One of the surprises in coming out in my mid-50s has been dating—It’s been a lot of fun. Before coming out I was worried that I would fail miserably at dating. I was worried that my dating skills were too rusty and that I would make a fool of myself on a date with another man. I also thought that having been married to a woman would be a dating liability. None of this turned out to be true. I found out that I’m a good conversationalist. I’ve also learned that I have a way of making other people feel comfortable and at ease, all of which is a good thing when on a date.
I just returned from a first date with John, a man that I really enjoyed getting to know. First, John picked out a nice restaurant that was halfway between our homes. He had a really nice thoughtful way about him that I liked and was easy to be with. We had a lot in common: Provincetown; hiking; skyline drive; Jefferson’s home in Monticello; cooking, and dogs. And he works in health care like I do so we had a lot to talk about. I also learned that we knew someone in common, which is great because I get to ask the guy I know what he thinks of my date. It was a very pleasant evening and I’m looking forward to meeting him again.
What has worked for me is to be willing to put myself out there with a sense of adventure as I meet new men. Even if they are not good relationship material, it’s been fun to meet different men and get to know them. A lesson I learned many years ago from Actualization, a personal growth workshop I took in the 1980s, was called ‘The Road to Hana’. Hana is a beautiful destination in Hawaii, but the real value is the beauty and natural wonders on the road to Hana. It’s not the destination that’s important, but taking time to enjoy the beautiful sites on the 68-mile ride to Hana.
So dating has been a fun adventure. And I’m hoping out of this I’ll meet someone that I really can care for deeply.