This is not your mother’s dating experience. Gone are the days of meeting a great guy through a chance encounter , exchanging numbers , dating and living happily ever after. The explosion of online dating has effectively changed the dating (and mating) habits of today’s Woman. Online dating, designed to further expand one’s social network and expose you to a wider audience of potential suitors has, in my humble opinion, had the opposite effect and has essentially ensured you never find someone and keep them forever. There is always an option to check behind Door #2, or 3, or 4… There are exceptions and I envy those but my experience I know to be common.
Learning to date at 40(ish) with young kids and an ex-husband is a very different experience than when I last did it at 17. “What’s your number?” has taken on a whole new meaning. I won’t divulge my “#” but let’s just say it’s vast given my 7 single years post divorce.
In that vast experience, I have met and dated (and mated) with my share of men. I began to see a pattern and can now group these men into 8 Common Types.
1. The Sex Guy.
That’s ALL he wants. Maybe it starts off with “Hi! Love your smile. Where was that photo taken? Do you like dogs? Can I buy you dinner” That rapidly turns into “I think you’re sexy and need some good hard lovin’” and “Wow. Your (breasts) are amazing. You free to have a drink on Friday and go from there?”
Maybe you do hook up (That’s ok! Let off some steam) or maybe you don’t (ok too, not your thing). Maybe it’s fun, maybe it’s terrible. The sex could (and should) be amazing, mind blowing, hot or it could be awkward and over before you know it and then the graceless impromptu exit. It could be the start of something really great, or likely it’s a one-nighter, before the texting stops because he “got busy with work or his sick cat or car trouble”. Either way, you knew that wasn’t going anywhere so the experience is what it is.
2. The Desperate Guy.
This guy is so desperate for a relationship. Two weeks in, he’s in love with you , wants to spend his life with you, thinks you are amazing (You ARE amazing but how would he know that already?) He starts talking about vacationing together and planting a garden. He could cry every time you make love. He’s great, maybe a breath of fresh air and hope after #1 above, but eventually it gets smothering. The exuberance over every little thing you do becomes exasperating and dubious. You dump him via text and he’s shocked and hurt but seriously, you just can’t take him anymore.
3. The Damaged Guy
He could be #2 at some point but right now, he’s taking things a little slower. Great, that’s not a bad thing. Date 3, he tells you that he’s been cheated on and he has trust issues. You feel sad for him, want to hold him and protect him and love him, show him that we are all not like his ex-wife. Date 4, you’re hot and heavy and ready to take the next step. Heat of passion, kissing is intense, you take it to the bedroom and boom, his trusted “friend” decides he’s not working tonight, or not working well. Insecurity is evident , confidence is gone. Try as you may, be patient, be supportive , pull out every dirty trick and move you know to get him ramped up (literally) but it’s just not happening. You find yourself sitting on the couch watching movie upon movie so that he can avoid going to bed with you. Eventually you get the deflective “It’s not me, it’s you. You’re simply not the type of woman I want or am attracted to. Adios.” You could take it personal but you, him and his little “friend” all know the real reason.
4. The Married Guy.
Maybe you don’t know it at first, he kept his status hidden. Maybe he’s in one of those “open or polyamorous relationships”. But he’s smoking hot and he wants you and you’re tempted. It could be fun! Taboo and thrilling. It could be an adventure to experience a more open, supposedly evolved relationship built on trust and security and honesty. Maybe his partner even welcomes you! But at the end of the day, he’s not yours. He never will be despite how much he claims you are his perfect woman or the love he has for you. He will continue to see you as long as you allow. You will eventually fall for him unless you’re smart enough to leave first. Maybe you bore with his ‘lifestyle’ and always being the option, maybe his partner decides you’ve gotten too close and now you must be disposed like trash, but either way, it doesn’t end in Happily Ever After. Don’t waste your precious time. He’s unworthy, despite how hot or nice he is. Thank him for the offer and walk away.
5. The Young Guy.
What’s the minimum age that you would consider dating? Is being a Cougar still considered negative? Does it change as we age or as our tenure in singledom lengthens? Young men can be very complimentary. They love our maturity and “lack of drama”, our confidence and direction in life. They could be a great ego booster. They are energetic and super fun in bed, perhaps not as finessed as more experienced lovers but don’t rule them out. Could you have a future with one? Maybe. Men can do it, why can’t women?
6. The Old Guy
At one point in my dating ‘career’, I started to wonder if that was all that I could attract now at my age, old men desperate to find someone to love them. It could work. It could be the best experience of your life. I dated a man 14 years older than me for several months and it was wonderful. He still had plenty of stamina and no confidence issues. Perhaps it was aided by a little blue pill but who cares? He was amazing in bed. The issue with him, he didn’t want to have a life with young children again. Been there, done that, wanted someone with a little more freedom. Fair enough. Kiss him, hug him and wish him luck.
7. The Confirmed Bachelor.
He’s completely unavailable emotionally for more than a few hours. He makes it clear that a traditional relationship is not in the cards. He is a GOD in bed. He is charismatic and funny. He’s intriguing , a challenge but alas will never be ours. He will always be considerate and friendly towards you though. We all want what we can’t have, right? Enough said.
8. The One.
Maybe you recognize him instantly. Maybe he’s been under your nose for a long time and you didn’t see him. But when you recognize him, you imprint and the stars align and suddenly all of the 7 above fade to black. Nothing else matters. He is your dream. He’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for you. When you find him, let me know. A girl needs hope these days.