Dear Sugar knows all about the jerkbrain, calling it “your invisible terrible someone.” Such a good description!
I’m reading Jaclyn Friedman’s What You Really, Really Want and will post a review here soon.
I finally watched Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture (it is streaming on the Netflix, as is the brilliant Meek’s Cutoff if you like independent cinema by women and I think you do) and kind of loved it. So real and awkward and reminds me of a million questions here. I wanted to punch both of those dudes so hard. Can there be a punching sequel? Or a videogame tie-in?
I’ve talked about my love for Yo, Is This Racist? before, yes? Ok, good.
Via Amanda Marcotte, a Friend or Foe question that makes my head hurt. Lady, your spouse is not invited to the hen party. The hosts specifically asked you to leave him out of it. If he can’t fend for himself for one night, and you can’t leave him to himself for one night, then he is either a giant wet blanket or a control freak. I suspect it’s “can’t hang/wet blanket” given the tone of your letter, but if you can’t go anywhere without each other it is not cute and romantic. If he tries to pressure you into not going because of “fairness,” something is seriously off. Send him to the movies or off with a good book and have a good time with your friends.
And now, a fluffy dating question!
Dear Captain Awkward -
There’s this guy. (Of course there is.) We have sung together in our awesome little church choir for three years and he has a voice that would melt butter, but beyond that and the occasional pre-rehearsal chitchat, I don’t know him that well. Today I very suddenly became aware — via a Darcy-esque Grand Romantic Gesture on his part (albeit on a more modest scale) — that he’s Really Into Me. Looking back at our interactions with knowledge of the Into-Me-ness, I think he’s been pining after me for the better part of a year.
Here’s the rub: I’m 32; he’s 54. And not in a “54-is-the-new-44-goes-rock-climbing-and-looks-like-Captain-Picard” way; dude is solidly middle-aged.
I have no groiny or romantic feelings for him whatsoever at present, but he seems like an interesting guy and if he were 44 and wanted to date me, I would probably give him a shot and see where things went. Hell, even if he were 45 or 46, I would probably give him a shot. But the 22-year age difference is giving me a lot more pause. (I’m guessing it’s also the reason for the pining rather than straight-up asking me out, too.)
What say ye, Captain? Is age just a number? Am I being arbitrary and unreasonable in setting an upper age limit on guys I’d consider dating? And if I decide not to give this guy a chance, how do I graciously handle being the object of someone’s pining without things getting weird?
I Would Still Totally Do Captain Picard, So Apparently My Age Limits Have Celebrity Exceptions
Hello, Person Who Would Still Do Picard:
First, thank you for a fluffy fun dating question!
Second, you might be arbitrary and unreasonable in setting an upper age limit for guys you want to date.
You might also be arbitrary and unreasonable in only wanting to date guys who gave you groiny, romantic feelings.
Since we fortunately live in an age where your future economic survival is not bound up in marrying some dude from down the lane, you get to be arbitrary and unreasonable in deciding matters of the heart (and groin). You also wrote to a lady that you knew would NOT pressure you to “give him a chaaaaaaance” if you’re not feeling it. Life is unfair. Love is unfair. Don’t talk yourself into something you don’t want to do. “The groin has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing.”
Furthermore, I give grand romantic gestures the side-eye, because they demand response and put things on a plane where they are not light and easy. This guy got way invested in you without ever speaking up back when a “Would you like to grab a drink after rehearsal?” would have gotten an “Sure, why not?” So now there is a lot of pressure! And he’s 54, so the whole “young and new at dating thing” doesn’t hold. But clearly you are considering a date with this silver fox, or you wouldn’t have written to me. Maybe it could be a sexy adventure?
If you are currently Googling synonyms for “distinguished” and ‘shipping Jo March/Mr. Baer, and if you think you can go out on one date with him without it being read as a grand romantic gesture in return, maybe give into the “Sure, why not?” and satisfy your curiosity. The script is something like this: ”(Name), that romantic gesture really came out of the blue for me – I had no idea that you felt that way, and I did not think of you that way, so you’ll understand if I feel some awkwardness in responding to it now. I’d love to grab a drink sometime and talk with you more away from rehearsal. Can we do that without you reading anything too much into it or pressuring me about feelings?“
If you decide not to go out with him, the script is what it always is. “Thanks for your interest, that’s very flattering, but I don’t feel the same way. Can we go back to being colleagues?” After which, you never speak of it and let him save face, unless he pressures you more, in which case you shut it down with a “You are making me uncomfortable. Don’t bring this up again.”
If you do go out, let us know how it goes! (Also, I am curious: What was the gesture?)