I’m a 40-something divorced guy who’s still good friends with my ex-wife. I’ve been dating since we broke up five years ago, but nothing has stuck. What’s the matter with me?
He Said: That’s as concise a definition of dating San Francisco-style as I’ve ever read. Though it can be discouraging at times for even the most stout among us, keep at it. In the gay world, we say that you have to kiss about 100 princesses before you finally find your toad. You may have to kiss 100 princesses before you finally find your queen. That’s a lot of kisses, but try to keep some perspective. Once you find your match, no matter how much you love her, you’ll look back at this time—with all its complicated attachments, disappointments, lusts, and freedoms—as a period of learning that will likely have made you and whatever future relationship you find yourself in stronger.
She Said: The bottom line: You simply haven’t fallen in love since your divorce, and there’s no reason to judge yourself so harshly. I advise that you make room for love. You may not be able to manifest your ideal partner (aka the metaphysical mumbo jumbo of The Secret), but clearing the decks paves the way for something more. Like most of us 40-somethings, you’re probably a little jaded, but look at the bright side: You’re also old enough to know that there is no perfect woman who can miraculously dispel all your relationship qualms—instead, you have to make an effort. It sounds like you’re still idealistic enough to hope that woman will come along. That’s a good thing—hope is fuel for your journey.
“She” is Robin Rinaldi, 7x7’s former executive editor, currently at work on a memoir titled The Wild Oats Project.