A companion for the road ahead

Last Monday I went on my first date for I don’t know how long. For much of the last few years I’ve been signed up to one of the internet dating sites, and though I get a steady stream of women expressing interest, I’ve not met one of them all this time because either I was too embarrassed, or couldn’t afford to go out, or told myself in the circumstances I couldn’t devote the time and mental effort to do justice to a budding relationship.

So what changed? The woman I met was pleasant, but no more so than many others I might have gone out with. She was not special in any regard, I didn’t feel an irresistible pull to her. What changed was the timing. She contacted just when I was ready to say yes.

There’s always plenty of reasons to say no, and they may be legitimate and reasonable, but there’s the risk that you’ll never find the reason to say yes again. To an extent that’s what I felt. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge. In this case it coincided with a move to a new home. If not now, then when?

This time then, I responded. She was a woman in her early forties, moderately attractive if her photo was anything to go by, and moderately interesting. She claimed she found me – and my story (which I’ve ‘fessed up to online) – fascinating. I was candid with her. You’re the first person I’ve agreed to date for yonks, I wrote to her. I explained, half tongue in cheek, that I had gone through a long post-dating phase. When she wanted a deeper explanation of what I meant I told her I’d explain to her over breakfast.

We met at a cafe in Sandringham. She was nice, the conversation flowed, but from early on I realised we were different people, with different outlooks and expectations. That’s how it goes – hard to find the person who ticks even most of the boxes, let alone all.

We spoke afterwards and she explained that I was too young at heart for her. I was surprised at that, but she explained that her tribulations had aged her. Though I’ve been put through the wringer more than once, in her eyes I remain young at heart. I was flattered, and on reflection think it’s a reflection of a positive outlook. Attitude counts for everything. We spoke honestly over breakfast. I told her my story, more or less, and she opened up with hers. She’s still struggling, and while in a practical sense I remain under the pump, I remain optimistic. I have belief. This I expressed.

We agreed that was it, but I signed off wondering how bad can it be when someone is too young at heart? That’s her journey I guess, and I have mine.

I’ve set myself on this course now. I haven’t disabled my online account, but my preference would be to meet someone in a more old-fashioned way. I have many female acquaintances who exclaim whenever they meet me how lovely I am and how they know so and so who would be just perfect for me. I’ve always resisted that, mostly from stubborn male pride.

Times have changed. I’m smarter than I was, or is it just more desperate? In any case I’m putting the word out, and I’m ready to take these kind people up on their offers. Let’s see where it leads. It would be nice to have someone beside me on the road ahead.

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