April 13, 2013

New Rules

I had been going out with Greg about six months, when I happened to glance at his shoulder. "Oh my God, did I give you that hickey?!" "Um, no, that was someone else." I was momentarily stunned.

Welcome to the world of middle-aged, post-divorced dating. A few decades ago when we wanted a boyfriend, hook-up, FWB or spouse, our options were constrained to people we actually knew. In fact, we were limited to people we had actually been in the same room with! We had no idea then how impoverished our choices were. Not being in a demographic that has grown up with computers and Internet access, we have run amok with the infinitude of options online.

For my age peers who shudder at the thought of online dating, I can only shrug and say there really aren't other options. Compared to other dangerous online activities, online dating is pretty benign. It is, by nature, transparent. Sure, anyone can post a photo from ten years ago or ten pounds ago, but eventually if you actually meet, this deception is quickly unmasked. In the olden days, when dating depended on actual location, you had to suffer the indignity of running into each other, or continuing to be cordial while in the same social circle. No more, thankfully. Dates than don't work out simply and quietly go away, never to be heard from again.

And what about Greg? It has been almost two years, and we still go out. A new wrinkle in the middle-aged dating scene is honesty. I realized I valued both that and his friendship too much to stalk back to my computer in a huff.

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