Monday, June 23, 2014

The New Bachelorette: Dating After 40 - The Truth

My saga into twenty-first century dating over 40 continues and let me tell you, it’s been eye-opening.  I’m learning about so many new things like Catfishing and Polyamory, right along with the tried and true traditional vices like Adultery, Cheating,  Hook-Ups, Herpes and Open-Relationships.

Some of those things I expected to encounter, others have really forced my eyes wide-open in suspended disbelief.  But there’s something else I’ve noticed that I think is even more detrimental and destructive among this wild world of dating… and that is the truth, or lack of it.  So, I thought I’d share just a little bit today.

I’m a writer.  I understand fantasy, fiction,  and fairy tales.  But that world seems to be much more sensible, logical, and plausible than the profiles of many of the current online and offline daters.

Most online profiles read like a laundry list of fantasies and falsehoods of how some people see themselves, or what they think makes them sound good and appealing.  I don’t mind those that say they love the outdoors, it seems EVERYBODY loves the outdoors.  But damn… if you haven’t spent any time in the outdoors in the last couple of years, you don’t really love the outdoors.  You love the idea of the outdoors.  I don’t mind that you love to travel, but how many stamps are in your passport or how many adventure photos do you have?  Sure, EVERYBODY loves to travel, but why waste space on your mini-bio writing something you only love the idea of and have no immediate plans to go anywhere? EVERYBODY is loving, compassionate, and loyal,  except we’re all single, alone or divorced, so there’s been some trouble in one of those departments by either us or our former partners.

But, even so… those are all wonderful qualities to at least ones we should strive for in our selves and in a potential relationship.  However, the profiles that KILL me… that literally have me rolling my eyes and shaking my head are the ones where the dater has absolutely NO common sense.  Here are a few examples of what I mean.

· Don’t post a picture of your truck/car/motorcycle – I immediately pass over those because what that picture tells me is that you’re materialistic and you find your value and worth in the things you possess.  I’m neither about to become another of your possessions, nor come second to your toys. This goes for guys who boast about how much money they make.  I wish they wouldn’t even ask that question.  (Yeah, I know – unfortunately there are gold diggers out there and the sugar daddy’s who like them. Pathetic really.)

· Don’t post a picture of your beer, fish, six-pointer, or your golf clubs.  What this says to me is that if I’m dating you, your first love is “YOU” time, that you love spending time by yourself in the woods hunting, fishing, drinking, and golfing.  There’s nothing wrong with these things in moderation, nor the fact you might love them.  But this is a dating site.  The smart thing would be to show me what fun things you’d want to do WITH a date or a partner… not how you’d spend your time alone.

· For God’s sake, and this if very important,  take a shower, comb your hair, put on a freakin’ shirt and please, please, please …smile.  You don’t know how many pictures I see where the expression on the guy’s face looks like he’s saying, “I hate my fucking life and I’m pissed at the world.”  I’m thinking,  “Wow, you’re a load of fun and I so want to hang out with you.” (Please understand that was said with the thickest of sarcasm.) If you can’t show me being with you will make me happy, I’m running in the other direction. I want to be happy.

· Don’t post pictures of you holding up a wad or fan of money, or shirtless poses, or other distinguishable (and not so distinguishable) parts.  That’s saying, “I’m looking for a hooker. I don’t value you as a person, just a vagina. You mean nothing to me, I just want to get my kicks, use you, objectify you, and then toss you aside for the next good time.”  There are other websites for that sort of ‘dating’.

· Guys, please, get someone to take your picture or get a smart phone that has the reverse photo capability.  I literally laugh out loud at the dozens upon dozens of selfies make with the guy looking like a total dork holding up his camera phone in front of a mirror.  Not that using the camera phone in such a way is dorkish… but it’s the expressions on your faces when taking those kind of photos.  I’m looking for smart, intelligent, creative, a man who can think on his feet.  If he can’t handle a simple cell phone, how will he ever be able to handle me?

· Post a photo.  If you don’t post a photo, you’ll get no response from me or probably anyone else.  The only ones who would respond would probably be the women who’ve broken all the above suggestions themselves and not getting any responses from anyone. I’m not just a pretty face, nor am I looking for just a pretty face. I look at the eyes, the smile to see if I see life or a spark of life in them.  Not posting a photo tells us ladies that you’ve got something to hide or are ashamed of your looks.  Yes, we women love our eye candy just as much as you guys do, but NO WOMAN likes a man with low self-esteem.   Not any real woman.

I want a relationship just as much as the next person.  I love my life and I want to share it with someone.  What I look for in a man for that relationship is so much more than a hot body.  Actually, if your body seems to be the thing you present most or first, I often pass you right by, no matter how good-looking you might be.  I’m mostly looking for qualities in a man that will tell me he will value me, he will pay attention to me, he will care for me, and he will share his life with me.  The profiles that appeal to me most are pictures of the guy smiling, having fun, showing affection to his family or his children, and showing me his accomplishments.

Nothing is more attractive to me than seeing a man beam with pride toward his children or of something he’s worked hard at and accomplished in his life.  It shows me where his heart is.  If I can see the love he has for them, I’ll be able to see the love he would have for me.  A brilliant mind, astounds me. A passionate soul, stirs my passions.  A compassionate man, melts my heart.

But, I guess my idea of ‘dating’ is so much different than the average norm.  It seems sex and physical attraction is up front and center.  Don’t get me wrong, I plan on having lots of wild, crazy sex, but within the confines of a relationship.  My body will follow my heart, yet it seems the world seems to think that the heart will follow the body.

Yes, before I enter into a relationship, there has to be physical attraction, commonalities of interests, and differences enough to bring a unique perspective so there will be balance.  Yet, I’m discouraged most often because I feel like I’m alone in this pursuit by the profiles I read day after day after day.  But, I know that’s not the truth, because the truth is buried deep beneath all these layers of peacock feathers.   It’s truly a treasure when I come across a profile where the guy is just being himself, being honest with himself, making him the most attractive man of the day, at least it is for this bachelorette over 40 looking for love and truth.

Till next time,
~T. L. Gray


  1. Julie Christopher3:07 PM

    I'm right there with you!

  2. When I first saw this in my email, I thought it was a promo for a new book you'd written!

    1. Not a bad idea, Jeff, from the response I'm getting to the two posts I've made so far.