They like to think that they are "closest to Buddhism," and "open to the magic that is all around us." They are "people-people." They are "open-minded and welcome all viewpoints." They are rarely seeking religious nuts like myself -- rather, they are seeking open, non-judgmental women.
And the women are not crazy about the men's secret Internet porn lives. Yet union with a partner -- someone with whom to wake, whom you love, and talk with on and off all day, and sit with at dinner, and watch TV and movies, read together in bed, do hard tasks together, and to be loved by. I had experienced varying degrees of loneliness since my guy and I split up. Also, most men a single woman meets have been separated or divorced for about 20 minutes. Most seemed pretty normal, with college degrees, which I don't have, but certainly meant to; some attractive, mostly divorced but some like me, never married, some witty, some dull, sort of like real life.After our breakup, I had just assumed there would be a bunch of kind, brilliant, liberal, funny guys my age to choose from. Surely my friends would set me up with their single friends, and besides, I am out in the public a lot doing events at bookstores and political gatherings, the ideal breeding ground for my type of guy. People don't know single guys my age who are looking for single women my age. Almost everyone wonderful that my friends know is in a relationship, or gay, or cuckoo. The man of my most recent long-term relationship, whom I'd been with nearly seven years, was in a new, committed relationship about three weeks after we split up. Curiously, almost without exception, they were "spiritual but not religious." I thought for a while that this meant ecumenical, drawn to Rumi, Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver.He had gotten out, talked to the police, and gotten a peek at the corpse. I recommended that we reschedule to a day when he hadn't seen any dead people. But at lunch, he accidentally forgot to ask me anything about my life during the first 45 minutes of the conversation.It was fascinating, that we did not get around to me until that one question. My pointing this out politely in an email the next day did not sit well.There, I've said it: I wanted someone to text all day, and watch TV with.
I am skittish about relationships, as most of the marriages I've seen up close have been ruinous for one or both parties.
After 10 minutes of this, my neck went out on me, like one of the Three Stooges. I made a few practice casual touches, but he didn't respond.
Then I met a man who was as far to the left as I am, in the weeks before the presidential election! My consultants said that I should pay attention to this.
But sometimes I am lonely for a partner, a soul mate, a husband. I rarely missed sex: I had tiny boundary issues in all those years of drinking, and by my early 20s I had used up my lifelong allotment. I do love what Wodehouse called the old oompus-boompus when it happens to be in progress, but wouldn't go out of my way.
Additionally, I have spent approximately 1,736 hours of this one precious life waiting for the man to finish, and pretending that felt good. What I missed was checking in all day with my person, daydreaming about him, and watching TV together at night.
A 60-year-old man does not fantasize about a 60-year-old woman. I went onto with a clear knowledge that relationships are not the answer to lifelong problems. But I have come to learn that this means they think of themselves as friendly.