Dating when you’re 40 – the same rules?

WTF?  I am trying to figure out how to check out a man, make the connections, understand how he thinks, tease out what drives up his adrenaline and assess whether he is likely to meet my primary needs or likely to fail due to his dube habit.  And by the time I have figured just a little of this out, it doesn’t bloody matter, because I have fallen in love with the sod.  And I seem to fall easily.  I see someone’s essence readily and soon, and just a hint that they could be the sucker-punch-me combo of risky and contained, someone who removes obstacles (as married Kamotso says) in his world, I am floored.  He says ‘”wow N, you are interesting and I want to know more about you and I find you attractive” and I say “of course I can have another baby just for you”.  Note: I have my two beautiful boys, and medically it would be very, very unwise to have another baby.

Let’s back up.  My dilemma is simple:  I want to comfortably suss out the scene while not spiking my anxiety levels or getting my heart broken.  When I shatter, it’s an implosion.  Neat, silent; I shuffle myself off behind closed doors, getting smaller and smaller as the world gets further and further away and all of existence is exposed as a pointless affair.  So we can’t be having too many of those and over the last year I have enthusiastically exposed myself to around eight months of anxiety and three months of shatter material.  That has left me with that one perfect December:  I need to improve the statistics.

So of course, I am keen to change my behaviour.  I read all the books and I ask people the difficult questions.  Oh, The Rules do work? Blocking Facebook helps with my stalking tendencies? I shouldn’t have had sex on the first night? You want someone who is independent but subservient? It’s ok to stray if you tell both girls you are confused and need time to decide?  I shouldn’t return his calls? I shouldn’t be planning stuff for us to do together as he no longer has something to chase? I’m not his mom’s choice and that counts? If he wanted to be with me, he would make a plan and I just don’t get the message? Oh, he is being NICE?  Even if I care, I should pretend I don’t?  If he catches a whiff of my insecurity he will run? He sleeps with all the girls and the connection I felt is in my head? He is hedging his bets and I’m a short position? I come across as too strong?  I come across as all over the place and unhinged? I should grow up and enjoy a simple friendship with benefits?

Shit.  No, I don’t have to change my behaviour.  I need to become an actress.

Here is what us educated, experienced, strong, sensitive women are reading:

Why Men Love Bitches, Kerry Argov.

Attraction principle number 1;  For him to chase, you have to run. I like to stand still, ask HIM the questions if I am genuinely interested in who this new person in my life is.  I like to do stuff and if he is free, why not with him? I like to connect, I like to write, I like to bbm and I like to email.  I am thinking all the time and some of it is worth sharing.  I like to be spontaneous and I like to jump on people with plans which take us out into life.  This means I don’t place high value on myself. At least I do get better at the running part once I have fallen in love (hic hic) and he turns out to be weaker than originally thought.

Attraction principle number 99; Truly powerful people don’t explain why they want respect.  They simply don’t engage someone who doesn’t give it to them. I may engage further than I should because he interests me and he is in my soul’s path, but I will eventually find the courage to walk if he treats me like shit.  OK, it may take me a while to figure out he is treating me like shit, as I am obliging and accommodating and think he needs time to sort out his issues.  But when I realise he doesn’t actually ever call me, turns down my suggestions to go out for dinner and talks about the girl who moved out who may be moving back in, something in my frontal cortex fights through the dopamine withdrawal to sound a faint warning alarm.

Attraction principle 95 says: When a man feels he’s won, or conquered a women, he begins to get bored and wont respect her if all she does is try to please him.  I can’t promise that a man won’t feel supported, cared for and loved by me – I am a loyal earth sign – but what I know for sure is that no man has ever had all of me, and if he gets complacent, it’s because he thinks he has the full picture.  And then he gets less and less of me, I lose interest in his lack of interest, he loses interest in my indifference and well .. the whole sorry affair unwinds and gets sad.

The Rules, Fein and Schneider

Rule number 3: Don’t stare at men or talk too much.  OMW. I look him in the eye and talk a lot. Unless I am not interested.

Rule number 19: Don’t open up too fast.  I’m dead in the water.  I would prefer that he understands exactly what he is getting into, and besides, if I think he is emotionally intelligent, I want his opinion. You get everything with me or nothing with me, and I am terrible at the slow trickle feed.

But my favourite, bestest principle, which I subscribe to completely:  once you start laughing, you start healing.   

My needs are significant but simple and I bet not too far from the next girls:  emotional and financial security.  I have figured out how to deliver this all on my own (with God’s, family and friends help) but it can be exhausting.  It’s tough being strong all the time. I am looking for the man who can work with me to keep environmental equilibrium, and not play games with my heart, and makes me feel sexy, and can handle my intensity and volatility and is interested in how I operate and curious about what I think and feel, and wants to explore the world’s workings with me.  And whose self-assurance gives me a sense of security.  I’m looking for a man with balls.

Ooooh, this does sound needy and it seems inevitable that I will get my heart broken again as I have obviously ditched all self-help books and become way too demanding.  At least next time, I won’t be offering to have his baby.




  1. Jess

    July 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    That is a very mature description of what you’re looking for, reminiscent of my wedding reading from Oriah Mountain Dreamer. What is fascinating is your summation: “I’m looking for a man with balls.” I haven’t heard it put that way in this context, but on reflection, it is the crux of everything. I think now of all the things that frustrate me most in my marriage and I realise they occur when C falls short of “having balls” – food for thought! Thank you x

  2. Adoma P

    July 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    So incredibly beautifully written! Surely it should be simple! Boy and girl meet, they like each other, they are honest with each other and they take it from there. No need for games or rules. But we are wired differently it appears… Surely for th one you are destined for, there will be no need for rules, games – it will just be…

  3. Natalie

    July 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Make them chase, make them show face,
    To see you he’ll make a plan
    That’s the sign of a real man.
    Be yourself always, revel in your beauty in his gaze,
    You’re wonderful, you’re funny…
    But hold back on the bunnies! Xxx

  4. Enlightened

    July 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    If you remain true to who you are, what you believe in and what you feel, some people will like you and others won’t. But more important is that you like who you see in the mirror. And one day you will meet someone who will reflect that back at you. Until then. Keep learning, keep growing, readjust the compass when you veer off course. True north and true colours will always trump.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: