Including the time spent dating my ex husband and the length of our marriage, I was off the market for almost thirteen years. I never expected to be back in the dating scene, but after catching him cheating and going through a tumultuous divorce, I was thrown back into the fray.
One of my most pressing questions about dating was how the sexual mores for older singles had changed during this time. There are hundreds of articles about young people and their new dating habits, usually centered around technology. They have "hook-ups", "friends with benefits" and like to change their "Relationship Status" on Facebook. But what about dating over fifty? What could I expect?
I was fixed up with a man who was promised to be the "catch of the century." Fred called and asked me out for a casual dinner the following night. He was over sixty, tall, fit, intelligent and interesting. We talked about restaurants, art, travel, movies and I felt that there was a connection and chemistry.
When I returned home, the phone was already ringing. Fred was calling to ask me for three more dates; I was available for two. Our second date was at a romantic piano bar and was equally as pleasant as the first. I was relaxed and enjoyed the good conversation and the flirting.
Our third date was a Saturday night dinner at a beautiful romantic garden restaurant. Over spaghetti bolognese, he casually asked if I liked sex. I was caught off-guard -- it was such a random question in the context of our light banter -- but I replied with a non-committal, "Sure, why?"
He explained that he loved sex, and that when in a relationship, he expected to have sex 300 times a year. This was why he had recently broken up with his fiancee. I was flabbergasted. Did he keep a running count and post it on his refrigerator? Was this an exaggeration, the lies of a braggart, or the words of a man with a truly voracious sexual appetite? Was this the new dating norm?
All I knew was that I had no interest in sex on demand. There are a few recently published books about couples trying to reinvigorate their marriage by pledging to have sex for one hundred straight days, but Fred's ultimatum was different. Here was a man on our third date setting forth my obligations if I wanted to have a relationship with him. No romance, no friendship, no getting to know one another, no interest in my needs or desires -- it was all about him. No wonder his fiancee fled.
In a way, I was grateful that he blurted out his sex quota. I did not need to waste his or my time with any further dates. So much for the "catch of the century."