~Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Date #6

I have been complaining—loudly—at my desk at work about the type of guy I want. Date #6 fit all the items I listed, no matter how fantastical I became. He's an SEC college graduate - check. He still has the frat-boy look about him: North Face, Croakies, etc. - check. Looks good in glasses - check. Has a dimple when he smiles - check. Taller than me - check.

A gentleman - check check. Stays in regular contact - check check. Has a stable career - check check. Doesn't have a roommate - check check.

Likes me - check check check.

So what could be the problem with someone who has so many pros? There's a con:

He's four years younger than me.

I am trying to be open-minded about this. I am. He interviewed and accepted his corporate job before he graduated from college. He seems to be at the same place as me.

But he sits across the table from me and he seems so eager and optimistic and bubbly, and I just think about how I could tear this person apart. I could destroy the good, wholesome part of him. Doesn't he know who I am? Doesn't he know what I have been through since I was 25? I have lived and experienced things that no one should have. The good, wholesome part of me is dead. Someone else took it. Just like what I could do to him.

I never before realized the similarities between a zombie and someone who's had her heart broken. We're all a little dead on the inside. We're afraid of being capable of contaminating others. We seek out others with similar souls.

I know I can't be with someone who hasn't had his heart broken. All the times I have loved in good faith and lost have come to define me. At happy hour a couple of weeks ago, I asked Schmoozer if he has ever had his heart broken.

"No," he grinned. "I always leave them."

I pressed my lips together. "Nope. I could never date you."

"Why?"

"Because I don't trust someone who hasn't had his heart broken."

It's true. And Date #6 chirps like someone who hasn't been crushed. Maybe that's why I was attracted to the coarseness of The Hungarian. He was dark, and I liked that I was the optimistic one. I like being the good one.

"I feel like I could corrupt you," I said to Date #6 as I took a swig of my beer.

He tried to smile devilishly, but failed at it. "Trust me, you can't corrupt me." He sat up a little straighter and cleared his throat. "Age is just a number to me. I usually hang out with people who are older because I act older than I am. But if my age bothers you, I'd rather know now and not later."

Damn, that was a mature thing to say.

So I did the only thing I could think of; I threw him to the wolves to see if he could hold his own. I invited him out drinking at Monday Night Football with my group of friends. And then I told my friends that this was a test.

Government Mule looked at me, "You know I am going to give him a hard time."

"Good. Let's see what he's made of." Government Mule has been engaged twice; I trust him.

Government Mule told Date #6 that we knew each other because we were prom dates from high school. I corrected GM. The girls were nice to him, but GM bristled at him. There were eye daggers, the bird made an appearance (I can't remember on whose side) and there were some good-natured swearing. It reads worse than it was; smiles were being traded concomitantly. Date #6 took it in stride, but I got a little worried over GM's behavior.

Date #6 was able to hold his own.

So I went out with Date #6 again last night. And I'm still just as unsure of him.

Doesn't he know who I am?

I am a zombie.

21 comments:

Me said...

Oh My God. CRADLE ROBBER.

KIDDING. I have been in a similar place and I have also had friends in similar places. The dreaded "Shit, he's younger" thing. I always equate that with "less mature" and have often gotten my ass kicked because that wasn't fair...well, and then I have met 40 year olds acting like 20 year olds...so I should have been more open.
Some of my friends who dated younger and struggled with it are married now to their younger husbands, some aren't :) But hell, when I look at the once who are married now, I am all "THANK GOD YOU GOT OVER THAT AGE THING" (and they are too)....so, ride the wave, see if he holds up. :) I liked the test too. Awesome.

however happy said...

Love this post.

Do you ever wonder if age only matters if you're not sure about the person...for possibly another reason? I've never legitimately dated someone younger, but way older, sure. And a lot of times "everything" would be in line, but I'd also go back to the "but he's 40." If I really, really liked him, would I care?

And your comments about seeing the innocence/good in him and not wanting to be the one who ruins that for him really touched me. I see parallels in how the Chef treated me differently. He made several comments hinting at the same thing. But I agree with you...I like being the "good" one, too.

I say keep on taking it day by day...and look to see if it's really the age issue or if it's something else.

Seine said...

The age thing is hard to get over ... but honestly, after a while, you don't think about it anymore if he truly does act older than he is.

Special Friend is 3 years younger than me, but claims he always liked older women more. It bothered me at first, and I didn't know why I was even hanging out with him or flirting with him, but now it never crosses my mind (well 90% doesn't :).

franzi said...

girl, if him being younger by 4 years is really your only problem with this guy then stop worrying and enjoy the time you have with him!

age is just a number, and you can't blame him for the experiences he did not (yet) have. just like you shouldn't blame yourself for your broken heart.
life happens, experiences happen. i'm sure he's been through some things you were lucky enough to miss out on.

a friend of mine is currently dating a guy 3 years younger - and boy she sounds a lot like you. only that she wants to be married by the age of 30 AND have at least one kid. needless to say that her time is ticking whereas he still has many years down the road until he will even think about kids...

Anonymous said...

You deserve someone who is happy and whole. Just because you've gone throughout hard times and he hasn't doesn't mean shit. Maybe you need someone different than the previous guys. Maybe...

If he's a good MAN, then I say go for it! He'll learn from you, and you from him.
-Alicia (aka lurker). :)

Curvy Jones said...

I think this is totally an issue of what you want vs what you need. You've gone after what you want with Christopher and the Hungarian. Those guys have run right through you and the only thing you have to show for it is the experience.

Here's what I hate hearing, which rates just under 'I like you as a friend': "I couldn't date you because I don't want to hurt yo"'

Uh.

Were you gonna try?

Or are you really such an asshole that you "accidentally" hurt people all the time? And if so, WHY are you dating, and not in fucking therapy? What I am saying is......that is a cop out. There's a real reason behind "I don't want to hurt you". Sometimes the reason is "I don't want to date you."

If you don't want to date the guy, don't play with him. I don't think you'll tear him apart, though, lol. It's 4 years not 14.

I think you should give it time, if it's not a definite NO in your head. And BE YOURSELF with him. Let HIM decide if he can handle you. He might just surprise you.

I'd also say that just because you've had your heart broken doesn't mean that you need to be with a guy that's always on the verge of breaking yours. Maybe go for the opposite of what you've been going for and let a guy be like... nice to you and show that he likes you and gets along with you and stuff. That can be fun, too. Who knows, maybe the more he gets to know you, the more he'll realize what a backbone he has.

J said...

This got me thinking about an older guy that I went on a date with once. He was 6 years older than me and probably the most cynical man I have ever met when it came to dating. It also didn't help that he all he talked about was himself and how bad his dating/sex life was. I think I would prefer the blind optimism to that.

All that said I am curious about Govt Mule's behaviour. I am not sure why I think this but I have gotten the impression that he is jealous of the guys you bring around. This is not the first time I have thought this. Or am I way off the mark on that thought?

bonda84 said...

For me age doesn't matter for the most part. I have actually liked younger guys a lot more than older ones. The mature younger guys like #6 seems to be. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth with this one.

The other night I was talking with a friend of mine about a guy I would like to date but has been hurt in the past and he is good and wholesome now. I said I don't want to be the one to break him again and my friend looked me dead in the eye and said: "That's not being grown up and that is being a coward." I blinked and realized that my friend was right. It's #6's decision if he wants to be with you not yours in the long run. And just because he is good and wholesome and young doesn't mean he can't have been hurt in the past. My worst heartbreak came when I was 18.

Give yourself a chance...you could be just what he is really looking for.

runningblonde.com said...

Lady! Since I stopped being WiscoBlonde, I've fallen in love with the most wonderful man on the planet. He's handsome, athletic, is going to be a doctor, loves to travel and loves me more than I ever knew I could be loved. He's 3 years younger than me and he's never had his heart broken. Now I realize that I found him before another girl could ruin him. Think of all those 30 year old jerks who treat women as if they are disposable. I think you should give this youngen' a chance. It's working for me!

AmericanBridget (Jones) said...

Trust me, once you've hit your mid-thirties age is nothing to worry about. I kept reading your post thinking, heck I want this fine young man. He seems to look good on paper and if we can hang with your friends, keeps you smiling and meets all other criteria - GO FOR IT. You've got nothing to lose. And who's counting the number of times you get your heart broken any way. I stopped doing that a long time ago and I feel free and relieved of the baggage I carried around. Let your heart go where it will and let your smile shine.

Throw caution to the wind and you might be pleased what it throws back your way.

Best of luck and keep us posted.

V said...

It's not the age that matters when it comes to compatibility as much as it's the path that's been taken, and where the person is at.

You have me thinking... In the last year I've dated a 36 year old surgeon and a 34 year old photographer. They both have kids, but I would be hard pressed to come up with any other similarity between them.

Whatever list of things it is that attracts or separates any two people, I start to wonder if age may be a footnote, nothing more than an excuse covering for something else.

Of course, my actions contradict that since I'm more likely to contact the profilees that look young and attractive.

But... I've always said... there's the gift wrapping, and then there's the gift.

The shiny wrapping only matters until you get past it to see what is inside.

Syd said...

Oh! I can relate to this. My boyfriend is 4.5 years younger than I am, which bothered me SO much in the beginning that I think I would try to sabotage. But seriously, it does all fade. Don't paint 'em all with the same maturity brush, because it really doesn't apply across the board all the time.

I don't know if that last sentence even makes sense, but you get what I'm saying here. He's worth a shot, definitely.

Dream in Grey said...

If he was bubbly and optimistic and older than you, would you think he had never had his hearth broken or would you think he hid it well? Do you think he looks at you and sees the zombie? I bet he doesn't and i bet when you get to know him better you will see depths that a few dates can't fathom (plus, the boy sounds hot and totally your type)

check, check, check!

Lpeg said...

I think Curvy hit the nail on the head. See where it goes, maybe this is the type of guy you need, as opposed to someone like Christopher.

I dated someone four years younger, but that was also in high school and he acted like a child. I then went on to date someone who was 10 years older than the young one, and he was just as childish, but in the adult world.

That aside, I have a friend who is 25, and he acts more mature than I do most times.

I'd say give him a chance. If that's the only thing holding you back, why not try it?

Lpeg said...

and you are NOT a zombie.

M said...

My good friend is currently in a relationship with a guy who is 6 years younger. It was a big thing for her to accept the situation but they are really happy! I guess it's bout giving them a chance.

Bathwater said...

I would not get hung up on the age or his lack in relationship experience, I think YOU might need this to breath a little life back into that walking corpse you think you are.

TC said...

I don't think you're giving either of you enough credit.

I think you're attracted to the Hungarian because it's more what you're used to. What you've convinced yourself you can have. Can handle.

This guy sounds good and wonderful and you're worried about whether you deserve him. You do.

Just because your heart has been broken doesn't mean you'll break his.

He sounds like a great guy. Don't make the whole "good guys finish last" thing happen here. Give him a shot.

You deserve better than a bad boy who will break your heart again.

wanderingmenace said...

Wow, you are incredible at inspiring intelligent responses on your posts. I like that.

In terms of the guy, go for it. I definitely understand what you're saying about the broken heart thing. There's a certain idealism carried around by those who haven't had their heart broken, but there's something about that which is incredibly endearing. He seems totally into you, he's great on paper. Age can be a problem, but only if you want it to be. It's always scary when someone seems great on paper and you find yourself worrying if it's wrong or right.
I say feel it out. I would say listen to your heart, but as someone who knows what its like to have it broken, I won't. I'll just say see where it goes, have fun, and let it run its course.
Who knows what could happen?

cornflakegirl74 said...

You know, I had this happen recently myself with someone who was 6 younger and he gave me the whole "age is nothing but a number" spiel. But there IS so much more than just the age factor; there are life lessons and experiences and heartaches and all sorts of ugly things that get thrown in there the older we get. BUT it seems as though Date #6 is really good at taking things in stride and is doing a very good job of convincing you he can handle anything you throw his way. I believe that if you feel a connection to someone so strongly, that the age won't be a major factor. Maybe you're holding back because you're not ready or because you don't think he's the one. Do you think that could be it?

Anonymous said...

Hey if he has "it" he has "it." Men who are 35 often don't have it.

I met Jukebox when I was 29, he was 25. We've been together 5 years. And I'm with ya in the "been through shit boat."

Good luck!

-dont

 

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