No kiss to build a dream on

My sister Christine, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, shared a story that illustrates why mid-life dating can be so frustrating.

She said, "A male friend of mine told me he went to Yosemite for a weekend with a 'newly acquainted' lady. They had had six dates before the weekend - no sex, no kissing.

"The woman asked him the typical questions that one would ask before having sex with someone; he replied that there were no areas of concern.

"All was well and fun until they were getting into bed and she appeared in a 'granny gown' -an old-fashioned, to-the-floor, flannel cotton 'Lanz of Salzburg' type.

"She strongly stated to my friend that there was not going to be any sex.

"Do you have any idea why a 45-year-old woman would go away with a man for a weekend and take along a granny gown? He was not turned off by the gown per se, however, he was thinking that she might take it off...but, that did not happen."

I replied to my sister that most men would be at a loss for an answer, as was I, so I would need to ask my women readers why a 45-year-old woman would go away with a man for a weekend and then wear a granny gown to bed.

I added, "Your guy friend is partially at fault for the disappointing week-end. Six dates with no sex, let alone no kissing, before their trip? He should have tested the waters at least with a few hugs and kisses during those six dates. Why did he assume she would suddenly warm up?

"But I sure can empathize with him also. Picture him driving up to the mountains, feeling like a child on Xmas Eve with visions of sugar plums dancing in his head. He must have been thinking, ah ha, finally, romance with her."

This isn't a slam-dunk case of male entitlement thinking, similar to, "I bought you dinner so I expect sex." After all, since she had asked him "the typical questions," his anticipations weren't far out of line.

When she made her grand entrance in the granny gown, the poor guy probably thought, "Pour me another tequila, Sheila," to quote the refrain from the 1980 country song by singer Bobby Bare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbhzLEzsD6k).

Come to think of it--from the male point of view-perhaps I do have an answer. Yosemite in winter is cold and she wore that gown simply to keep warm. At least that is what the Lanz of Salzburg advertisements say the gown will do.

But the bigger question is: why, after the typical questions about sex were asked and answered, did she refuse to part ways with the gown?

Now that is the question I'd like answered by my women readers. Hopefully they will shed some light on it. Perhaps the answer is as simple as it's a Mars/Venus thing.

Mid-life dating can be so frustrating. Pour me another tequila, Sheila-I think I need one.

A woman can change her mind, can't she?

On Thursday, December 30, a woman wrote: "I made the final break with my on again off again boyfriend this holiday. I have had to block him technologically so I can't have contact with him. It's been the most difficult relationship and breakup I've ever been through, and I don't have any hope for ever finding anybody else I'll click with at my age, but I absolutely had to end this once and for all because it was truly becoming toxic."

On Friday, January 7, she wrote: "My long, drawn out saga has finally come to an end. He and I got engaged last night. I did find love after 50 after all!"

© 2011, Tom Blake

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Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50. He has appeared twice on the "Today Show" and has written more than 500 columns on dating and relationships. His "Single Again" column appears in The Orange County Register in southern California, is read worldwide and is often featured on msn.com. He is a professional speaker. He spoke at the national AARP convention in San Diego in 2002, and in Chicago. His book, Middle Aged and Dating Again, is a humorous account of his first year of dating after his third divorce. His second book is Finding Love After 50: How to begin, where to go, what to do. His latest book is titled How 50 Couples Found Love after 50. To ask a question or receive Tom's free weekly column on middle-age dating and relationships by e-mail, click on www.findingloveafter50.com or E-Mail.

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