Monday, October 31, 2011

Getting Back Into Dating Again

I have been asked about my upcoming book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. It’s a humorous memoir about my post-divorce experience in the dating world. Throughout the book, I share dating advice, which I call Babe Magnet Rules. But it’s a difficult book to explain, so I thought I would use this blog post to share an excerpt from the book.

This chapter is from early in the book, when I had just begun my single life. Here we go:

An Excerpt from Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet by Chad Stone
I just did something amazing. I approached a beautiful woman in public and had a nice conversation with her.

I was sitting alone at a restaurant near my apartment, eating at the counter where it’s OK to read the magazines without buying them. In walks an attractive middle-aged woman all by herself. I catch her eye as she sits at a table and then quickly surveys the room.

In the most casual, not-too-obvious way I watch her to see if anyone is going to join her. Apparently not.

All right, it’s pretty obvious that she knows I’m watching her. She takes off her denim jacket to reveal a black tank top and breasts that were not installed at the factory. They are perky and considerably younger than the rest of her body. Her hair is frosted blonde and her skin is pleasantly tanned.

She gets up from her table and walks right in front of me, pretending that she needs extra napkins RIGHT NOW before her food is delivered to her table. I watch her walk back to her table, and she looks over to make sure I’m watching her.

Nice. Very nice.

Well, we’re both checking each other out from a safe distance. Now what? I scan the restaurant again to see if anyone is going to join her.

In my youth, I was never a great pickup artist. Actually, I was never a pickup artist at all. Approaching a beautiful woman who I don’t know is not something that I have done in decades. It’s the worst, most frightening sort of cold call there is. I can make a business cold call, because I have a purpose and I have confidence in my business skills. But a cold call to pickup a beautiful woman? That’s completely out of my comfort zone.

Many years ago, I shared a bachelor pad with Pete, a friend from college who shared my appreciation for the female gender. We were both 21 or 22, single, and we had WAY more hormones than we knew what to do with.

Pete and I used to walk to the supermarket every Tuesday after work because we knew that a drop-dead gorgeous woman shopped there at the same time every week. She was tall and blonde and dressed smartly in a business jacket and a tight but not too-tight skirt. We surmised that she was a lawyer based on her attire and the businesslike precision with which she carried herself.

We used to follow her around through the store, hanging back so she wouldn’t notice us. I always felt that she was out of my league, so the closest I ever got to actually having a conversation with her was the one time I walked beside her and noticed that she had bought some fresh fish from the meat counter.

I couldn’t think of a thing to say. Finally I said, “Fish. I like fish.” She looked at me strangely, like I had just dragged myself out of the ocean and I was attempting to walk on land for the first time. I had no follow-up line, so I slinked away, dragging my tail fin behind me.

That was the first and last time I ever talked to the Lawyer Babe.

So, my history of picking up Babes is not long and impressive. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen an attractive woman that I didn’t talk to, I’d be listed right under Bill Gates in the Fortune 400 list of gadzillionaires.

Well, what the hell. I’m more than 50 years old and I’ve never heard of anyone dying from talking to a beautiful woman. Humiliated, for sure. But there is no known case of lightning bolts zapping a poor, unfortunate man who dared to talk to a woman that he didn’t know. I am quite sure that there is nothing in the Bible that specifically forbids it. There’s a commandment against adultery and against coveting thy neighbor’s wife, but there’s no commandment that says, “Thou shalt not talk to Babes.”

I have observed many Babe Magnets over the years. These studly men reek of self-confidence and never seem at a loss for words. When they see a Babe, they pounce. That’s because they know…

Babe Magnets always make the first move.

I take a deep breath. I’m going for it. I get up and walk to the Blonde Babe’s table.

As I walk across the restaurant, the room keeps getting larger. A little stroll that should have taken me just seconds is stretching longer and longer. After an hour I am still walking.

Then I am standing next to her and I am forced to speak.

“Excuse me, are you dining alone tonight?”


“Me, too. Do you mind if I join you?”

She smiles. She has perfect white teeth that are no older than her breasts. “Not at all,” she says in a pleasing tone of voice.

I go back to the counter, grab my plate and glass, and walk them over to her table. As I set them down I say, “Well, this is kind of weird, but I didn’t want to eat alone.”

If it’s weird for her, she doesn’t admit it. We start talking. Her name is Laura. She is a zookeeper. In my entire life, I’ve never met a real zookeeper. Her job gives us lots to talk about, and I ask her a lot of questions because I’m genuinely interested. I feel a little like the late Mr. Rogers, asking the zookeeper about all of the fascinating things she does because it needs to fill a whole segment of his show.

Laura takes care of the large, hoofed animals—everything from rhinos to antelopes. From what she says it’s a bizarre and wonderful job. She even taught the rhinos to stand on a huge scale. It took a whole year of work, but she did it. That’s the kind of story that would make a great quirky item on the local news.

But while I am talking to her, my mind is filling with inappropriate questions:

“Do you ever use whips at work? How about at home?”

“What’s the biggest snake you’ve ever gotten your hands on?”

“What do you do with the peacock feathers you find?”

“How many times have guys used a ‘Me Tarzan, you Jane’ line on you?”

“How often do zoo animals have sex?”

I have to focus really hard on our conversation to make all of the wild-animals-having-sex images leave my head.

I tell her a little bit about me and my work. It’s not as exciting as two massive rhinos going at it, but Laura seems mildly interested.

We talk for a while, and I find my eyes glancing at different parts of her body. Her arms are well toned and she is clearly vain enough to take pride in her body. And there are those wonderful, young perky breasts just waiting for a chance to breathe fresh air. Breasts must really hate to be trapped in bras all day where they can’t see the light of day.

How old is she? Somewhere in her early 50s. She has two kids, ages 33 and 31. If she had the first child when she was 18, she’d be 51 now.

She tells me that she’s expecting a friend to join her. I assume that it’s a female friend. I am dead wrong. Carl, a nice-looking bearded man, arrives and suddenly I go from feeling confident to feeling like I have invaded another man’s territory. Crap.

“We were both dining alone and decided to sit together,” I explain.

Carl is very gracious— probably more gracious than I would be in his situation.

The conversation at the table dies. It’s an awkward moment. Carl gets up to go back to the counter to order food, and I get up to find a take-out box to pack up what’s left of my fish and chips.

Laura and I chit-chat lightly while I package my food to go. I say “nice meeting you” and I leave them to their regularly scheduled rendezvous.

I didn’t get Laura’s last name or phone number, so there is no way for me to contact her again.

I think about her later in the evening when I’m back in my bachelor apartment. We had a pleasant conversation, but we didn’t spend enough time together to know if there could have been any magic between us.

It’s not like I closed the deal, but I made my first Babe Cold Call, and I feel good. I am proud of myself for having the guts to get up from my comfortable spot in the restaurant and join her. I actually approached a beautiful woman and proved that I could have a pleasant conversation. Sure, I bolted when her male friend showed up, but I still made first contact.

For the first time as a newly single man, I feel like I am going to do just fine in this brave new world of meeting new women.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What Do Men Want?

As men’s and women’s roles continue to change in our ever-changing world, some things never change. Men are still, on the whole, quite clueless about women. And women, even though they are less clueless, still don’t understand men.

Now that I’ve gotten your attention with the unvarnished, politically incorrect truth, let’s talk about what men want in women.

The following list appeared on, but I have edited it and made additional comments. OK, here we go!

• Men are looking for a love-interest. Surprised? Ask men what they really want, and they say love, not sex. Men like to love and they like being loved and appreciated in return.

• Men want a woman who is attractive to them. Yes, that seems like (to most women) that men are shallow if looks matter so much. But men aren't necessarily looking for a runway model. The typical man wants a woman who takes pride in her appearance. And men are proud of having a girlfriend who looks good.

• Men are seeking women who are feminine, gentle and kind because those qualities also make a woman a great mother. Not that a typical man needs mothering. But even if they aren’t ready for marriage right now, men seek the attributes in women that point to someone who would make a great mother to future offspring.

• Men appreciate women with a sense of humor. Women often come across as uptight or too bothered by too many small details. Life can be a pain in the… neck, and a healthy sense of humor about life (and yourself) is a great way to make it all more enjoyable. No guy wants to be stuck with an uptight, humorless woman.

• Men are looking for women who retain their femininity. If you’re a woman, don’t try to be “one of the boys.” Men have guy friends for that. Be a woman. Viva la difference!

• Men want someone who is supportive. Many women are quick to criticize men. This is a crucial mistake. The best relationships are mutually supportive, not overly critical.

• Men love a challenging woman, someone who keeps them on their toes. Men are not attracted to passive doormats. A woman who keeps him challenged is invigorating and exciting. (There’s a difference between “challenged” and “threatened” however, so don’t take it too far.) If you want to keep your man interested, keep him challenged with your spunkiness and your ability to keep your man from falling into a rut.

• Men want sex. No big news there, right? But here’s a major difference between men and women: men have sex to bond and fall in love, while women have sex after they have bonded and want to express their love.

• Men are looking for a trustworthy woman. She must be a person they can have faith in and someone who will be there for them.

• Men want to make a home eventually and are looking for a woman who will be a willing partner in home life. A basic level of domestic skills is attractive to most men. (Most men can use a little help in this department.)

• Men want a woman who will commit to them. Men want a girlfriend with whom they can share and trust. This isn’t a one-sided wish, though. Commitment is a two-way street.

• Most men want to get married. Eventually. They want to feel like successful, independent adults first, but ultimately most men DO want to get married. But they have to feel like it’s on their timeline. They don’t like to feel pressured into “tying the knot.” (By the way, I’m pretty sure that the expression “tying the knot” was invented by a man who was feeling pressured into getting married.)

To summarize, a typical man wants a fun-to-be-with, trustworthy, reliable, sexy, single woman with whom he can have a long term relationship.

Now, when it comes right down to it, that’s not much different from the “wish list” of the typical modern woman, is it?

For more ongoing comments about dating and relationships, read my posts on Click on Advice from Men and search for the Chad Stone stories.

That's it for now. The Middle-Aged Babe Magnet has left the building.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why Won’t Men Commit to a Relationship?

A study called “Why Men Won’t Commit: Exploring Young Men’s Attitudes About Sex, Dating and Marriage” examined the state of marriage in America from the male perspective. The study surveyed 60 single men between the ages of 25 to 33 northern New Jersey, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Houston.

Researchers explored men’s attitudes on sex, dating, meeting women, living together, marrying a soul mate, the timing of marriage, social pressures to marry, divorce, desire for children and more.

According to the study, here are some of the reasons that young men are not committing to marriage:

• They are more willing to live together than marry.
• They can get sex without marriage.
• They want to avoid the financial fall-out of divorce.
• They fear that marriage will require too many changes and compromises.
• They want to delay having children.
• They are reluctant to marry a woman who already has children.
• They are waiting for the perfect soul mate.
• They want to enjoy single life as long as they can.
• They want to own a house before they get a wife.

One of the things that this study revealed was that—unlike in earlier decades— there are no big social pressures on men to marry. As a result, men are delaying marriage. In 1960, half of all single men were married by 25 and the rest followed shortly thereafter. Today, the median age of a first marriage for men is 27. For college-educated men, it’s a year or two later—about age 29.

Here in the 21st century, anyone paying attention already knows that women are living with their boyfriends before they decide to get married. That way, both parties can see if they are compatible together. Experts say that half of all these live-in relationships eventually turn into marriages.

I think it is this new trend toward cohabitating that makes it SEEM like men are not willing to commit to a relationship. In fact, they ARE willing to commit to a relationship, it’s just that many men don’t see any benefits in turning their live-in girlfriends into wives. (Like Granddad always said, why buy the cow when you are already getting the milk for free.)

What do you think?