Baggage Claim

I've been divorced for seven years and dating on and off. I thought finding that special someone would be easier since men my age (late 40s) are more mature. WRONG! If anything, it's so much harder.

These guys have more rotten baggage than the inside of a whore's handbag.

Here are the main excuses I've been offered:

1. "I've been hurt so many times." Well, no duh! At this age, who hasn't? Grief is OK for a while, but after a couple of decades, don't you think it's time to pick up and move on?

2. "I still have feelings for my ex." Kill me now.

3. This is the real cherry. "You have too much going on in your life." I wish. I do have two kids, three cats, and aging parents, but I have tons of free time. That one baffles the hell out of me.

I consider myself a good gal. Down-to-earth, loyal, low maintenance, and giving. I know that I can't change men. I'm always willing to move on and give someone else a fair chance. All I can do is just be me. But I resent the assumption that I will behave exactly as the emotional vampire before me.

Are these excuses really just excuses, or do these guys need a heart laxative? Are they a "dump warning" or a very popular emotional issue with men? Are they a smoke screen to cover the fact that they just want to use women for sex but feel guilty about it? What I would like, want, need is a good comeback for my current man, who is basically a good human being but is excuse No. 1. Please give me a witty response.

Thanks,

Donna

By even deigning to offer a reply—witty or not—to these jokers, you are selling yourself short. Men who claim to be still hung up on their exes and too "damaged" (snore) to get involved with anyone else and/or are threatened by a lady with a life are not worth the trouble it takes to unbutton your blouse.

A curt "buh-bye" is the best any of these guys should get out of you. Anything more smells like you're trying to argue your way into his heart. And that would be foolish, wouldn't it?

But we ladies can't just leave it at that, can we? I know I never could. In fact, I'm starting to feel a little flush and nauseous as I think back on how many times I tried to talk some loser into liking me. Gulp. When the fact was, these transparent excuses were offered up because the men in question were too frightened or polite to tell me the truth: They liked me enough to fuck me once or twice, but not enough to make a habit of it.

The worst was the guy who I'd been dating for a while (and who I really liked!) who fled minutes after the first time we had sex, claiming an allergy attack. When I didn't hear from him for a week (and then only heard because I called him!), it should've become apparent that he'd had an allergic reaction to my naked body. But since he wouldn't admit that was the case (claiming instead that he "couldn't give me what I wanted"), I continued to throw myself at him, until, well . . . I'm too mortified to continue this story.

Men are nutty—I have no clue what drives them. My friend Travis was convinced he could never fall in love with any woman who didn't have naturally red hair. I tried to argue him out of his stupidity, but it wasn't until he married a brunette that he conceded that perhaps he'd been mistaken.

The bottom line is, any man who offers up an excuse like the ones you've cited doesn't deserve to rent any more time in your head (or your panties). It doesn't really matter what his motivation is—whatever it is, you lose—but I'm betting that fear plays a big part. Despite what you might think, men will do just about anything to avoid confrontation with an angry woman. Which is why so many take the weasel's way out. These guys may look big and strong, but throw a screaming broad in their path, and they're back in diapers.

Don't make excuses. Write Dategirl at dategirl@seattleweekly.com or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

 
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