached four different women in the real world and been turned down or discouraged four times. I don't just mean I tapped them on the shoulder in a bar and asked them to dance, either. I spent many minutes -- sometimes even a few hours -- talking with them and trying to get a sense of who they were. One per weekend... hmm... I'd say that lately I've taken a chance or four.
In this blog at least I can get this message out to you in a safe, nearly anonymous way. I can't do that in the real world.
Go ahead, take a chance.
(I took the shot at left in Las Vegas. See? I'm adventurous.)
8/14/2006 2:04 pm
Are these women idiots or what? Sounds like you are doing all the listening during these encounters! Maybe women should start wearing flashing neon signs that say "If you want shallow, pick me!" or "IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!" |
Another great picture BTW! You are just the multi-talented man aren't you!