I met Peter on Match and he was at the high end of my age range at 55 years old. He had a very nice background and profile and we seemed to have more than enough in common to start a conversation.
He was chatty and well-spoken in text and we connected easily.
Then the red flags started, one at a time and far to obvious. I should have stopped when the flags started popping up, but I was curious to meet him. His job was fascinating and he was really engaging. I figured, at least, he would be entertaining.
He started talking about his vacation after a particular work project had finished and we exchanged thoughts on places we wanted to visit on our bucket lists. This was fun as we both liked travel and had a lot to discuss. Soon after he began sending me photos of the location he choose and I “oohed and aahed” appropriately. Then he said something along the lines that the vacation would be so much better if a romantic partner came along. While I agreed, I didn’t actually engage. He tried multiple times to pull me into a conversation about lounging by the pool and lingering mornings in bed and I simply skirted a full-on discussion that would lead to a sexual interpretation.
Then he began to talk about how we could meet in the city and explore hotels together. While the conversation was fine because that was how we would meet if we should go further, I once again avoided any discussion of the luxury sheets on the bed or room service.
More than once I mentioned to him he had a once track mind and he would say “I meant watching TV together in bed, silly” He certainly wasn’t aggressive in his commentary or too pushy, but the undercurrent was there and I wasn’t engaging. It did eventually begin to annoy me that he couldn’t seem to get off the topic and on to something worth discussing.
We were due to meet Friday after work and I had to cancel due to weather conditions. I actually got the hint he might be mad that I threw a wrench into his plans. When he said he was disappointed and then I didn’t hear from him for several hours, I just let sleeping dogs lie. Eventually he came back around with his flirty self and began to ask what my free nights were over the next week.
While the red flags were there, I could handle them and I figured the flirting would be fun if we hit it off. He seemed ok, holding the sexy talk at bay.
But there was one big indicator I started to realize and by the time I met him in person it was full fledged verified…..he was so self-involved he could care less about me. He didn’t ask me questions about anything unless they related to him. Nothing about my children, my job, my friends, my marriage, my life, my interests, nothing. Only about pop culture, vacation, hotels and restaurants.
In a last minute decision, we chose to meet for brunch on Sunday in the city. I chose the place and we met. It was bitter cold and I was bundled up in a heavy coat and thick clothing, far from sexy. I figured it was a take-it-or-leave-it deal. If he didn’t like an average weekend look, then so be it.
He didn’t like me the moment he saw me. I never know exactly what disappoints these men to be honest. I look exactly like my photos, but I am not a slender woman. I’m full all around and perhaps that’s what disappoints them. In any case, I got the message loud and clear, I can usually tell immediately.
Which is fine. He was older than his photos, and his stated age. His hands and neck were very crinkly and I would say he was closer to 60 than 55, if not older. His face was quite handsome and his shoulders broad, so he made a regal appearance. But, honestly, he just appeared too old for me. While I realize I am going to be 50 later this year, I have found very few men who fall into the “younger” looking category and perhaps that’s why I prefer younger men.
I also knew exactly which points of our conversation turned him off. This became a bit of a silly game for me during the date, to mention going to a Depeche Mode concert with my girls in Stockholm produced a look of disgust across his face – why in the world would I want to travel to another country to stand in a loud concert, especially an 80s band? His fun meter and mine are clearly different. I got the feeling he was into “I like to rest and relax with my woman” stage, where I am still all about “let’s go out and have fun!” in addition to the rest and relax.
I don’t think that type of behavior is necessarily related strictly to age, but based on my sampling, men around the 50+ age mark just tend to get “old” and that’s sincerely disappointing.
He also was a braggart and this really was something I couldn’t stand. He dropped names and wanted to impress me. While I found much of his job interesting, I am also in a field where I am exposed to certain celebrity – so it doesn’t phase me quite so much. Nor do I brag about it. I’ve worked for several famous people. So what. He bragged about his job, who he worked for, where he lived and how his son is smart enough to go to Cambridge (at 13 years old). Enough was enough. I ordered my third Prosecco cocktail at that point!
In any case, the brunch was lovely, we made nice conversation for 2 hours, then a peck on the cheek and goodbye. His last words to me, after I thanked him for a lovely afternoon, were “Thanks for making the effort.”
Oh, and no complaints from him about picking up the check.
And so, on to the next. Because the date itself was ok and I didn’t feel like it was a massive wasted of my time, I consider it a partial fail.
In hindsight, I wouldn’t waste time knowing the red flags too early are still red flags worth staying away from. But, it was good to see that I can identify the things I don’t like in a conversation well-enough to stay away from them now. In the past, I would be upset letting a man of his caliber get away, even though I knew he wasn’t right for me.
Now, I just don’t care.