I believe there will come a time, for most people, when they’ll realize they’re too old to date anyone under age 26. That moment happened for me earlier this week.
I accidentally crashed an ex’s birthday celebration. We briefly dated a few years back and have remained friends. There’s about a six year age difference between us, but she’s so together and mature, it’s easy to forget. There have been moments when it was glaringly obvious though. This was one of them.
So I called her, said happy birthday and mentioned I’d like to hang with her and maybe buy her a drink or something. She said she was going out with her friend. I asked if it was a situation I could join. She said “Sure. It’s no big deal. I’m just waiting on my friend to get off work. I’ll let you know where we’re going soon.”
Now, I’ve already dated this woman. I know her. I should’ve known she was going to mess this up. She has always possessed an inability to read situations, especially of the romantic nature. Once upon a time, that had been part of her charm. Three months into dating though, it was her least admirable trait.
So did I listen to my instincts and push her for more details? No. I went to meet with her that evening. And when I arrived at the restaurant, there was a young stud waiting. I had a feeling that was the “friend,” and something told me to turn around and leave. However, after a few minutes of waiting the young stud took off and it appeared that I’d misread the situation. Eventually, my friend showed up and we were seated. Naturally though, the young stud reappeared and came to our table. Right then, I knew it would be a long night.
When your first mind tells you, not once, but twice, to bow out of a situation, you need to listen.
To make a long story short, I spent the evening in an uncomfortable pissing match with this kid. Except, she was the only one peeing. That’s what happens when some 25 year old stud sends a girl a gift to her job, chooses a nice restaurant for her, shows up at the restaurant with a birthday card and then finds her sitting at the table with another stud. And I had nary a gift in sight.
Suffice to say, I wanted to punch my friend in the forehead when I realized everything this kid had done for her. I was sitting at the table shaking my head in shock. I finally said, “I’m sorry I crashed yall’s celebration.” Promptly, they both denied it was anything of importance. They were just friends meeting up. RIGHTTTT! But you see, this is what young people do. Downplay the importance of everything. Everyone wants to appear “cool.” Unfortunately, by that time, the food was on the way so I went along with the ruse.
Of course, things only become more uncomfortable as the evening progressed. My friend and I are very comfortable with each other. That’s what happens when you’ve dated. You have a familiarity. Conversation flows easily. Memories are casually exchanged. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we’d probably slept together in the past and I could see the wheels turning in the studs head as we talked. Whether she realized it or not (I doubt she did), her body language began to change. Suddenly, she was scooting just a little bit closer to my friend while talking. She began to touch her more. Her vocal intonation changed as she spoke to my friend. The kid was seriously laying on the affection. At times, it would become so blatantly obvious, it was awkward for ME! At those times, I’d just pick up my phone and check something, allowing them some privacy.
There was no need to establish territory though. There was no competition. My friend and I are just that: Friends. It takes a certain level of maturity though, before you realize how ridiculous you look staking a claim on a woman. When you have a good woman, one that’s truly into you, it’s not necessary. She will go home with you.
The most painful part of the evening? When the young stud alluded to the fact that they’d be “getting busy” later that night. I literally cringed on the inside. Not only was it of poor taste for the kid to say aloud, but it wasn’t impressive. I’ve already seen all of that. And given that my friend texted me later, I’m thinking that the kid didn’t get lucky enough. All bark, no bite.
I left the restaurant disgusted. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, especially after the stud began having a mini breakdown as the check arrived. Her eyeballs bulged out of her head and I was done. At some point, you have to realize that you never take a woman out to celebrate her birthday unless you’ve got a few hundred bucks in your pocket. Or, unless you’re taking her to Applebee’s.
That long walk to my car was an eye opener. I realized that I’d outgrown such nonsense. I no longer pretend with women. I put everything on the table, so they realize what we’re doing, whether it’s a date or hanging out. I ask the necessary questions and communicate. I don’t do pissing matches. I am comfortable in my skin and confident with what I bring to the table. This is a level of comfort I’ve gained through time, failure and experience and I really don’t want to deal with anyone that isn’t on the same level. I was too damn old to be at that table with them.
It will not happen again.