Fortysomething

Dear Dategirl,

What is your advice to a 40s fellow who's done the "blind date fixed up by friends," "blind date fixed up by family," "blind date fixed up by co-workers," "blind date fixed up by neighbors," "blind dates fixed up through personals," and "blind dates fixed up through introduction service," all without success? I have not had a lasting relationship with a sane, relatively attractive, heterosexual woman using any of these methods. Any other avenues you could suggest? No, my therapist hasn't fixed me up.

Yes, I've been in love. No, not for four-plus years. Sheesh.

Looking for an Alternative

Ah, Looking,

I salute your tenacity. Going on all those blind dates (especially those that your family set up) is courageous, to say the least. But slow down, fella! Let me tell you, son, four or so years isn't that long to have gone without love. To paraphrase the almighty Supremes, love is, sadly, one of those things you just can't hurry.

Part of your dilemma is your age. Before you get your skivvies in a twist, let me explain. When I was a teenager and even into my early 20s, cute was about my only requirement for a boyfriend. (Back then, a functioning penis was a given—gotta love them teenage boys!) If he had a job, that was a pleasant little bonus, and if he was nice, it was jackpot city. But as I hit my mid-20s, my priorities changed. Now, all of a sudden Dream Date also had to be smart and self-supporting, couldn't live with his parents, had to walk upright, etc. As a result, my dating pool—once a vast ocean brimming with unemployed musicians and cruel but foxy artist types—dwindled down to a shallow puddle with only a few dorky little koi flopping about. And most of them were married. Hopefully your standards have evolved as well.

Then there's the baggage factor. In our teens and 20s, our hearts are like resilient little red rubber balls—sure, we get hurt, but we're still all bouncy and eager. By the time a person reaches, oh, say 30 or so, the heart has begun to sustain damage. It doesn't bounce like it used to; now it just kinda plops, and sometimes it thuds. Mending takes longer, and eventually a little shell begins to develop. The cheating boyfriend that would've bummed you out for a week at 20 can take a year to get over now. It sucks. And what sucks worse is that you're walking around trying to date other people who've also been damaged and are growing protective coatings over their hearts as well. It's a wonder anyone over 30 ever gets laid.

It would appear that you have done everything possible to meet Ms. Right, yet somehow she continues to elude you. So I suggest you relax. Perhaps you're trying too hard. Stop counting how many years it's been since you've been in love, and maybe ease up on the fix-ups for a while. Instead, fix yourself up and make yourself happy. People are attracted to confidence and happiness (except for psychos who like the brooding loner types, but those girls are best avoided). And yeah, I know I sound like motherfucking Pollyanna, but it's true.

Ninety-nine percent of the people who write me ask only how to meet someone to fall madly in love with. Here's the bad news: You already know the answer to that question. There is no lucky charm or surefire way to find love everlasting or even love with an expiration date. Of course it helps if you're attractive and witty, but I know tons of brilliant, beautiful women whose most satisfying relationships depend on the purchase of AA batteries. And since most of the people who write me are male, it seems an equal number of lovely men out there have developed feelings of devotion for dog-eared porno mags and hand lotion.

What it comes down to is luck and timing, so quit asking me about it. Instead, try to think of questions that I might be able to answer, or at least ones that are interesting and/or titillating. And keep those naked photos coming, please!

Titillating question? Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

 
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