Blog Talk

It’s been quite some time since my brief scare that my seasoned gentleman had come across my blog page (“He’s Following Me…” 9.03.17). Remember that I was nervous about how he would react to me and my blog given the fact that he is featured in the last few posts.

Though I was briefly relieved that he had no idea of my blog’s existence, I knew that it was time to tell him about it before he did actually find out on his own. I respected him and our relationship enough to tell him about it.
One day, a week after my scare, we were spending some time together. I don’t quite remember exactly what but something he said gave me the green light to open up a conversation about it.

“My novel isn’t the only writing that I do,” I had said to him. The look on his face was expectant, waiting for me to go on.
“Well,” I continued, “You know that I’ve been single for quite some time now and I always questioned why because it really bothered me. So I decided to start a blog about my single life, calling it The Reluctant Bachelorette. It’s about me being single and exploring why I’m single. It’s about my dating life and my thoughts about it all And the last few posts have been about you because you’re part of my dating life now.”
Whew! I was relieved that I finally told him but now I awaited his response. He listened carefully to what I said and when I finished, his mouth formed a slight smile and he said, “How can we market this into a script for television?”

I loved his response! And I greatly appreciated the fact that he was so cool about being featured in something to which he did not give his consent. I did assure him that I did not use his name nor did I mention where or how we met. I told him that nothing I wrote undermined him as a person. He wasn’t crazy about my calling him The Seasoned Gentleman but he was still a good sport about it.

I expected him to immediately look it up and start to read it but he continued our light conversation and didn’t bring it up again until a few days later.

We were on our way home from the beach one afternoon when he asked me about it. I took the opportunity to read to him the posts in which he was featured. He listened carefully as I read, laughing at the appropriate times and commenting on what I’d written (he was very impressed with himself when I read about my pounding heart as he reached in to kiss me on our first date). I paused often to ask him if he was okay with what he was hearing about himself. He assured me he was, pointing out that my blog is very much about myself and my experiences and he was just an added character I used in order to tell my story. He did, however, cringe every time I mentioned the seasoned gentleman and any time I referred to his age. But when I was all done, he told me he really liked it and he liked my writing style.

Once again, I was excited to finally have my “secret” exposed. Knowing that he was so cool about it was another thing that made me feel like this guy was so great. And I gotta say, I felt so lucky to be spending so much time with him. I felt a little closer to him at that point. I was enjoying my time with him and finally not concerning myself with thoughts of what I wanted from the relationship. But was I kidding myself? There was still the other “secret” I was keeping to myself…

He’s Following Me…

I was working on a paper for my on-line class when I noticed an indication on my cell phone: someone had just started following me on Instagram. Wait a minute. It wasn’t just someone; it was my seasoned gentleman! My heart dropped, my breath grew uncontrollable, and my body broke out into an extreme hot flash. I panicked. I immediately sent him a text, desperately wishing to distract him away from my blog: “Hey!” No response. Why didn’t he respond? What was he doing? Was he on my bachelorette blog? What if he was reading it? What was he thinking about me? Would he be upset that I was writing about him without his knowledge?

STOP! Let me backtrack! I’ve been writing on this platform about my single life for about two and a half years now. I don’t divulge this information to any of the men that I’ve dated because, frankly, it’s none of their business. If you’ve been following along, you’d know that they don’t even stick around that long anyway. So what does this blog have to do with my Instagram account? Every time I write a new post on my blog, I promote it on my Instagram page. I post flattering pictures of myself with “” blatantly sprawled across the image. That is why I panicked when my guy started following me. I was sure he’d take notice of at least one of these images and curiously check my site out only to read about something I’ve never shared with him.

Now, honestly, it surprised me how much I actually cared about what he thought about me, my blog and how I’ve included him in it. But sure enough, when he didn’t respond, I had to seek the immediate comfort and advice of my sister. I called her and told her what happened and she was so generous to offer ways in which I could approach the subject. She made suggestions about what to say to assure him that my blog is about my dating experiences and is not meant to put a spotlight on the man I’m currently dating.

And as my sister was suggesting that I emphasize my blog as my source of therapy, he sent me a text of a sexual nature. He was flirting with me!

The relief was immediate! He was not really an Instagrammer so maybe he didn’t even look through my page. It seemed that he was following me, but he really wasn’t. We flirted back and forth via text for awhile before I was sure that I could resume what I was doing before my initial scare.

While my heart was settled for the moment, I realized that he could, at any time, begin reading my posts about him…

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A Needed Discussion

Children- to discuss having them or not. At a certain age, that truly is the question. If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you’d know that I’ve been seeing a man of a certain age for the past few weeks. And if you’ve been following me from the beginning, you’d know that having children is a dream of mine. Since I started seeing the seasoned gentleman, we’ve spoken of children very, very briefly. Based on the little he’s said, I get the feeling that he feels his chance at having kids has passed. Why don’t I just ask him, right? I’ve always been of the mind that any man I’m involved with needs to know my intentions immediately. So why have I been skirting around the issue with him? At my age, I feel like I don’t have that luxury. Fear and anxiety have kept me from having this discussion with him. Fear of maybe him telling me something I may not want to hear and anxiety about talking about something as heavy as having children. Is it fair of me to ask a man who’s on the verge of retiring to think about having children?

My cousins and sister tell me not to think so much about all of that but to simply enjoy him and my time with him. But I feel like I’ve done that many times before and look where I am now- still single and childless! Yet if I continue down this path of wondering about children and never discussing it with him, I may indeed miss out on all the fun I’m having by keeping a proverbial dark cloud over my experiences with him. Should I simply do my best to enjoy my time with him and let the discussion of children organically occur? Or should I deliberately bring it up to him because of its importance to me? This is what I continue to struggle with.

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An Apprehensive Decision

Yes, I’ve continued to see the man on several occasions during the following weeks, despite my being apprehensive. We’ve delighted in walks together and impromptu decisions to go to the movies. We’ve enjoyed meals together from nice restaurants to even savoring a slice of pizza from an amazing neighborhood hole-in-the-wall. We went shopping for bathing suits together before we laughed at ourselves for being unable to find his car in the mall parking garage. After 20 minutes of searching (and before exiting the garage), we celebrated its discovery in a very hot make-out session. We’ve enjoyed the sweltering sun and cool breeze at three different Long Island beaches. Discussions about our families, our creative works, and our past relationships have allowed us to get to know each other better. We laugh together, telling silly jokes and making fun of others when the situations beg for it. This gentleman seems to enjoy my company as much as I enjoy his.

And all the while, the one thing that consistently remains on my mind is the fact that this man is 61 years old. As we walk hand in hand, I imagine what we must look like together. He mentioned once that walking with me made him look good. He also supposedly detected men of his age looking at him curiously, as if to question how he ended up with a woman who looked like me. I, on the other hand, avoid eye contact with anyone else but him. Something inside of me is still bothered by his age. Believe me, I take no pleasure in this.

Everything we experience together is fun and light and filled with positive energy. But I keep clouding it with thoughts of him being too old for me. I keep having to remind myself that this is nothing new. Although it is generally the case that men are usually older than their female counterparts in a relationship, it is not as common to see much older men with much younger women. However, I am reminded of the fact that Catherine Zeta-Jones, Calista Flockhart, and Celine Dion are just a few of many women who married men significantly older than they are. I’m not trying to say that I will marry this man but if these women are so comfortable with their choices, what makes me so apprehensive to enjoy my decision of being with an older man?

What is my problem? I’ve never had to question whether he really likes me or not because he has made it clear. In early June, he booked tickets to go to Paris and later expressed his desire for me to join him there. Since then, he’s invited me to his family reunion later on this month. Isn’t that a big deal? His family, ladies and gentlemen, which include all of his sisters and his twin brother. When was the last time a man wanted me to meet people who were significant in his life? He has even invited me to an old friend’s upcoming barbecue. The man does not seem to want to hide me but rather, proudly embrace me as his current companion. That’s one of the biggest compliments I can think of. And here I am, letting my perception of what age means and what people may think prevent me from truly basking in the attention that this man is giving me. I seem to be foolishly letting that prevent me from having the great experiences that I can possibly share with him.

And then, there is the other thing that we have not yet even confronted . . .


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The Seasoned Gentleman

I made it very clear to myself after I dated the Puerto Rican; I promised myself that with the next man I dated, I would not be kept a secret. Well, it seems that I’m the one who is now struggling with whether to keep this new man a secret or not.

As you may recall from my previous post (“An Unexpected Interest” 7.8.17), I decided to accept a dinner invitation with a man who I thought was over ten years my senior. It wasn’t until during that date that I learned he was actually even older. Looking upon him now, I can see that he does look like a seasoned gentleman whose good looks were slowly giving way to his age.

I asked him his age, prepared for 56, maybe even 57 or 58. But the words came out of his mouth in a slurred and dramatic slow motion effect. Six-ty-one. My heart sank a little. Sixty-one years old? I didn’t know how to react to that. What was I doing with this man? How did I allow myself to get swept into the charms of a man who was old enough to be a grandfather?

I sat across from him in the quaint little Italian restaurant he’d chosen, and was impressed with the confident way in which he crossed one leg over the other, slightly reclined in his chair. He spoke of interesting experiences of his past and the people who made colorful appearances in it. I liked him; I found him attractive and I liked his style. He was engaging, funny, and smart. So what he was so much older? That shouldn’t have mattered, right?

We both agreed that the polenta we ordered as an appetizer was absolutely delicious. However, we were as equally dissatisfied with the overcooked calamari that was presented to us only moments later. So we decided to enjoy dinner at a Thai restaurant about one block away. We continued our conversation and it was seamless. I liked hearing him talk and when I spoke, I felt like he was really engrossed in what I had to say. He excused himself to use the restroom after the satisfying meal and upon his return, he didn’t take his seat across from me. Instead, he sat directly next to me, admitting that it was a bold move on his part in doing so. “It was a smart move,” I said, encouraging him as I moved my purse from between us. My heart pounded. He pulled himself so close to me and softly kissed me. It was absolutely lovely. Between kisses, he whispered, “There is no man anywhere in the world I would trade places with right now.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s all he had to say to win my favor that night. When the waitress handed us the check without even presenting a dessert menu, we knew we had to make a third stop somewhere else to enjoy something sweet. And so we did. Not only did we enjoy the desert but we enjoyed each other’s company; we made each other smile, we made each other laugh. It was indeed a successful first date.

So why did his age still haunt me as we walked hand in hand down the streets? Why did I concern myself with what others might think of us as they looked upon us? There I was, this small black woman who looked years younger than she actually was, holding hands with a tall white gentleman who I felt looked old enough to be her father. Why did I concern myself with the way others might perceive us? This was something that I struggled with all the days of the following week, because I did continue to see him again and again…

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