Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Do Women Want?

I had the opportunity to ask two attractive middle-aged women what they want in a man. What is it that they are looking for?

Instead of telling me that they want good looks or financial stability, they said they were attracted to a man with confidence.

That's right, confidence.

Confidence turns them on. They love it when a man is confident enough to approach them in a restaurant or a bar or standing in line at Starbucks. They love it when a man has the confidence to say "hi" and strike up a conversation.

No rehearsed "pick-up" lines. No over-the-top arrogance. Just good old-fashioned confidence in being the kind of man that a woman would want to talk to.

Maybe that can explain why gorgeous women are sometimes seen with not-so-gorgeous men. It's the confidence, baby.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sometimes the Middle-Aged Babe Magnet gets emails. Here's a recent one:

Dear Love Doctor:

There's that old sage about "third date sex." What do you think of
that? I know you were talking about being puzzled because you were on, like,
a 5th date and you hadn't had sex yet.

And (okay, I blush here, but I really do wanna know) but is it weird for
grownups to make out and with some pleasant groping and perhaps bare some
flesh on the second date or so and NOT go all the way? Or is it like college
and okay--you wanna do as much as possible but aren't ready to commit to sex

You seem to be the one sane straight male who I'm not dating that I can talk
to about this.

Sign me--

Wondering About Grown-up Sex in Nebraska

Dear Wondering About Sex:

Of course you're wondering about sex in Nebraska, since the average Nebraskan only has sex three times a year-- birthday, Valentine's Day and "Honey Got a Little Tipsy Day" (which is a random day that changes every year).


I used to think third-date sex was pretty standard for liberal, open-minded adults. Now I don't think there is a standard. It's all over the map.

I met somebody in a bar two weeks ago and went home with her that night. On the other hand, I just had date #8 (I think, maybe it was 7) with a Middle-Aged Babe I will call Marie-- and no sex. There isn't any rule. It seems to be different for everyone.

I can tell you from personal experience that some women seem to want to work up to sex. Date 2 might be passionate kissing. Date 3 might be passionate kissing and heavy above-the-waist fondling (sometimes with above-the-waist clothing removed). Date 4 might be below-the-belt fondling and playing. Date 5 might be naked intercourse (hooray!). There is nothing wrong with working up to The Big One. In fact, it can be fun. The anticipation can be delicious.

I hope that answers your questions. If not, please as a more specific follow-up question and The Love Doctor/Middle-Aged Babe Magnet will be happy to answer it.

Happy dating!

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti

A woman named Giulia Melucci has a new book out called I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. It’s a memoir about her dating life, but the hook is it also has recipes of some of the dishes that she has cooked for the men in her life.

I am very jealous of Ms. Melucci because not only did she get her book published by a big-time publishing company, she has already gotten stories about her book (and her life) in USA Today and the New York Times. It turns out that Giulia has also worked in publishing and has done p.r. for authors, so she’s very well connected.

I read the first few pages of her book on, and then I Googled her and found her address in Brooklyn. So, more for a lark than anything, I wrote her a postcard:


I love your book and I love your sense of humor! I will fly across the country if you will cook a pasta dinner for me. I’ll bring a great bottle of red wine. Check your schedule and let me know what works for you! -- RDS (and my email address)

Will she respond? Well, I would. If she doesn’t email me back, I have her home phone number. I may have to call her!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Three Strikes and She's Out

I have been seeing a woman named Michele, and I thought things were going well. But she has not responded to two text messages I sent her on Monday, nor has she returned my phone call from last night.

I wrote to my friend Ms. V. to get her opinion on Michele’s unresponsiveness. This was her comment:

"Re Michele: Not returning calls and text messages, as you know, is very bad. (Not to mention really rude.) It’s more commonly found in men, don’t you think, than women, who usually have a much higher level of “connectivity?” If it were me (and it HAS been me! ;-) ), I would just write her off. If she doesn’t have the common decency to even shoot you a quick email apologizing for being swamped, forget about her. Wasted effort. She doesn’t deserve you, by golly!"

Shit. Deep in my heart I already knew that. But I REALLY LIKE Michele. I was hoping she would be somebody special. But her rudeness/insensitivity/lack of common courtesy is not acceptable. It’s time to write her off.

In fact, Michele is behaving like a man. After the initial attraction, she has reached the “is he/she really what I’m looking for” point of the dating relationship, and she has pulled back. She has gone incommunicado, and there’s no way for me to know why.

Oh, cruel, cruel fate! Oh woe is me! What have I done to deserve this? Of all the injustices served up by a heartless world, can there be anything more painful? This is the cruelest form of Instant Karma imaginable. Michele was going to be THE ONE! I was willing to put aside all other dates and focus all of my attentions on her. She was going to be the object of my affections, the recipient of all of my passions. I had already begun to construct the pedestal that she would stand upon when I worshipped her. And then she DOES THIS TO ME!

Yes, she is behaving like a man and I am reacting like a woman. But WHAT ELSE am I to do? She does not know the pain she is inflicting upon me. She does not know that I think of her dozens of times a day. I pick up my cell phone every 15 minutes to see if I have somehow missed her call, even though I have been staring at the phone the entire time.

Michele and I went out on five dates together. Count ‘em, FIVE. That’s enough time spent together to know that we were growing closer. Weren’t we behaving like a COUPLE on our last date? Didn’t she grab me by the hand and lead me through a crowded club for all the world to see that we were TOGETHER? Didn’t she snuggled up to me and kiss me and tell me she had a great time?

Then what, in God’s name happened?

I must call all of my female friends and spend hours on the phone rehashing every single moment and getting their fervent input. We must talk about every detail of our five dates. All of the time she spent gazing into my eyes as I regaled her with stories of adventures and humorous anecdotes.

We laughed, we ate fine food, we drank fine wine, we held hands, we kissed playfully and passionately. WHAT WENT WRONG?

Perhaps I should drive over to her house and knock on her door and find out what’s going on. No, I don’t want to appear too needy. That’s a definite turn-off. So maybe I should park my car down the street from her house and just watch when she comes and goes. It wouldn’t be spying, really. I just want to make sure that she’s all right. Maybe she’s sick. Maybe she’s slipped on the wet bathroom floor and hit her head and she’s unable to reach her phone to return calls or send text messages.

OK, my rule has always been three strikes and you’re out. I make three attempts to contact a woman, and if I don’t hear from her, I move on. But shouldn’t I make an exception for someone that I really like? Instead of three strikes and she’s out, maybe if I give her four balls before I take a walk? What about that? That would mean that I could call her one more time.

No. NO NO NO NO NO! Don’t be a goddam weenie. Suck it up and move on.

Babe Magnet Rule #17:
When a woman dumps you, get over it and find your balls. You’re going to need them someday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dating and Kids

I just got back from the weirdest date. I went out with two females—K. and her 11-year-old daughter.

The plan was for us to go for a picnic dinner and then go for a nature hike. The weather didn’t cooperate, though. The windy spring season has begun, so we opted to eat outside at the table in K.’s backyard. We ate cold salmon, soy bean salad, picked beets (yuck) and a few other things for dinner. We ate off paper plates, holding the plates down so they wouldn’t blow away in the wind.

K.'s daughter, being an attention-starved tween, kept jumping on the trampoline in the backyard while K. and I were trying to eat and talk. Having an 11-year-old along on a date makes for a very different dynamic, let me tell you.

K. and I retreated into the house to get out of the wind. She sat down on a chair in the living room, leaving me to sit across from her on the couch. We talked, but mostly about her daughter and her ex, who is behind on his child support. Not exactly romantic date conversation.

It became very clear to me that K. wants a male presence in her life—but largely for her daughter's benefit. (And to give K. a break from the 24/7 job of being a parent.) Already K. is sizing me up as a potential stepfather.

One of the things I enjoy about mid-life dating is the sexual tension of “are we going to kiss on this date?” and “how far will she let me go tonight before she offers resistance?”

With K., there has been none of that delicious tension. We haven’t had a romantic date, so we haven’t had the opportunities to touch each other tentatively to see how comfortable we are. There have only been hugs of greeting and goodbye.

Tonight I felt like I was on an extended job interview. Maybe that’s what all dates are, but in this case I didn’t have to impress just one woman, I had to impress her daughter, too. I’m a great dad to my own (now grown-up) kids, so I know how to along with children. But I resented having to pass the “dad” test before I even know if there is any chemistry between me and K.

After tonight, a single woman without children looks very good to me, indeed.

How about you? What's your experience with dating and kids?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hello, and Welcome to My Life

Here I am, middle-aged and single. Sound familiar? It should.

According to the US Census Bureau (2007), there are more than 15 million divorced Americans between the ages of 40 and 64. Add those who are separated and those who never married, and there are more than 27 million single men and women in their middle years.

To put that into perspective, 27 million people is more than the populations of Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska and Nevada—combined.
That’s a lot of single old farts.

When I got married at the relatively tender age of 24, I assumed that I’d be married for the rest of my life. But like so many baby boomers, I did not choose to stay married to the same spouse. In my case, it was me who wanted out of the marriage.

So, after a quarter century of being a husband, I suddenly found myself single again. I was totally lost. Even if I had remembered how to be a single man, I was now nearly 30 years older and the world had completely changed.

As a newly single middle-aged man in the 21st century, I was faced with bizarre new terms like “” and “speed dating.” I had to figure out what I was supposed to do on a Saturday night. I had to learn the rules of dating. Had they changed? Did men still ask women out? Was it now OK for women to call men? When was it acceptable to kiss a woman and not risk a sexual harassment lawsuit? Would I ever get laid again?

Without giving too much of the story away, suffice it to say that, yes, I got laid again. In fact, I learned how to make new friends and engage strangers in playful conversation. I gave myself permission to try new things. I took dancing lessons. I bought a mountain bike. I joined a support group and met wonderful men who became my friends. I sought out opportunities to meet wonderful women, and some of them became my lovers. In the process, I learned a lot about myself and what I really wanted for the rest of my life.

I still believe that it is never too late to start again and it’s never too late to meet your soul mate. And along the way, you can have a really good time.

Lest you think that I was able to reinvent my life and find happiness because I am somehow special or fantastically handsome, let me describe myself. Trust me, no woman ever mistook me for Brad Pitt or Pierce Brosnan.

My hair has thinned in some places and vanished in others due to the dreaded curse of Male Pattern Baldness. Consequently, I have given up on having hair at all and shaved my head in resignation. Given the choice of little hair, fake hair or no hair, I have decided to proudly follow in the footsteps of other courageous bald men and flaunt it.

You know the old saying, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Well, my head looks like a giant lemon and I’m proud of it. I don’t own a comb or a blow dryer. When the wind gusts and everyone else’s hair goes ballistic, I make a joke and say how much I hate it when that happens (while trying to fix my imaginary hair). Lemonade, baby.

I stand six feet tall on size 12 feet, and I tip the scale at 185 pounds. I am vain enough to consider myself handsome, but realistic enough to know that I have never had the striking good looks that turn a woman’s head when I walk into a room.

My nose is too big and my chin is too small, but I strive to make up for that with a frequent smile, a positive attitude and a friendly demeanor.

I enjoy good health and I take care of my body. I eat sensibly well, but I also indulge in desserts and alcoholic beverages when so inclined. I dress in nice, conventional clothes, most of which I bought on sale. (I mean, really, why would anyone pay full retail price? That’s just dumb.) I live alone in my own heavily mortgaged house and drive a seven-year-old BMW sedan that I bought used earlier this year.

In a room full of people I do not stand out because of my looks, my behavior or my attire. I am, in virtually every way, an unexceptional middle-class, middle-aged divorced American man.
And yet, somehow, I have become a Babe Magnet.

This blog will follow my unfolding story. And I would love to hear your ongoing stories, too.