Zane and I have seen each other several times since we met at the party a few weeks ago. He wanted to see me again as quickly as possible, so we snuck in a short drink date the next day before I got Liam for the week. I liked him as much one-on-one as in the party atmosphere.
He is soft-spoken and very articulate. While he says he’s an old man inside and is worldly, he’s clearly in his mid-thirties. He asked me for advice on my work success and I died a little inside: it’s not the kind of relationship dynamic I’m looking for.
He’s told me how beautiful he thinks I am and marvels at how captivated he is. But he has none of the creepy clinger vibe of John. He’s not in love with love. In contrast, he tells me he’s picky and I believe him.
He walked me to my street and we had a terrific kiss goodbye. It started tentatively, the heat built, and I could sense how much more he wanted. We broke apart, he told me he had to stop or it would get embarrassing, and I walked home.
When Zane asked to see me again that week I told him I’d be happy to, but since I had Liam it would need to be for a drink after he went to bed. It’s a reality of dating me: if you want to get to see me regularly and get to know me better, it’s going to need to be later at night, chatting on my couch over a drink.
I had no intention of having sex with him. First, it would only be the third time we met, and second, I don’t do that with someone new when Liam is home. Yes, it does happen on occasion, but only after I’m comfortable with someone. We had a great makeout session and I fully expected to have great sexual chemistry.
He came over that night, we saw each other another night when I didn’t have Liam, and had a full formal dinner date at one of the best steakhouses in the city. We’ve talked on the phone multiple times, had sex a few times, and it was all pretty damn good. He’s got the right equipment, the right bravado, and decent stamina. He was the first man in ages who proactively used a condom (I should write a post on that; I think of all the men I’ve been with since my split, fewer than five were proactive about it).
He’s a gentleman, he’s keen, intellectually interesting, and enjoys many of the same things I do. He’s looking for a serious relationship. Other than an inherent discomfort with our age difference, there’s no reason for me to not continue to date him.
He’s a first-born son from a country where first-born sons are expected to…well…not be dating a divorcee a decade older who isn’t having more children.
He mentioned during an early date he wanted children. I explained I wasn’t having any more. He asked whether I couldn’t, or didn’t want to. I said I couldn’t, but I don’t think he actually heard me.
He insists being a mixed-race couple wouldn’t be an issue for his family. His mother is mixed-race and the family is well-educated and has experience around the world. All things which reduce inherent issues with such a coupling. He says my being a decade older and divorced doesn’t matter. Perhaps it’s true. But I believe he’s telling me what he wants to believe when it comes to children.
He’s smitten and doesn’t want to face the reality that there will be an unsolvable conflict of desires. He’s said he doesn’t know that he for sure wants children, that it’s okay if they aren’t his own biologically, that his sisters are the ones who will provide grandchildren, that the world isn’t a great place to raise a child these days, and the like.
But honestly, I can see right through it.
He doesn’t have the perspective he needs. He thinks it’s going to all work out, and doesn’t realize no romantic choice is worth putting aside something as significant as wanting to bring a human into this world.
I absolutely cannot let him get into a situation that could cause discomfort and regret later. I know he’s a big boy and can make grown-up decisions, but even though it is the early days of dating, I had to be sure there is zero room for misunderstanding. I owe it to him as someone I respect.
So I laid it out for him on our dinner date. I eased into it by telling him the story of the man who explained he wanted his own biological children on our third date, which happened to fall on the day I booked my fallopian tube surgery.
When I said to Zane this man and I agreed to stop dating at that point, he was surprised at the finality of the decision. I knew in that moment it was exactly what he needed to hear. I explained to him that I am NOT having more children. It wasn’t negotiable, I wasn’t changing my mind, and there were medical reasons it wasn’t happening. I told him I wanted to be sure he understood it.
I took him back to my place after dinner and we kissed and talked and he pushed me up against my kitchen counter, telling me how beautiful and smart I am and how hard it is to keep his hands off me. He liked how people looked at us as a couple in the restaurant. He told me I looked a decade younger (he’s the fourth person that’s told me the same thing this past week, but I’m still not sure I believe it).
But in one moment, as I sat at my kitchen island and he stood looking into my eyes with an intensity which made it hard to look back, he made a comment about being torn about knowing that with me, he’s never going to have his own children.
I knew I’d done the right thing.
I have no reason to stop seeing him. He’s a great date and a good man. It’s early days and who knows what will happen.
Except for one thing which never will.
Image from the 1967 movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”