One of things that I hate about online dating is that I often have to contact the guys who interest me. It’s not like you are in a coffee shop and can smile at them or go stand by them and ask for some sugar…..the white stuff, silly, I’m not that bold. I hate it because it feels to me like it gets everything out of whack in how I like courtship to go. For me, it has never worked out when I’m the pursuer. I end up always questioning whether or not there is real interest, or if he’s with me just because I’m the warmest body around.
Dating in your 50s can really suck. Now, I never have really dated before. Yes, I met people. I went straight to a relationship, marriage and divorce. I never dated to see what I liked. I never went out just for fun. The idea was to get into a relationship, and I promised myself I’d never do that again. I wanted to know what I like and be picky about it. I’ve had two marriages end in divorce. I was doing something wrong. I don’t know if I’ll ever get married again, but I would like a companion, and I want to be with somebody that is compatible and ….. this is the big thing …. someone that is into me. I was really into my husbands, but neither one seemed into me at all. Yeah, I think it was nice to have me around, and it was fun sometimes, but they weren’t into me like my friend Robbie is into his wife, Jo Ann. I want that. And I’ll stay single until I find it.
I’ve talked to other women about this, and, when a man does not openly acknowledge that they like them, they too feel confused and insecure about the budding relationship. Feminine energy is receptive, and, in the vacuum of masculine energy moving toward us, I think we sort of feel unbalanced. Each of us has our own balance of masculine and feminine energy, so I think we all want different levels of this yin and yang. I’ve gotten to the point that when a man starts with that “come here, go away” stuff, I just shut it down. It does not work for me. It astounds me when I read this advice that men should play hard to get. Really? What kind of woman are you getting when you do that, and do you feel like a man? You are hunters. My generation was taught that you DO NOT call boys. This was not a suggestion. In my household it was a rule. And I didn’t do it…. ever. I still don’t like to do it. I’ll do it if I’m in a relationship, and I feel secure that my call is wanted. But, most of the time, I feel very uncomfortable taking the initiative to call. I much prefer that most of the contact be made by the man.
The problem is that our culture has changed. In many ways I think women have confused men as to what we want. Yes, we want a man that shares his emotions. We need them to help around the house. Let’s face it. Our roles have changed, too. I know I’ve made the mistake of trying to make my husband into my girlfriend. I needed to have my own girlfriends, and I didn’t do it. It put way too much pressure on him to be everything to me. I’m much more aware now that in order to have a man that is confident in his masculine energy and in his role, I have to let him be a man. And, part of that is letting him come to me.
It is acceptable now to contact a man, and I’ve had many men tell me that they prefer the woman to take the initiative. I’m glad it works for many couples. It probably takes a lot of the angst out of the whole interaction. I just have to be honest and say it doesn’t work for me. My second husband pursued me. It was the first time in my life that ever happened to me. I was blown away by the way it made me feel. I felt sexy and confident and very, very feminine. I didn’t have to give up my more masculine ways at work. It gave me a very good balance. I made the mistake of ONLY looking at that, and I didn’t do due diligence in other areas, but I still think about how that courtship made me feel. My heart will never let go of that man because of how he made me feel.
I wonder if men my age don’t know what to do. Or, since most of them have been in a failed marriage or two, they’ve been wounded by women that didn’t let them or didn’t want them to be men. I also know that some men are shy. And, I know that most men are as terrified of rejection as we are. I can imagine if a man had a combination of these things, it might be hard to step into the flow and pursue a woman. There is also the fine line that they must walk about when to pursue and when to cut bait. I know couples where the man pursued them even when she said she wasn’t interested. But, the attention…. and the man … finally turned their head. I can tell you that those relationships are generally very good….. exceptionally good as a matter of fact.
My friend Gretchen told me that she misses guys that lead …. “almost to the point of heartbreak.” Oh, when she said that, I felt it. I feel that wound so deeply. I remember how I longed for my husband to fight for me … to be FOR ME. With my second husband I had that at one point, and I lost it. I constantly questioned what it was about me that he rejected. It was a pain so deep that I almost didn’t recover. In fact, at times, it still aches. I always questioned whether he loved me or not. I don’t know about other women, but I NEED to feel secure in a man’s love. Otherwise, I’d rather be single. It’s too emotionally taxing to constantly be dealing with my insecurities. I need it like I need water. I tried to maneuver through it in two marriages, and I will never do it again. I know how that movie ends. There’s not enough Kleenex in the world for that again.
My friend Jessica messaged me, and she said she was afraid I wouldn’t like what she had to say. She said she struggles with the fact that she has to initiate contact with men more than she would like. She, like me, has a lot going on, and we’ve both been told that we can be intimidating to men. It makes it really hard, because we don’t get asked out much at all. I know I go to a place where I wonder if I’m somehow not attractive enough, something is wrong with me or I should just be a lesbian because men don’t like me. Again, my insecurities about who I am surface in the absence of a man’s attention. She said she can still remember the one time that a man walked up to her and asked her out for a date with intention. He ended up being her boyfriend for many years. She could remember it as if just happened yesterday. She was standing in the hall at school, and he was coming out of football practice. “He came right up to me, looked me in the eye and said “Hey Jess, will you come to my formal with me?…. I will never forget the way he made me feel by telling me directly and with certainty that he wanted me for his date. ”
I can’t imagine it from the man’s side, but it seems like it would be such a boost of confidence if she says yes. There would be no doubt that she wants to be with him. That’s the problem with all of this texting and hooking up and hanging out and online dating. We don’t get that moment when a man takes a really big risk – and girls know how big a risk it is – and asks for a date. And he doesn’t get the rush when she says yes. It’s such a show of confidence, and, like Jess said, she will never forget it. SHE WILL NEVER FORGET IT. How many moments in life are unforgettable? I don’t want to go to my grave knowing that I missed something unforgettable because I was afraid to make a commitment and go for it.
Jessica’s father told her that she may find that she has to do the initiating because she might be intimidating. He said, “The guy that deserves you may not think he is worthy of you.” Ugh … when she said that, my heart sank. Although I know what I want, and how I want to feel, he is so right. One of the great loves of my life told me that very thing when I asked if he would have pursued me had we not already known each other. “No, probably not,” he told me. “I wouldn’t have thought somebody like you would have been interested in me.” What a waste that would have been. For reasons uncontrollable by us, we didn’t stay together, but he is exactly the kind of man I want. And he did pursue me … with passion … but only after he had an “in”. I have to admit it makes me wonder how many men I have walked by where we missed each other because I didn’t get what I wanted, and he didn’t feel like he could give it to me. I know it’s out there. I just hope I have the damn sense to know what to do when I see it.
And, for you guys …. men .. that see a woman that interests you, don’t let that little voice inside keep you from doing something that you are made to do. If she doesn’t appreciate the effort it takes to ask her out, she’s either not for you or she’s just a shallow person who doesn’t get it, and you may as well know it right off the bat. But, if she says yes, it could be unforgettable. Don’t we all want that …. to be unforgettable?