It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, a confident demeanor is simply attractive. And logically, that would make the opposite of confidence (i.e. insecurity) a “panty keeper onner” (I think I just made up a new word). Which explains why my date with Matt left me feeling like I wanted to add another layer of clothing. Or at least another pair of panties.
We met online and had exchanged a week’s worth of texts before arranging to meet for a glass of wine. Our connection seemed great, his photos were hot and I was stoked about his PhD from Georgetown. In my eyes, smart = sexy and I adore a nerd with social skills.
He’d also been respectful in texts–no cock shots (and it’s sad I consider that “respectful” when it should be in the “why the fuck would a man do that” category). We’d talked just a little sexy–enough to be flirty but not enough to be dirty. And he seemed eager to meet me, which I dig.
We arranged an after-work date at a cozy wine bar. When he walked in I wasn’t immediately smitten, but no worries–for me, attraction doesn’t have to be immediate. An interesting personality, witty sense of humor, a beautiful smile–and confidence–can create amazing chemistry. So I took a deep breath and thought, “Let the sparks fly.”
Damn. They didn’t.
We had good conversation. Drank delicious wine. He flashed me his pearly whites once in a while. And he told me more than I wanted to know about his 65-year-old coworker, Dolores. We chatted about our kids, California and our exes . . . and then it was simply time to go home. Okay, then. A nice time was had by all, as the famous cliche would put it. So we gathered our things and headed out. Quick hug, and we went our separate ways.
Convinced that he sensed the not-connection as much as I did, I chalked it up to “I met a nice friend” and moved on to the next thing on my evening’s agenda. An hour later, this text arrived.
Him: I had a nice time. How did you feel?
Me: It was nice! Thanks for meeting me . . . fun.
Him: So, how are we?
Me: Ummm . . . what do you mean?
Him: I mean, I kinda feel like a 16 yr old with a crush. 🙂 How about you? Or did I turn you off sufficiently to cancel our second date?
What the hell is the right response to a question like that? “Did I turn you off sufficiently?” Well, if you hadn’t previously, that particular comment just did the job.
Me: Well, are you asking me if there were sparks? Hmmm. The short answer is, not really . . . at least not yet. But that doesn’t always happen on the first date! Right? So let’s try it again.
Him: Oh. Ok, wow . . . well now I feel pretty weird about this . . .
Well, if you didn’t want an honest answer about the “sufficiently turned off” question, why did you ask?
As you can imagine, the conversation didn’t get better from here. We texted a few more times, agreed to see each other again that weekend–and I was truly serious about giving the sparks another shot. But by 7:00 a.m. the next morning, I awoke to a very long text from Matt explaining that something had “suddenly come up” and he needed to cancel our date, but maybe in a few weeks we could try again, and please don’t take this personally.
I did hear from him again about three weeks later, but really–I had sufficiently moved on by then. We texted a bit and I was polite but didn’t encourage a second date. Once insecurity creeps in–especially after a first date–it kind of throws a wet blanket on any potential sparks. And it’s tough to get a fire going under a wet blanket.
I will be the first to admit, I’ve had my share of insecure moments with men. I’ve texted too often, asked the wrong questions too early, and displayed way too many signs of neediness throughout my history of dating and relationships, especially earlier in my life. So I don’t fault Matt for doing anything that I haven’t done.
But here’s the beauty of dating in midlife . . . I don’t give a shit anymore. And I mean that in the best way possible.
What I’m saying is, I don’t need a man. I don’t need a relationship with a man. I don’t need sex (though that might be debatable at times). I am sufficient, happy and content on my own. So while I appreciate the company of a lovely man, stimulating conversation over wine or a lusty makeout session, all of that is icing. The “cake” is the wonderfully fulfilling life that I wake up to each and every morning–alone, in my double bed built for one, in my Victoria’s Secret jams that I don’t mind wearing just for me.
I’m not saying I don’t have insecure moments anymore. I do. Absolutely. But they don’t rule me or my dating life.
I’m confident in who I am and what I have to offer, and I wouldn’t trade this time of my life for anything. I’m sufficiently capable on my own. I love men, but I don’t need them . . . and that is not meant to sound bitchy. It’s just simply where I’ve arrived as a 40+ year old woman who spent too many years worrying about being sufficient for someone else.
Confidence is sexy, and I’m feeling pretty damn fine.