I haven’t dated in a long time. That’s not to say I haven’t joined the left swipe club occasionally; I have. I just find that once I’m on there, I am completely uninterested, and the fantasy and the reality of dating at midlife are at such odds, that I choose to sit at home instead of facing reality.

Based on my experiences, I prefer days of yore, when the fantasy WAS the reality. I realize that I might be generalizing in my list of wants and dreams vs. what’s truly going on, but this is based on my encounters. I will be interested if other midlifers have had the same experiences that I have had, or if they have found those men that are still old-fashioned enough to date as their Mama’s taught them.

My Fantasy of Dating at Midlife and the Reality of Dating at Midlife

My fantasy is that every keyfob that can unlock the doors to a car when you are walking up with your date don’t work. I prefer to have doors opened when I get into a car. In today’s world, that rarely happens when all you have to do is push a button on your fob touch the handle of the door to unlock the car.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip: You can set the unlock function on your doors so you can unlock the door by touching the passenger side handle, thus fulfilling the fantasy that chivalry does still exist.

When ordering at a restaurant, I love when the man asks me what I want and then orders for me, but what I love even more is when I get to order first! I don’t know if the reality of this is the wait staff looking at the man for guidance, so they order first, or it’s just a fantasy that can’t be fulfilled.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip:
When the waiter looks at you, if you haven’t asked the woman what they want, at least have the decency to nod toward your date so they can order first.

Ladies, I meet my dates out. Just in case they are psycho killers, I don’t want them to have my address, but the fantasy that I have is they walk me to my car to make sure I don’t get raped and murdered in a dark parking lot or parking garage.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip: This is not an invitation for you to stick your tongue down my throat, just a courtesy to let me know you care about my safety a touch more than your own. And, it would more than likely get you a second date.

I have a fantasy that I can hear a man’s voice before meeting him. What happened to the days of phone calls? The reality is that everyone texts. It’s easier to text than to call, it’s not as awkward, and it’s quicker than a phone call. But we used not to be able to text. Remember those days?

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip: Not every interaction needs to be a text, but I like to hear the voice of the dude I am meeting out, and at least when you are making a plan, make a call.

Speaking of cell phones, my fantasy is that they will stay in pockets during dates. Unless you have kids at home that might need you, your phone doesn’t need to be out, looked at, checked or turned on. Oh and this goes for women too, no double standards here.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip: If you have to check your phone, at the very least explain why and apologize afterward. Then, when you are done, if you REALLY can’t keep your phone tucked away, lay it upside down on the table.

On a first date, I’m not interested in your entire history of dating and marriage. I also don’t want to see pictures of your kids. I want to know about them, but I don’t need to see them. I also won’t show you pictures of mine or tell you about every relationship I have had. We all have baggage, but let’s keep it stowed away until we are at least on a second date. The first date should be kept light and easy.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip: Let’s just have fun and save the heavy stuff for later. This includes topics such as religion, politics and past relationships.

Showing interest in your date is a fantastic trait and quality, even more, amazing is listening to the answers. What are you looking at when you are looking around the room? I always wondered if you might be searching for the next best thing, but what I do know is you aren’t paying attention to me and what I’m saying.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip: My fantasy is my date looks me in the eyes when he asks and answers questions. Not in an intense, awkward and uncomfortable way, but in an interested and yes I am listening way.

Be honest. I don’t think I need to expand on this one, just do it.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip: Don’t lie.

I know that games are played when you are dating, but I am way too seasoned for games, and unless you are way younger than me, you are too. I am now dating at midlife. This means that I know what I’m looking for and if I’m interested in you. I’ll let you know, trust me. And, I will let you know on the first meeting.

Turning Fantasy to Reality Tip:
You be as honest with me as I am with you. If you aren’t interested, tell me, and if you are, ask me out again without the usual 2 to 3 day wait to hear from you.

I am sure that many midlifers don’t feel like me, but if you do or I missed something, let me know. Let’s discuss!