Dating in my 40’s was so very different from dating in my 20’s.
When I first started dating, in my 20’s, I was wide-eyed and innocent. Every date was like a new opportunity to meet an amazing person. Or even to just have a good time. Dating in my late 40’s was so very different.
I was anxious, nervous, and guarded – as were many of the men I met. Most of the guys I dated were divorced, and the few that weren’t, I was suspicious of. What was wrong with them that they hadn’t found a partner yet?
That was the guarded, judgmental side of me.
One of my biggest complaints was the lack of tall available men. At 5’8”, and taller with shoes of any kind on, I felt like I towered over too many of them. I know there are lots of amazing, wonderful, kind, incredible shorter men – it honestly wasn’t about them, but my feeling of being an amazon.
I always felt awkward and slouched if the guy I was dating wasn’t at least 6’.
That was the anxious, judgmental side of me.
Another thing I was discovering while dating in my 40’s was a distinct need for so many people online to point out they were Christian. I felt like it was a club that if I wasn’t a part of, I was supposed to stay away. So I kept quiet about my non-belief, for the most part.
That was the nervous, judgmental side of me.
So, I decided to just go about my life and not worry about dating. I spent a lot of time on my bike, with my little dog in the basket, riding around town. I worked a lot and exercised and enjoyed my life and my solitude.
One day, just after finishing a workout, my best friend called me, excitement in her voice. She said I needed to get down to Starbucks because there was a guy there she wanted me to met.
I said no.
But being the persistent, (bossy) person she is, she insisted that I get down there, NOW. I headed to the downtown Starbucks, no makeup, hair in a ponytail and in my gym clothes. I wasn’t about to put too much effort into this.
When I arrived, I walked past a few people sitting outside to find my girlfriend waiting with a latte for me. Her first words were, “Did you see him?”
Getting frustrated with me, she told me I walked right passed a very handsome eligible bachelor sitting outside. She then told me that she approached him and made him sit there and wait for me.
I wanted to kill her in that moment.
Instead I let her lead me by the arm outside so she could introduce me to “Tom”. As we approached the table, he stood up. All 6’4” of him.
I looked into his beautiful blue eyes and said hello. He gave me the biggest smile and asked me to sit down to which I said, “No thank you”. Just because you are tall and good-looking, doesn’t mean I am interested, I thought to myself.
So he smiled even bigger and we stood there chatting. He was extremely charming and kind and sweet. I felt my resolve melting just enough to say yes to a date that night, even though I had plans to celebrate my best friend’s daughter’s birthday.
I said I would meet prior to our dinner, so I would have an excuse to keep it short. When I got to the bar, he was there and waiting for me. I sat down and for some reason, the first words out of my mouth were, “I’m not a Christian, just so you know.”
His response was, “Well this is going to be interesting.”
And, that was how the Atheist and the Fundamentalist started dating.
…to be continued.