She tells me the men she dates usually do one of two delightful things when they go out: They either surreptitiously scope out younger women or furtively check their phones to see who’s texted them, which explains why Patty has started bringing antacids when she goes out now. On the phone one day, I agreed with Patty that dating isn’t the playful, low-stakes situation we both remembered. Too old to take Ecstasy and go to a rave; too young to go for the Early Bird Special. As we chatted and chuckled, I realized how much I liked talking to this woman. With obvious relief, Patty said this sounded great.
So I asked Patty if next week she would meet me at the park with our dogs and hang out. Plus, she promised not to mention her biological clock. As I put the phone down, I realized I didn’t know how that day would go.
But I was sure of one thing: This was somebody with whom I felt comfortable.
She wasn’t desperate, crazy or prone to doing Big Ben imitations.
I not only got nicely numb, but also convinced Rosemary that I wasn’t good father material.
But unlike the old days, Karen had grown-up problems. Her boss was so demanding and scary it sounded like she was personal assistant to Joseph Stalin.This worked well, too, so I didn’t have to resort to doing anything embarrassing like putting a squirting flower in my lapel or wearing clown shoes.(MORE: Deeper Dating: A New Approach to Finding Love) It was all good fun.” except replace “mother” with “soulmate.” After six months of celibacy, there were itches that needed scratching and an ego that needed boosting, so I decided to rip off the proverbial Band-Aid and throw myself into the world of dating.Small snag: I hadn’t dated since the ’90s, not since Bill Clinton was impeached and the Goo Goo Dolls were a thing. I had done some online dating back then, on a site called Swoon.com, when you were lucky if a photo of you existed on the internet.I often took the young woman to a movie, followed by pizza and soda.The only downside came the next day when the junk food kicked in and my face broke out and looked like a relief map of the Carpathian Mountains. Dating in Your 50s Well, I’m in my 50s and dating once more. Using high school experience again, it’s like finally mastering algebra, then suddenly having to figure out binary logarithms — I don’t understand the subject and I’m afraid I’m going to flunk.Plus, her teenage daughter hadn’t stopped seeing the “bum,” and Karen was stressed about that, too — which resulted in her drinking three martinis in one hour.(MORE: When to Start Dating After Divorce) I tried to be understanding about Karen’s problems.At first, the sad feelings came often, numbed by binging into the wee hours of the morning, chased with pots of coffee.Sometimes, when the kids were at their dad’s, I would be engulfed by a loneliness so deep that nothing could fill it.