When I re-joined the dating world In midlife, I reasoned that I was older and wiser, if not young and thin. I had met enough players in my lifetime to read the signs. I would take things slowly. That was the plan.
I knew what I wanted in a partner: kindness, character, and a great sense of humor.
Launching my search, I read the profile of a gentleman on an online dating service. In bold print, the phrase above his profile said, “Looking for a long-term relationship.”
A few emails later, when we were in the phone call stage, Paul said he was an attorney. “What,” I asked, “are you looking for in a relationship?”
“I’m looking for the love of my life.” he assured me. He wanted “someone to grow old with.”
"Oh, that's a good thing," I said. A small quiet voice whispered, "Kristine. He wants sex." I paid it no mind. I listened to the other voice in my head that argued, "Maybe he is sincere."
He said, “Let’s meet at the Elephant Bar.”
Full of optimism, I agreed. I didn't recognize it at the time, but I suffered from dating amnesia-- the kind of memory loss I had after giving birth to my children. When I held my precious newborn daughter and son, I forgot the pains of labor. Getting ready for my meet-up, images of romance and companionship washed away memories of the bad dates I had lived through.
On the drive to our first face-to-face encounter, I whispered prayers to the universe for things to work out. Silently, I added, "Would it be asking too much if the next man in my life is taller than me? I know that sounds shallow, but, I am a tall woman, after all."
Walking into the bar, the first thing I noticed was that the man with the welcoming grin had legs that didn’t quite reach the floor. He was built like a linebacker. Smiling through our handshake, I told myself there is more to a man's stature than his height.
Paul downed his drink and said, “Let’s get out of here. I know a better place.” Outside, he suggested we take his vehicle to another restaurant. Did lawyers really drive pick-up trucks with silver nudes on the mud flaps? "Let's talk for a while," he said. Inside his pick-up truck, he pressed himself on me and suggested we get naked. He wanted to get started on that long-term relationship. Right away.
I recalled a summer day at Camp Lutherhaven in northern Idaho, listening to a pastor's wife dispense dating advice to an assembly of young female Lutherans: "Always remember," she advised, "that a girl with her skirt up can run faster than a boy with his pants down.”
Using all my strength, I pushed him off my chest, turned the door handle, and ran to my car. All these years later, that Lutherans camp counselor’s advice came in handy. I made a speedy exit.
The next day, I’ll be damned if he didn’t call again.
“What part of 'no' didn’t you understand?”
“Well, er,” he mumbled weakly.
“Well? What?” I nearly shouted.
“Well, I just wanted to have sex."
I said good-bye to Mr. Wrong and decided to take a break from dating. Before continuing my search for a partner, I would turn my attention to other pleasures. I fired up my car and headed to Baskin-Robbins for a double dip of jamoca almond fudge ice cream.
After more blind dates than I care to remember, I found a new partner. The universe must have heard my prayers. Mr. Right was 6 foot 7 inches tall, kind, and made me laugh.