So at my age, 51, I should be in the twilight of my career, enjoying grandchildren, and packing the R.V. for a road-trip with the love of my life. The reality is I am in the early stages of a new career (and looking for another), have one step-grandson that I rarely see, have no R.V. (but still desperately want), and have no love of my life.
I married once at age 31. She had three small children when we met and we conceived two of our own. We stayed married 12 years. It was not the right fit for either of us. Since my divorce, I have, at best, dabbled in the dating game. My priority and focus has been raising my now teen-aged kids. One is a junior in high school and the other a college freshman. Yes…the empty next syndrome is beginning to dig it’s razor-sharp talons into the fabric of my soul.
But how. How do I get back on this horse? How do I do the dating thing after so many years out of the game? The question is rhetorical. I refuse to do the “Dating Game”. I made the obligatory journey into the online dating world and lasted less than two months…never once dated anyone, and found the whole exercise tepid, at best.
I’ve had a few close calls, women with whom I’ve been attracted; yet as soon as they reciprocate, it’s as if an alarm goes off somewhere deep in my psyche and I panic. I bail, I reverse, I flat-out run the other way as if being chased by deadly prey. I’m pretty sure I have some work to do with someone more experienced than me in this arena (read: professionals) before I am able to figure out what that response is all about. Is it normal given my past experiences? Is this simply a defense mechanism? For someone like me who prides himself on having fairly thick skin and not being easily hurt, I find the defense argument weak. I think it’ something else but I’ve yet to embrace what it is.
Maybe it’s my age. Maybe this is normal. I don’t think so. Maybe I simply haven’t found the woman who from the moment I meet her, I know in the core of my being is my soul-mate. I’d like to think this is the reason. For now however, I’m just going to keep trucking along, doing my best to do the right thing every day, failing like we all do, but getting back on the horse and trying again. And I’m also keeping my eyes open. I don’t want to miss her when she does show up.