A sneak preview of an article in the works.
He told me he needed to leave over an hour ago, but he was still here. A battle of wits was in full swing, and I was winning. I could tell he liked it.
The banter continued, the chemistry, obvious. He finally paused, studying my face. My chest tightened. I knew that look, and I knew what was coming.
“You are definitely…I don’t know, I’ve just never met anyone…”
I stopped him before he could finish, “Are you married?”
He laughed uncomfortably, then looked down.
“No. I mean, not technically. Or I guess technically I am, but it’s been over for a long time.”
“Are you married?” This is now one of the first questions I ask if I’m interested in someone. And this is what I’ve learned: “no” usually means yes and “getting a divorce” means, I want a divorce, but I’m not yet and won’t be for an indeterminate amount of time.
To be clear, I’m not seeking out men who are married. But as it turns out, being 40ish and newly single seems to be the status quo. It also turns out that single is open to interpretation.
When I first got divorced, one ex-boyfriend after another started reaching out. I was naïve in the beginning, thinking they just wanted to catch up. I quickly realized that even if we aren’t the type to keep our married status current or obvious, social media can be telling if someone’s paying attention. It can also be very deceptive.
When the one I never quite got over, resurfaced, I, of course, scoured his social media. His status? Married. There was a good amount of pictures of his kids and family vacations, so I reasoned he just wanted to catch up.
When a couple of drinks turned into more, he eventually confessed that he’d made a mistake letting me go, that he’d thought about me all this time, that he’d never met anyone like me…
Right or wrong, I couldn’t help but get caught up in it all.
So we plunged in with an intensity fueled by deprivation and the resurgence of hope. I had found the person I thought I was meant to be with. And he had found an exciting distraction from his current, unpleasant situation.
He had found his mid-life Manic Pixie Dream Girl.