Sex is easy to find, but actual dates? Not so much.
I've tried a little of everything, from social groups to bars to relationship-oriented dating sites. I'm not sure that any one method is better than the others. What seems to be most important is to be proactive about meeting new people. Finding someone is mostly a numbers game.
What sucks for me is that my numbers are horrible.
Over the last few weeks I have proactively contacted ten different 40-something guys on a dating site and asked if they'd be interested in meeting for coffee or a drink. Nine of them ignored me.
I haven't tried, but my guess is that if I asked ten different guys on Grindr to come over for a hook-up I'd have much more success. I say that because I consistently get more attention on Grindr than I ever have on a traditional dating site.
What's up with that?
I really wish I could have a few coffee dates just to find out. The kind of men I'm hunting - (supposedly) relationship-oriented, single, urban gay men over the age of 40 - are largely a mystery to me. I don't understand what makes them tick or why they do what they do. I certainly don't understand why they have an active profile on a dating site if they don't want to meet for coffee.
Of course I spend a lot of time blaming myself. Do all 40-something guys have a 90% rejection rate (and counting...) or am I just that undesirable?
Why can't I look more like Matt Damon?
I'd be practically suicidal by now if it wasn't for Grindr. Thankfully the hook-up crowd doesn't ignore me.
The thing is...how can I be good enough to want to fuck but not good enough to have coffee with?
Although every rejection makes me feel more discouraged, the good news is that I am developing a thicker skin. I now fully expect to be rejected.
The other 'good' news is that I still have plenty of guys I can ask out. Which is what I intend to do. I'll keep asking, they'll keep ignoring me and eventually I'll switch to a new dating site where I can repeat the process all over again. Fun!
On a more positive note, one guy did agree to meet. He was actually the first guy I asked so that was a short-lived ego boost.
I picked him first because he was in the middle of my list. I thought it would be wise to start with a no-pressure practice date. Mark was good practice. He's four years older, very nice and easy to talk with. We didn't have any romantic chemistry but he very graciously invited me to a hors d'oeuvres / dinner out event that he and his roommates host weekly - a perfect event for me. It's like coffee with a bunch of new people without having to ask.
The week after we met, I took Mark up on his dinner-out offer and met four of his friends. How should I describe them? They were odd. An Asian Steve Erkel, a 'professional' massage therapist (aka Gay with No Job), a curmudgeonly senior, and, the most interesting of all, the biggest stoner I've met since high school. Practically every sentence he said had something do with getting high or smoking pot.
In addition to the one date with Mark, I've been pinged a few times - all by guys who are 5 or more years older.
Last weekend I met one guy, Nick, a 52yo. I was pretty indifferent about meeting him until he told me that he came out of the closet at 40. I figured that even if we had no chemistry I could at least learn from his experiences.
Nick has never been married. In fact, the longest relationship he's ever had, with a man or a woman, is three years. I can see why; he's someone who blends into the background. A 'nice guy.' I feel bad for him.
Our date was brunch. The entire time we were in the restaurant we had to share a table with a straight couple. Although our conversation never lagged it was awkward having the straights there; neither of us felt free to talk openly. Because I really wanted to hear about his experiences dating men, when we finished eating, I suggested that we walk. Which we did for more than an hour.
Unfortunately, Nick's experiences with men were pretty meager. When I tried to get him to explain the mystique of the urban, relationship-seeking 40-something homo, he was as clueless as me.
The most 'exciting' part of the date happened when he said he wanted to kiss me. Until he said that, the possibility of kissing him had never entered my mind. Then he actually tried to do it - but I turned away. Awkward!
All I could think to say was, "I'm not ready for that."
After the aborted kiss we walked and talked for another 20 minutes, but I couldn't stop feeling traumatized. How do you nicely tell a seldom-loved guy that you don't want to kiss him?
Since meeting we've emailed back and forth a number of times but I remain very conflicted about what to do. It feels good to be wanted after being rejected by Gabbie. Likewise it feels good to be wanted after being rejected by guy after guy. I really crave being wanted. But I have no natural romantic feelings for him. I know I could learn to enjoy making out with him, but is that what I should be doing? Learning to enjoy it?
Maybe when I reach my 100th rejection in a row I'll think more seriously about 'letting' someone grow on me. Until then, I'm not beaten down enough to consider the idea.
OK, I just got an email that says "an exceptionally good match" is checking me out!
I wonder if it's anyone interesting. Drum roll please while I check....
Another admirer from the "73 years young!" crowd.
Really, it's amazing that I'm still single.