Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough

Cecilie1200

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After much discussion with friends and internal debate - and no resolution - I have decided to seek some opinions and perspectives from the board. There are many people here whose views and judgements I respect, and more I find thought-provoking. Even those I consider to be morons often manage to spark the more intelligent board members into productive avenues of thought they might not otherwise have contemplated.

As many long-timers are aware, my marriage ended amicably last year. While most of my attention in that time has been - quite rightly - focused on rebuilding and restructuring my life in order to make certain my two boys are adequately cared and provided for, I have done some dating. I have been very clear to everyone - including myself - from the get-go that I am only on a casual, friendly basis in this regard. I have not had any desire whatsoever for another relationship, and have had difficulty even picturing the idea of wanting one. I just think that isolating oneself entirely is as lousy a concept as rebounding is.

This being said, I have met someone . . . unique. Truly, this man, as far as I can tell, is the guy every mother wants her daughter to meet and her son to become.

1) He asks me for dates several days in advance, for specific times and specific activities, not just "hey, maybe we could hang out or somethin' tonight, or whatever". And then he actually shows up AT THAT SPECIFIC TIME.

2) The activities he requests my company for involve taking me somewhere nice and entertaining me, not just grabbing a Value Menu meal at McDonald's and then expecting to go straight home and screw.

3) He pays for the entire evening, unless I am the one doing the inviting and have specified otherwise. And there is never any discussion about this. He has simply assumed from the start, without a word, that this was going to be the case.

4) He showers, shaves, and dresses nicely before coming to pick me up.

5) He brings me flowers every time we go out (and frequently stops by in between dates simply to replenish the vase I now keep on my dining room table for this purpose), and immediately compliments my appearance.

6) The first time he brought me flowers, he made a point of speaking to my daughter without my knowledge to find out what my favorite flowers were.

7) He calls or texts me the day after to tell me how much he enjoyed my company.

8) When one of my neighbors at my apartment complex was raided by the SWAT team (don't ask) and the entire place thought shotguns were going off outside and were scared out of our wits, he was the only person of everyone I knew who immediately came by that evening to check on my son and me to make sure we were okay.

There are many other things in this vein, but you probably get the idea. There is no doubt in my mind that in a world full of catch-and-release, this one is a keeper.

So what's the problem? What's with all of the soul-searching? Why don't I just pounce on this prince and hang on tight?

Well, there's one fly in the ointment: Prince Charming is 24 years old.

Now, before I hear remarks about "cougars" and "predators", let me just say that I have not initiated any of this (aside from our first conversation: we were in line at a Panda Express, and I commented on his umbrella, which had a katana hilt for a handle). While I realize that I'm eye-catching and charismatic (no conceit, thank you. Just being honest), and I'm not surprised when younger men express an interest in me, I neither look for it nor expect it. I actually don't think it makes much sense, but I recognize that it's a valid phenomenon regardless.

Anyway, most of my friends shrug and say, "Why not? If you both love each other, or could love each other, isn't that all that matters?" Well, in actual fact, no. That ISN'T all that matters. It seems to me that, at 24, there's a good bet this lovely, sweet, relationship-minded man is going to want marriage, home, 2.5 kids, the whole shebang . . . that I've already been and done and moved on from. Not to mention the fact that he's taking on a future of an old, tired, sick, wrinkly woman while he's just hitting his stride in life.

Sure, I could say, "He's an adult, and he's smart. Surely he's thought about this and if he's decided that's okay with him, I should accept that." But come on. How fair is that, really? He has no way of truly knowing what he would be giving up for me, or even truly knowing what's up ahead, because he's never been there. I have, and I understand the full import of such a decision in a way he can't. And if I really care about him - which I do; whatever else he is, he's a good friend and impossible not to love as a person - don't I owe him the benefit of the decades-more experience I have that he doesn't?

On the other hand, of course, is the fact - endlessly pointed out to me - that none of us have a guarantee of anything beyond this moment, and I'm denying him sure happiness right now because of a future that might never exist because one of us might get hit by a bus tomorrow.

So I throw it open to the floor. What do I do with a kind, loving, thoughtful, generous, considerate, wildly-inappropriately-too-young man who thinks I'm his ideal woman?
 

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