Posts tagged ‘Dating’
I don’t know what it is about having a nice meal, outside on a warm, sunny day that makes life so enjoyable? It is probably a combination of the glass of cool chardonnay sparkling in the sun, the pure entertainment of people passing by and the hysterical conversations with great friends that makes “lunching” one of my favorite hobbies.
Going out to eat has always been a pastime for my group of girlfriends. As soon as we could legally drive, our nights out always started off at a restaurant somewhere. In our teens, it was fast food or Red Lobster…in our twenties, it was anywhere with a full bar. Now that we are in our thirties, the restaurant has become the destination, not starting point, and the establishments have increased in class and price. During a recent hobby lunch with one of my besties, I was reminded (once again) how different life is as a thirty-something woman.
During lunch we began talking about our love lives, like most women during any female bonding session. In between bites of her asian inspired seared scallops, my best friend started explaining how dating in her thirties is a whole new experience.
“Men only want one thing, and when you are over 30, they don’t want it from you”
I had to contain myself from spitting out the sip of cold water I had just poured into my mouth! It was so funny, because it is TRUE.
Her blatantly honest statement about men’s subconscious attraction to youth initiated a walk down memory lane. We took a trip back in time together to ten years ago. A time when we could walk into any bar or restaurant and naturally grab the attention of almost every male patron. Not that we were Victoria Secret models or anything. We were just two young decent looking girls always smiling, laughing and having a good time.
Fast forward to the present. We are the same decent looking ladies, always smiling, laughing and having a good time…but add some crows feet and laugh lines. We may get a couple head turns, but only if they’re over 30. Now we attract the somewhat creepy guy, pushing his late fifties wishing he was 20 years younger…or if we’re lucky, maybe the Dad out to dinner with the kids while mom’s out getting a mani/pedi.
Which I guess, all works out since those guys are probably our target market now anyways (well, minus the married guy!) It’s just strange getting old…especially when you are a woman.
You know, I really loved watching Sex in the City when it was on 10 years ago… but I appreciate it A LOT more now that I am in my thirties. I can relate more with Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte now that I see the world through their eyes.
I definitely learned the hard way, it’s not the person you marry you have to worry about, it’s the one you have children with. After a divorce, you can choose to never see your ex-spouse again. Have a child with them and it’s a different story. They will be in your life FOREVER. Despite what everyone thinks, it does not just end when the child turns 18. There’s college, graduations, weddings and grandchildren to deal with after the custody arrangement ends. Not only will your ex spouse be an eternal part of your life, somehow they find a way to affect those around you, including family, friends and especially significant other’s.
Looking back, marriage is easy compared to Co-Parenting after a divorce.
Whether you have a good or bad relationship with your child’s mother or father, you are always going to have issues come up. Always.
(and let me tell you from personal experience, it is not easy to work with an ex on touchy subjects such as parenting techniques when the reason your relationship ended was due to the inability to effectively communicate….despite a year of counseling)
Right now our Co-Parenting struggle is over which school district our lil guy will attend for kindergarten next year. My ex wants him to go to school where they live with his girlfriend and her daughter from a previous marriage…while I want him to go to school in my neighborhood so I can provide the stability and structure that is non-existent in their household. My ex is a good dad, for the most part. He cares, he’s there when his work schedule doesn’t get in the way and he is goofy and fun. And we normally get along pretty well, as long as we don’t talk about anything heavy. Without getting into the whole ordeal…I just that I think he and my son would benefit much more if we changed our current schedule so that he was ‘Weekend Dad’ and I was ‘School Night Mom’. That way, our son could have consistency and structure during the week, then have unrestricted fun and sugar overloads on the weekend.
Unfortunately this one looks like it could get ugly…which is too bad. That’s never good, for anyone involved.
The Cougar Stamp
Dating is such an interesting experience. There is the awkwardness of getting to know one another, the meeting of friends and family and of course, the all alluring establishment of titles. With dating, you can go through the whole uneasy process, date for a whole year or two, then all of a sudden come to uncover certain things about the other person that are complete and total deal breakers!
Wouldn’t courtship be much easier if we were all required to carry Dating Passports? All of our baggage would be nicely printed inside these handy little booklets, for any prospective suitor to view before the first date. Instead of stamps from various Customs Administrations lining each page, you would have things like “Ex Still on Pedestal” or “Fear of Heights and Committment.” Rich men that only dated much younger Barbie Doll replicas would be stamped with “Heph” and any woman over the age of 29 that ever dated a man in his twenties, would have the word “COUGAR” stamped on the very front page.
From Hilarious to Respect
In my 20′s, I thought the term ‘Cougar’ was pretty hilarious. I felt the word did a pretty accurate job of portraying most of the older women we saw participating in the nightlife scene.
The women were obviously older and overly dressed up. Their wardrobe normally consisted of items that were just a bit out of style. They hung out in the higher class bars and restaurants and always seemed to have the look of desperation hiding behind all their makeup.
Now that I am in my 30′s, I have a whole different outlook on the term Cougar. As a member of a their age bracket, I have a new respect for those women I saw ten years ago, having a night out on the town with their girls.
Yes, a number of them may have been out on the prowl, in desperate hopes of finding a man…but I now know (from experience) the majority were probably just out having fun with their girlfriends.
Watching my single girlfriends become the Cougar in question, also changed my feelings for the term. My girlfriends are beautiful and fun-loving women that are just out to have a good time. Their amazing qualities have a tendency to attract attention from younger men whenever we go out. They have dated a few of the guys, here and there. Not because they were preying on the helpless but just because the two of them enjoyed each other’s company, in whatever capacity that was… wink, wink.
On the prowl?
Instead of seeing her as a predator out to pounce on the less experienced, I see the Cougar as a fun-loving woman who is just young at heart!
Though she may not appear as youthful as the fresh-faced co-ed sitting at the next table, the Cougar definitely has more personality, spirit and experience that attracts the younger man and keeps him around, wanting more.
They next time you see a Cougar Couple walking down the street, remember that younger guy was able to get beyond the year the woman graduated high school to see her inner youth….(and I bet he is benefitting from that in many different ways, if you know what I mean )
To all you single moms and single ladies out there in your 30′s, don’t let the term Cougar get you down! Think of it as a compliment. It not only means you are HOT for your age…but it means you don’t act your age either! Which will always keep you young….at heart.
I’m just now getting the phone call.
They just finished dinner and are on their way home.
“Good night sweetheart, I love you!”
As I hang up the phone, I take a deep breath, trying to reduce the anxiety I feel building in my chest.
It’s 9:15…he just ate dinner…and is now on his way home?
My ex and I have never been on the same page when it comes to Parenting. It was ONE of the factors that lead to our divorce. I won’t get into the mental abuse, controlling behaviors and serious family baggage that went along with our differences in parenting. A quick piece of advice for anyone looking to get married… TALK.
Before we got married, we never discussed things like Politics, Religion, Parenting styles or most importantly, Money. We figured that all that stuff would just work its self out somehow. Love would conquer all. Hah! Really people, pre-marital counseling. Look into it.
The differences in parenting styles are not only a problem when you are married, but becomes a huge source of anxiety, stress and sometimes anger when trying to co-parent.
When we first separated, I had a really hard time with the fact that my son’s world was significantly different when he spent time at his father’s house. Bedtime was different, rules were different and discipline seemed non-existent. I knew how much children need consistency and stability in life, especially when coming from a divorced household, and it killed me to see that he his two worlds were not aligned.
Had I not read, “Good Parenting through Your Divorce” by Mary Ellen Hannibal, I’m not sure where I would be now. Who knows, maybe I would be wearing a stylish white jacket with lots of straps and buckles and living in a bright white room with lots of padding. One of the chapters resonates in my brain and always reminds me that I can’t control what goes on over there. I can only do the best that I can when he is with me and let go of all the rest.
Believe me, it’s not easy. I struggle with it every day.
When I feel my chest tightening or hear myself saying “he’s doing what over there?” I take my deep cleansing breath and remind myself that I have a beautiful, smart little boy who has two parents that love him. So what if one is lets him watch Rated R movies and gives him Trix and Fruity Pebbles for breakfast…
Okay… Deep Breath…
An old joke between my group of friends is that I have more testosterone than your average woman.
No, I am not built like a linebacker.
I don’t look like Robin Williams with his shirt off.
I can’t do “the tuck” or the “great dane”
The only thing I may have in common with Vera De Milo is her breast size
On the outside, I am a complete girly girl. Hair, makeup, outfit and accessories all must be perfect, 98% of the time.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard from my best friend, when discussing going out to breakfast Saturday morning, “No makeup…No makeup!” Yes, I’m one of those…can’t leave the house without putting on some sort of paint.
On the inside though, I’m a total tomboy. I love sports, hate to talk on the phone, don’t like sharing my feelings and can’t stand drama or petty, manipulative women. My mind is constantly in the gutter and I am definitely known to take low brow jokes a bit too far.
Which is probably why I’ve always had more guy friends than girlfriends.
I know, I know…
“When Harry Met Sally“ is one of my favorite movies, so Yes guys, I do know you are probably just pretending to be my friend so you can get into my pants.
Most women probably do too…
We just subconsciously ignore that about you guys. We have to. Otherwise, we’d probably never talk to any of you
photograph by Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
When I make plans to do something,
I know better than to
give my boyfriend weeks of warning.
Instead, I wait until the last minute to spring them on him.
This weekend was no different.
I think it was Thursday when I mentioned, “Oh by the way, we’re going to the Circus on Sunday. I bought three tickets, so you’re welcome to join us or I can have an extra seat for my mom bag.”
This time he did a pretty good job accepting the news, although since I’ve known him for 10 years, I knew what was really going on behind those eyes…
“Can’t I just stay home, play video games and watch the baseball game?”
As the days go by, he’s getting more and more comfortable with the idea of kids, even though he doesn’t want to admit it. My single mom status was a difficult factor, in the beginning, but we both decided to move forward from friendship to relationship and just take things day by day. I made sure to slowly introduce him into the world I share with my son and vice versa, since I wanted it to be a smooth transition for both my guys. It’s great to see that they really have a fun time with each other, probably since they’re both 4 years old at heart.
Now, the Circus seemed like a good idea when I bought the tickets. Looking over the brochure I received in the mail, I was taken back to my first Circus as a child. I remembered being mesmorized by the constant entertainment and the plethra of animals. Aw, what a great experience to pass on to my child…sure I’ll support your alleged animal cruelty.
Well, my little boy seemed to enjoy the Circus, overall, despite the brief moments of crankiness brought on by the lulls in entertainment. A few times during the show, he did turn to me with these big wide eyes and open mouth, and said “That’s amazing.”
I’m not sure if it was a decrease in budget or things just seeming bigger and better when you’re a child, but this Circus was not ‘the Greatest Show on Earth’ that it claims. Most of the show seemed to be filler, just fluff added in to waste time in between acts. I’m a pretty good sport when it comes to childrens’ entertainment, so you know it’s bad when I’m bored and can’t wait to leave. Thankfully I bought the cheap seats, which were only $15. The same price, coincidentally, as the snow cones. Yes, that’s right… $15 for a freakin snow cone in a cheap plastic cup.
At one point in the show, I looked over at my boyfriend and found him hunched over in his chair, eyes glazed over, staring off into space. I tried to catch a quick shot of this classic pose on my camera, but just like an animal in the wild he was too quick for the shutter. He quickly turned and painted on a smile. What a trooper.
Even though the show was a bit disappointing, the three of us still had a good time together…and I guess that is what it’s all about.
The other day, I had lunch with my best guy friend, turned boyfriend. We have been best friends for the last decade and just recently became more.
(Huh, looks like Harry was right! Men and Women can’t just be friends)
During our lunch, the lovely topic of “Numbers” came up, for some reason, during the conversation.
Advice for Thirtysomething Single Moms
Ladies, due to the lovely Double Standards out there, it’s best for you to shave off a few numbers before disclosing your past to a significant other. It’s funny that guys want a woman who is a virgin but is also good in bed. Hmm, how do you think that happens boys?
I should’ve followed the lesson in this chapter, but instead, I was honest with my boyfriend and told him the real number.
Remember, good liars need impeccable memories.
Having a steel trap for a brain is my son’s trait, not mine.
Dating Mathematics: The Formula
So, how do you find out someones REAL number? To get to the truth…
Take a guys’ number and divide by two
Take a girls’ number and multiply by two
While driving to daycare this morning, I had a conversation with my 4 year old son that pretty much just summed up men, women and dating… much more than any couples therapy or books about Mars & Venus ever did.
On our way there, I was telling my son that when he comes back from Daddy’s house we would be going to Great, Great Grandma’s 104 year old birthday party. I explained where it would be and who was going to be there, since he always likes to know what to expect (understandable as a child of divorce). I told him there would be kids there he could play with and a big birthday cake, which led to the following conversation…
”Will there be any girls there?”
“Yes there will”
“Oh great….they’ll probably want to kiss and hug me.” He grumbled.
Saying with a smile, “You’re probably right. And you know what, they’re gonna do that your whole life, because girls like to kiss and hug cute boys..and you’re a cute boy.”
“Oh great. I don’t like girls”
Chuckling. “You say that now, but I bet you you’ll change your mind. You know, I remember kissing cute boys when I was younger.”
“What did they do?”
Chuckling again. “Well, they didn’t like it so much either.”
“Well…they pretty much just wanted to play with their friends.”
And there it was, clear as day. Whether they are 3, 13 or 30…it’s all the same thing…
boys don’t want hugs and kisses,
they just wanna play with their friends!