New York Erratic, who was probably snowbound when she wrote this, asked:
Another question (another life question): what’s different about dating when you’re older than dating when you’re a teenager?
You’re asking ME? I have no idea.
Let’s review my “dating” history:
High school: Hung out with a group of folks, and somehow, I’m going out with one of them. We break up, but another young woman in the group pursues me, and we’re soon a couple. She breaks up with me, but I was too tired/depressed to pursue anyone else.
College: The second day, I met the Okie, who I would marry less than a year later. We went on one date, to see Rosemary’s Baby, and we were a couple. After we split, I realized that I had lost any ability to recognize when a woman might be interested, though sometimes it’d hit me AFTER the fact. I spent the better part of three years in a monastic lifestyle, especially 1977. As they used to write, from a romance perspective: Worst. Year. Ever.
Schenectady 1978: I started gaining confidence as I’d go out, albeit briefly, with a couple of people. Met a woman at a party in August, and we went out on one date and ended up a couple off and on for five years.
I probably did go out on a few dates after I was 30, but I was never particularly comfortable asking women out. I remember there was this particular woman my late friend Nancy Sharlet really wanted me to go out with. I dutifully called more than once, but it just never happened.
Ended up in relationships with women I met at a party, at college, and at church, but dating, as I think of it, not so much. We’d hang out a lot, as friends, and it evolved.
I am SO happy not to have to think about dating, now that I’m married for nearly 15 years. Now The Wife and I DO go out on dates, but the success or failure of the relationship is not tied to them.
But that’s not what you asked. How has it changed? Online stuff. Creating online dating profiles. And they may already know more about you than you want them to know. You have a hard time hiding stuff. Where is the mystery?
I was watching this show Parenthood (NBC, Thursday nights) last month. In one episode, one character (over 40) has her sister-in-law Google her date, or rather her plus-one, because it’s really not a date. Another character, a young man, a freshman in college, is really into having a relationship but is caught up with this young woman who just likes to “hook up,” as they say, at least until his high school sweetheart shows up.
So it’s the times that are a-changin’. Not sure it’s a function of age, but rather evolving values and technology.