Rules of Engagement

I shall document the days that follow, not for future generations, but for the men and women who now find themselves in a similar circumstance as the kind I am facing now.

Fortunately, I have friends of both genders and a variety of ages to educate me in the changes that have occurred in the world of…dating.

Being removed from the dating scene for 29 years by the bonds of holy matrimony, I kept myself under house arrest for the two years that followed my leaving to make sure I had sorted through the contents of my heart and mind. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t perpetuate any behavior that would turn my life into an endless Ground Hog Day.

It’s a fact that no matter what else changes, you take yourself where ever you go.

So when I told my friends I was no longer afraid to let myself date, I got plenty of advice. The first of my three besties has been on a campaign to get me to create an online dating profile. She even went as far as to create a fake profile to show me who was out there, and I was astonished to see they all fell into one of three categories…

Young enough to raise, too old to care for themselves, and are you kidding me.

I got as far as a user name and password, which made her very proud of me, and then I said, “Oh hell no”. She did still give me massive credit for going that far so I’m good, and she did teach me a lot of acronyms that made my hair stand on end and pulled the plug on 99% of the sites I saw. She keeps me in the know.

My second bestie suggested church groups for singles which made me want to hug her so hard because she loves me so much that she wasn’t even thinking how stressful that would be for the church-going fellow. I’m a bit too expansive, too open-minded, and too much of a seeker to be anything but a calamity in that type of a hook-up. I’ve studied all religions and attach myself to none. What I know and experience spiritually is always open to questions and new knowledge as it is revealed. She is such a kind and amazing person, I wouldn’t ruin her cred by taking her up on that. She keeps me grounded.

I’m pretty sure God nodded her head and agreed with me when I made this call.

My third bestie pretty much rolls with whatever comes and expects me to keep her up to date and let her know when I figure this shit out. She’s been with me through multiple acts of God (floods), the loss of our homes (floods), and loss of our spouses (death and divorce). She doesn’t give advice, we have round table discussions, and I venture forth and report my findings. She keeps me real.

Apparently I need to update my competence to match my confidence when it comes to today’s dating practices. My DIL was willing to take me dancing when I wanted to go but had to school me on the new rules of never leaving your drink unattended, what it means now when a guy buys you a drink, and how some kinds of dancing would cause me to possibly injure the other party for going where he wasn’t invited. Needless to say, we decided not to go there.

Whew. I am perplexed as how to continue, but I will persevere.

I have considered the idea of creating a site that combines youth and experience, romance and wild-ish, intelligence and laughter, with a healthy dose of reality. Conversation, fun, adventure and a touch of drama where appropriate.

There must be others like me out there saying “WTF?”.

I should start a podcast, take it to the people. There is a world between the unsolicited dick pics, DTFs and the graveyard shift. I know it in my heart. My people are out there.

I must find them.


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