September 8, 2010

My first appointment today is a lady, mid 50’s, divorced, educated, no children, and her long term goal is a committed relationship. She said “I have been divorced for ten years and I have had three serious relationships. The last two years I have dated but, nothing serious. I am tired of dating. I am tired of relationships that last two or three years then evaporate into thin air. I am tired of being alone and I decided to quit leaving this to chance and find a better way to meet the right man.” She has dated men from four to fifteen years younger than herself but does not consider herself a “cougar”. She said “I’m not a cougar, I didn’t pursue any of these men, they all pursued me.” However, a friend recently wanted to introduce her to a man who is in his mid 60’s and she could not even imagine herself with a man that old. I said “You can go fifteen years younger but not ten years older, why?” I knew what I was going to hear before she even said it “I wouldn’t find him attractive and he couldn’t keep up with me.” The same thing I have heard for years from older men who prefer to date younger women. I hear myself saying the same thing I have said to older men all these years, “What if you did (find him/her attractive), and what if he/she could (keep up with you)?” I think cougars are getting older these days because I meet more women in their 50’s and 60’s who want to date younger men than I do women in their 30’s and 40’s who want to date younger men. Older cougars? Is that an oxymoron? She agreed if she found him attractive and he could keep up with her she would not care how old he is, especially if “he adores me and is rich.” A sense of humor is a good thing to have when you are dating.

My second appointment is not emotionally available. I try very hard to screen my calls to eliminate anyone who is not emotionally available but, occasionally, someone slips through because I did not ask exactly the right question. Although I asked her if she was divorced, widowed, or always been single, and she said “divorced”, and I asked how long it had been since she had been divorced, “three years”, and how long it had been since she had been in a serious relationship, “one year”, and if she was emotionally available to meet the right person and move on, “Yes”, what I did not discover until the middle of the interview was that she has maintained an intimate relationship with her high school sweetheart throughout all her relationships, including her marriage, and the right man for her would “have to understand that he is just a part of my past that I like to revisit every few years.” I said “My clients don’t pay me to introduce them to someone who is already intimately involved with someone else.” She said “I bet half the people you are working with are having sex with someone else when they sign up with you.” Guess how “over” the interview was for me at that point? I said “I disagree, and if you think this relationship does not keep you from being emotionally available to someone else I think you are sadly mistaken.” Guess how over the interview was for her at that point? I asked her why she wasn’t with her high school sweetheart and she said “he’s married and has four kids.” I said “He’s married and has four kids and a high school sweetheart that he calls every few years and she comes running.” After she left my office she called and left a message on my answering machine “Donna, it was very nice to meet you and I will think about everything we talked about today and maybe I will call you back.” You are what you settle for.

To be continued tomorrow…………