Introduction: A fellow I know only through our mutual admiration of Leonard Cohen, admitted, in passing, to intense anxiety about re-entering the dating pool as a grownup (he’s in his 50’s) now that his marriage of many years has definitively ended. Well, as ongoing readers know, I am not the type of chap who would refuse to share my hard won wisdom. So, hearkening back to my own experiences with definitively adult dating after Julie died, I am posting some of the lessons in grownup dating I learned.
2. Logistics. Arranging dates is a far more frustrating exercise than I had anticipated before signing into this supposedly madcap, wild, and zany world of post-teenage romantic intrigue. I foolishly anticipated that my psychological energy would be directed toward finding someone compatible, dealing with rebukes, languishing from unrequited love, and matters of that ilk, all of which pale when confronted with the logistical terrorism faced by two dating adults because of
- Their need to maintain employment in order to procure food, housing, clothing… stuff like that
- The fact that at least one of these adults (that would be me) is crazy-glued to a couple of school-age roommates who claim kindred and operate with the advantages of youthful energy, narcissistic amorality, and the protection afforded by Illinois’s child abuse laws
- The geographical distance between them. And there always seems to be a significant geographical distance; my charm, in fact, apparently increases in direct proportion to the distance between my home and my date’s location. I’m considered, for example, hot stuff west of the Colorado River.
I attribute this disparity between my expectations and reality to — well, to the fact that sometimes I’m a dolt. Perhaps the inability of otherwise reasonably perceptive individuals (a group that would, ostensibly, include me) to foresee obvious hurdles in the course of constructing a relationship is nature’s means of perpetuating the species. If we all acted exclusively on the basis of rational principles, I calculate there would be 62-66 dates annually in the continental United States.