In "How I Found My Heart (Again)," I described how I experienced the stages of grief after my divorce. I would be remiss if I failed to share some of my unique experiences in the dating world as a fortysomething.
Over the past three years, I have been on plenty of dates, probably too many to count. Since my divorce, I have had one serious relationship that sadly ended when I realized that I had no idea what I wanted for my future. (Stay tuned, as I plan to write more about the pitfalls of dating a "rebound guy.")
There have been some great dates. What qualifies as a great date, you ask. For me, I would say a great date has three key ingredients: lots of laughter, some meaningful conversation, and physical attraction. I am quick to qualify a date as a bad if I hear one or more of the following things:
1. You don't look like your picture.
I do look like my picture. Due to my active use of social media, I am not hiding much (For example, see "I Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Selfies"). No false advertising here. If a guy thinks that I do not look like my picture, then it tells me that he probably has unachievable expectations for me.
2. I'm separated, but I still live with my wife.
This is just a non-starter for me. I have heard it twice in the past year alone. If his wife is still buying groceries, making his dinner, and doing his laundry, then he is not a free agent. Both guys acted surprise when I told them that I could only date someone who was living on his own and a little more "settled."
3. You're older than I thought you were.
This is just not a nice thing to say. Enough said.
4. I hate my Ex with a passion.
Well, you may hate your Ex, but there is no need to share that information with me, especially on a first date. This is a red flag to me that the person is really not over his Ex.
5. Can I come in to use your bathroom?
6. One more Scotch, for the road.
Are you out of your mind? This is a deal breaker for me. Yes, I have had to call Uber to pick me up when I felt my date had too much to drink. The next day he told my friend, "She is so uptight." Well, maybe he was right. Then again, I would rather be uptight than get in a car with someone under the influence.
7. I forgot my wallet.
Sorry, I am just not buying this excuse. It has happened on two dates. I forget stuff all the time. This being said, I don't forget to bring my wallet to a restaurant when I go on a date. Ok, I did forget my wallet once, but I was with my best friend and that doesn't count.
8. I am 55, not 45. I am really fit though.
Believe it or not, this happens all the time. I have asked several men why they lie in their dating profiles. They have informed me that women will disqualify them immediately on the basis of "age discrimination." Welcome to the world, gents! I do not have anything against 55 year olds. However, I dismiss liars from the get go. If a man lies at the beginning of something, what is to stop him as things progress? My answer: Nothing.
9. Are you sure that you should be having dessert?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do need this dessert. In my opinion, dessert is the whole point of going to a restaurant. I like to think that the Los Angeles fitness fanatic who said this to me was doing so out of concern for my sugar intake, not caloric intake. Who really knows? I will always order dessert. And by the way, I hate to share my dessert with anyone, even if I really love them.
10. Do you believe in love at first sight?
While this question represents a nice thought, it also indicates the presence of a hopeless romantic. Experience has taught me that I am a very bad match for a hopeless romantic. I believe love requires friendship, mutual respect, commitment, and most of all, time. Love does not happen instantaneously, at least not for me (unless of course a puppy is involved). I also do not subscribe to the notion of"soul mates," but that is a story for another day.
Needless to say, I am still single and probably will be for a while. This list may or may not aid my dating journey. I like to think that it helps me avoid some pitfalls. After all, if you can not laugh about dating, especially in a city such as Los Angeles, what can you really laugh about?
I would love to hear about your dating escapades. Tweet your dating pet peeves to me at www.twitter.com/mscanyongirl. Until then, happy dating!