I have a date with the 40 year old in an hour. I’m trying so hard not to be nervous that I’ve overshot into being totally numb, I think.
We’ve been texting practically nonstop for the last couple of days and it’s been good. Talking to someone my own age is intriguing. He asks me stuff about myself instead of treating our interactions like a one-man show he’s putting on to impress me. When he’s about to go to bed or otherwise be inaccessible for a bit, he tells me; I think that’s an older generation thing. I remember feeling a duty to tell someone “I’m going to be busy for the next little while so I won’t be able to talk” back in the day, but everyone I was texting/messaging with (cougarbait boys) totally just treated messaging as filler in between their normal life-stuff, not as a continuous conversation, so I started doing that, too. I mean I remember a time some kid wanted to talk to me via instant messenger so I basically set aside everything I was doing, typed him a greeting, and sat waiting for his reply…but his replies were ridiculously sporadic because he was typing them while playing a video game.
The 40yo and I have a running theme in our conversations of “have I scared you off yet?” and at one point had a pretty blunt convo asking about each other’s dealbreakers and making sure neither of us had any big red flags for the other. It was refreshing to be able to be so open about it (and I remember the last fortysomething I dated being very much the same way…). When I talk to young’uns I feel like being that blunt would put them off, like I’m not supposed to have any history or baggage plus saying “Look, here’s a thing about me you might not want to deal with. We still good?” would look like insecurity. Young’uns are for the most part almost terminally optimistic and don’t really know what they want yet and I just can’t lob my list of “I will probably not like you if”s into that mix.
So the directness of talking to the 40yo has been good. At the same time I’m reminded of why I don’t usually date my own age: because the baggage and history on both sides is kinda sad. There’s a sense of “oh, I hope this works out, I’ve been alone for a really long time and I’d like to find something stable, finally, if that’s even possible for me at this point.” With the young’uns it’s just “hey, this person seems cool. I wonder what it’ll turn into?”
He told me he’s a little extra-nervous about meeting me because it’s been ages since he’s talked to someone with this much potential. I am simultaneously thrilled and dismayed. It’s so stupid – I want a stable long-term relationship, and I’m fairly sure that’s what he meant there was potential for, not “you’re a potential casual fuck”, but I associate stable long-term relationships with boredom and practicality and…unsexiness. I get an image in my head of one of those station wagons with wood paneling on the side, and a bunch of boring conversations about who took out the garbage.
I know I’m fucked up and have a Peter Pan complex or whatever.
In conclusion, here is a video that hilariously underlines that youthful optimism vs. how decrepit and jaded I feel now (although the ages aren’t relevant to me ’cause I was married from ages 23-32).