Letter to a prospective girlfriend

I was once asked to be blunt

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To whom it may concern,

I’m not “that guy”. The one who divorced you at 45. Or the one who abused you for your entire marriage. I didn’t break your heart (well okay, a couple of you, but you’re not talking to me anymore, so you won’t read this).

I also don’t want to be this guy. The one looking for a hookup. Or the one who will be your rescuer (see broken hearts comment above). I don’t wish to hurt you. And I don’t want to get hurt either.

I was married for almost 19 years. My wife died. Yes, she was still my my wife when that happened. Yes, I loved her. With all my heart. I always will. But I’ve done my time. I finished raising all four of my kids. Alone. I’ve no interest in raising anyone else’s.

I don’t want to support anyone but myself again. I don’t want to hang on to this job any longer than I have to, merely because it puts me in an attractive social strata. It’s made my life suck for more years than I care to remember.

I’m trying to set the bar low here. When you were 22 did you think the guy you were going out on a first date with would be moving in with you soon? To whisk you off to France for lunch? To send you romantic texts every 15 minutes for the rest of your life? Why would you expect something like that now?

I’m more romantic than most guys. But I’ve been bitten by expectations more than once. I don’t have enough consequential things to say to text you every day. Let alone several times a day. I’m not capable of making you feel safe and secure in a relationship if you’re not already feeling safe and secure.

If you don’t hear from me for a day or two, it doesn’t mean I’ve lost all interest. Or that I’m cheating on you. I DON’T DO THAT. It means anything I have to say would be boring work shit. That’s what people my age do, we work. And have very little time to do exciting stuff. And frankly, I’d rather do it with you than talk about it.

But I also need enormous quantities of alone time. Likely more alone time than you need. That’s who I am. If that’s unacceptable then I’m sorry. I’m not the guy for you.

I’m a good man. Yes, I’m good in bed (you can set the bar high here). I’ve been told I’m a great kisser. I can hold my own in almost any conversation. No, I’m not perfect. No, I’m not rich. I don’t intentionally hurt anyone (shit, I catch spiders and let them go outside). But I’m also not interested in being anyone’s everything. A good relationship doesn’t equal spending every moment of time together. It doesn’t even mean we spend most weekends together. Maybe someday, but that day doesn’t happen a couple of weeks or even months into a relationship. I’m low maintenance and I’m afraid I’ve no interest in anyone who’s “high maintenance” either. Not ever again.

Respectfully,

D.

Written by

father, motorcyclist, old retired guy who’s just a little lost on a blue marble corkscrewing its way to oblivion

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