It’s time for another vulnerable post. I notice that I become more vulnerable with my posts as time goes by, and that makes sense. If I can share and help someone perhaps relate and not feel quite so alone, that is reason enough to bare my heart. And besides, why not? What will hiding my truth serve me? I’ll be dead and gone, with truths that could have been shared and that might have helped….buried along with me. That doesn’t make sense….so here goes….
I wrote a bit in an earlier post about a younger man pursuing me online. 14 years my junior – a sizable gap, for sure. I am flattered, and incredibly attracted to his photo. I, first thing, told him my age – and he responded that “age is just a number.” Well, that’s easier for the younger person to say.
We have been chatting online. I don’t yet know if there would be enough compatibility to make this a realistic possible partnership anyway, but the intensity of my attraction to him is quite humbling, to say the least. I have written about all of our younger selves still being inside of us, and I am deeply surprised at how much this is true. The younger woman that I was is still very much inside me, still very much attracted, still very much has desire and passion. Very much. Sleep has not been restful as of late. Humbling. He, like some other men that have approached me before, is intense, ready to say that he is “falling in love”, calls me “baby”, which I find amusing, given that I am 14 years older than he. And , dare I admit, there is a part of me that takes delight in being called that term of endearment. Not that I want to be anyone’s baby or be made less than or powerless, but just the sweetness of his voice calling me that does, embarrassingly, move something inside me.
Am I being “catfished”? I don’t think so, but am, nonetheless more cautions and aware of this happening to older women. Am I treading on “cougar” ground? And why are older women called this? What are older men called? I’ve heard that when it comes to men looking for older women, that they often look for “a nurse or a purse”….That’s flattering, yes?
Today he sent me a very poignant video of various movie stars and their process of aging. It was so bittersweet to watch, and, I thought, perfect timing. I was actually pleased that he sent this, that he is thinking about this, that he is looking at this seriously. And so, I wrote back. I wrote that the video was so moving to watch, that it brought up so many important issues, that I worried about my being that far ahead of him on the aging path and that aging, as I am observing it, seems to accelerate as it goes along. So I, although I look ok at this point (but still see the signs of aging in the mirror that cannot be denied), I will continue to age faster than he…and look it. And feel like I can’t compete with what a younger woman could offer him – including matching his physical beauty. I was brutally honest with writing all of this, of what is in my heart and mind, of what I worry about, of what is is the truth for me…of very real concerns and issues. We have not met yet, and if we were to meet, I would be extremely self conscious of my body (I have been working on slowly losing some weight that I had gained over the past few stressful years at work, and the skin is not forgiving as it once was….there is no bouncing back anymore….bouncing, maybe…..bouncing back…not so much……) That would be hard. And even if we were to get through that, time marches on. And on. And the changes continue. It hurts, it is sad, it is bittersweet in terms of this possible relationship – but it is the truth. And, if nothing else, truth has become even more important to me with each passing day….each passing month….each passing year. I cling to it to help me navigate all of this.
Here I sit, very humbled by all of this reality and poignancy and ache, loneliness and desire. They are all very real and very much a part of me, as is the truth of my aging body. What will his response be to what I have written? Will he be able to hear me, really hear me? Will he admit the truth of what I write?
And how do I learn to keep living with this as I continue to keep aging (God willing) and keep changing? Will it not matter as much at some point? I am not there yet, so I don’t know the answer to this question. But I will keep asking, and paying attention, and speaking my truth as much as I can. Where will this all lead? I don’t know. I just know that I have to speak and honor my truth, perhaps take risks at times and other times not…..and live from my core. From my heart. From my soul. From my truth. And always leave room for dessert…..a great big slice of humble pie.
3 thoughts on “A Slice of Humble Pie….”
Wow, well, I wish you only good fortune with this adventure, Jo! I felt a little anxiety when you described the man as becoming “intense.” In my humble (and fairly sheltered experience), the faster a man becomes intense, the faster he burns out. But I would be saying that regardless of his age. Isn’t President Macron’s wife much older than him? I think, as we age, the gap in age between two people has less meaning. Some women might argue that being with a younger man makes more sense since statistically women outlive men. I just hope you take baby steps and consider, if he finds you attractive, who else might? That is, he might not be the only one 🙂
I so very much appreciate your thoughtful response and comment, Marie. I agree with you about the baby steps… And It share your anxiety about the intensity….
It’s interesting to feel attractive to some others at this point in my life … Which points out my own internalized ageism and stereotypes….. We have to be so vigilant about our own self judgments, yes?
I’m sure I’ll keep writing about this adventure…. And will continue to welcome your support!
(This man also pointed out the age gap between President Macron and his wife…. 25 years, to be exact. This truly is uncharted territory… Time will tell.)
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Ah, you make a good point about how we judge ourselves 🙂