Monthly Archives: March 2015

D8 with the 76th Trombone

Since the dawn of tabloid time, we’ve read and sometimes witnessed celebrity May/December relationships. Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant paved the Age-Difference Highway so others like Alec Baldwin, Calvin Klein and Mary Kate Olsen could navigate freely with their partners in spite of decades of age differentiation.

Lately, a lot of press has been given to actor Stephen Fry and his engagement to Elliott Spencer. We have no idea where they are registered or who is catering the reception. What we do know is that there’s a 30-year age difference. What we also know is that some perceive Fry as a creepy old man and Spencer as a gold digging opportunist. The Age Difference Highway may give these couples a passage, however it’s one that’s paved in questioning, doubt and speculation by others.

I admit, I would be guilty of holding the same perception about couples with an extreme age difference, if it weren’t for the 76th Trombone.

When I met Albert for coffee, my first reaction was that he looked a bit older than he did in his pictures from Match.com. Out of the gate, he told me that he was 76 years old. Of course, I quickly did the math- a 27-year age difference. I smiled, took a sip of my Venti, and said, “Not a problem, Albert.” This of course was a true statement for coffee… perhaps not so much for a potential boyfriend.

As we conversed, I learned a lot about this man. With 76 years under his belt, he had a lot to say. A retired Naval officer, he has lived all over the world, giving him a very interesting perspective on a variety of topics. Albert had a great laugh and a sparkle in his eyes. What made Albert most charming was that he was really interested in what I had to say. He listened, was very quick with a comeback (which is an attribute that always holds my attention) and he had the gift of remembering things I said and bringing them up later.

As far as first dates go, I had a splendid time with Albert. As I drove home, I thought about his laugh. If you closed your eyes and just listened, his laugh didn’t come with an age. It was a sound that could come from any trombone, be is the 45th or the 55th. If you remove the number 76 and judge Albert for Albert, there was no question that he scored high on the first date rating scale.

I then thought about the age difference- 27 years. Granted, our age gap was barely less than that of Stephen Fry and Elliott Spencer, but it was more than anyone I’ve ever dated. Is that something I could handle? I thought about other couples driving on the Age-Difference Highway, like Stephen Sondheim and Jeff Goldblum. Their cars seem to be fully operational, and their journeys appear to be happy ones. Perhaps I too should not be so wrapped on the model year and just place my focus on the ride.

By the time I reached home, I had received a text from him asking for a second date. Two hours later, I received an email from Albert saying that he could really see us in a relationship. The next day, I received another email inviting me to meet his friends over dinner and to spend the night at his place.

The 76th Trombone was playing a song I’ve heard before… same as the 48th and the 53rd Trombones… he wanted an instant relationship.

Albert was definitely rushing things, which was a really big turn-off and typically a deal breaker for me. It was at that point I realized that it wasn’t just the laugh that was ageless. The need for an instant relationship also knows no age. Albert at 76 or 46 or even 86 most likely wasn’t the guy for me. I did enjoy a second date with him, and I’m happy to say that I definitely gained a new friend.

Don't let the parade pass you by, be it with any of the trombones.
Don’t let the parade pass you by, be it with any of the trombones.

1Gr8Lesson

The 76th Trombone opened my eyes to my own judgment about couples with significant age difference.

If you question the validity of a relationship just because of an age difference, you might be alone in questioning. The participants in the relationship aren’t questioning- they’re too busy living.

There are certain aspects of our daily that need to be judged by dates, like dairy products. If milk is past it’s prime, it’s easy to discard. People aren’t dairy, and judging them by an implied shelf life may just cost you a great experience. It may even cost you the opportunity of a great love. In the end, I just didn’t have enough things in common with Albert to make a go of it as boyfriends. But if we did, I can guarantee I would have veered onto the Age Difference Highway with the abandon of a warm summer’s drive.

In The Music Man, Marian the Librarian most likely never thought she would end up with someone like Professor Hill. She opened her eyes and her heart to someone way outside of her dating box. Be it age, background, or demographic, if you close your eyes and just listen to the laugh, the sound may lead to birds singing and bells ringing. You just have to take the blinders off, get rid of the “what will others think” and be open to what YOU think and feel!

If you do, you might just find love all around.

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D8 with the Man Who Slew too Much

One of the features Tinder provides users is the tie-in to Facebook. When you match with someone, you can review mutual friends and get the 411 from them about your potential date. This is exactly what I did prior to my date with Edgar.

The general consensus from our four mutual friends was that I should go out with him, however it didn’t go unnoticed that their level of enthusiasm wasn’t exactly high. In spite of that, I agreed to meet Edgar for a drink.

He arrived before me, and grabbed us a great table. Edgar was a good-looking man with a very welcoming smile. Our conversation got off to a great start; we discussed current events, hobbies, and a mutual love of antiquing. We ordered a second drink, and continued to have a really great time… until he mentioned our mutual Facebook friends as outed by Tinder. His descriptions of our mutual friends kind of took me by surprise. I was given a chorus of negativity, including the following lyrics:

“Oh yeah, I know them. They run in a fast crowd, do drugs and are rather slutty.”
“He’s an idiot. Seriously, a fucking idiot.”
“Like that one has a personality? Please!”

If Edgar described his “friends” in this manner, I couldn’t imagine how he described his enemies. Unfortunately, I soon found out.

“If you know (this one) then you must know (that one)” was the next conversation Edgar initiated. Each time I answered with a yes, he explained how this person or that person was a loser. In less than 30 minutes, Edgar managed to verbally slay about every mutual contact we shared.

We’ve all had red flags on a date, but this red flag was waiving bigger and brighter than anything Betsy Ross could imagine.

As the red flag waived proudly in the Westfield, New Jersey sky, Edgar continued his verbal assassination of more friends:

“That one comes from a real messed up family”
“That bitch hasn’t worked in years!”
“I thought about dating him, but I don’t want to catch something.”

At that point, I officially caught something… an airborne disease of disgust with Edgar as the Ground Zero source. I didn’t need the help of a doctor to cure this malaise, for the antidote was simple and easily administered to any self-respecting Leo…

“Well Edgar, (this one) is actually quite smart, (that one) is one of the most charming people I know, and as for (those two), if they choose to have an open relationship and enjoy a little weed once in a while it’s their business just as it’s my business not to judge it nor participate in it. And for the record, Edgar, (that one’s) family is a pretty groovy one, and her aunt and my cousin’s father-in-law have a business history of successful collaboration.”

Edgar just stared at me, and for the first time on our date was at a total loss for words. As we said our brief goodbye, I wondered what words of venom Edgar would use to describe me… and I just didn’t care. No matter what, I would be in good company with my Facebook friends as opposed to my not-so-fine date.

And as for Tinder, I’m thinking the less shared Facebook friends the better!

Don't let words be the weapons that sabotage your first date!
Don’t let words be the weapons that sabotage your first date!

Continue reading D8 with the Man Who Slew too Much

1FineVideo- When to Introduce Your Date to Your Friends

To introduce or not to introduce… that is the question! Thinking about introducing your 1FineD8 to your friends? You need to watch this video! Dateologist Tracey Steinberg and I tackle this question on this installment of Ready… Set… DATE!

Have you found yourself in this situation? Let us know and please share your experience!

For more information on Dateologist Tracey Steinberg, please visit http://www.traceysteinberg.com!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter! @CraigRogersNYC

D8 with Someone Else’s Someone

The song that’s repeating in my head is from Bette Midler’s album, Thighs and Whispers. It’s called Married Men.

    The world is filled with married men,
    with wives that never understand.
    They do it. Do it. Do it.

The married men of 1978 differ somewhat from their 2015 counterparts. With the 1978 version, you kind of know what you’re getting, whereas the 2015 version has diversified his brand, covering a variety of scenarios requiring explanation to today’s dater. Does today’s married man have a wife? A husband? Maybe he has an open marriage? Perhaps he’s separated, living under the same roof as his ex, and the divorce hasn’t been settled yet. Possibly he’s a retro 1978 version- his spouse has no clue he’s seeking extra-curricular activities with a new someone.

The one commonality between married men of 1978 and 2015 is that they’re looking for action, and the decision whether or not to play is yours.

Thanks to a Tinder match, I met Jackson. He was very tall, very Texan and exceptionally charming. Meeting Jackson for a coffee was a no-brainer, and we set a coffee date in the first fifteen minutes of our online chat.

I was very excited to meet him at Starbucks, and when he stood up to greet me from the table he secured, he lived up to every stereotype of Texas- Jackson was larger than life. At 6’4” with hands the size of a west Texas ranch and a smile brighter than the Dallas skyline at noon, his handshake was one of the most memorable I’ve ever experienced.

Our conversation got off to a great start. Jackson’s charm online converted to real time in spades. We had lots of laughs right out of the gate. After the typical first date questions of “How was your day?” and “How long have you lived in Manhattan?”, I asked Jackson what he likes to do in his spare time. I wasn’t quite prepared for his answer…

“Well, I’m married,” said Jackson. “My wife knows, and I told her that I will leave her once I find the man I want to build a life with. All I have to do is find a man who will be committed to me and is willing to wait until I end my marriage and explain to my kids that I’m gay.”

In his spare time he was married? The only thing going through my head was Bette Midler taking me back to 1978 with her beautiful smile, trademark boobs and perfectly written lyrics …

    He promises to marry you
    Yeah, just as soon as his divorce comes through.
    Whoa, it’s not just a fling
    He swears, it’s the real thing

I quickly returned to 2015 to respond to Jackson. “I never thought of marriage as a spare time activity. Interesting. So you’re looking for a man to commit to you, when you’re not in the position to commit to them?”

“That’s right, until I can get a divorce. Then we can be together, but I have to be convinced that he will be there for me once I’m out of my marriage.”

At that point, I remembered some advice from The Devine Miss M…

    Now listen, they’re hungry.
    Don’t trust a married man,
    Oh, the world is full of them.

Everything is bigger in Texas, and it seems that with this date, the only thing bigger than the Texas-sized disappointment was the Texas-sized line of bullshit that was served up next to my Venti Mocha Latte. I stood up, grabbed my coat with my left hand and my Venti with my right and was out of there faster than an approaching dust storm in Lubbock.

I wasn’t going to play.

Ringer

1Gr8Lesson

If you’re deciding whether or not you want to pursue a relationship with someone else’s someone, you need to be aware of the following:

1. Be ready to spend New Year’s Eve alone and Valentine’s Day on February 13th. You will never get custody of him for major holidays because his social calendar is booked with the one that wears his ring.

2. The odds aren’t in your favor regarding the building of a future with this person because he’s already painted in someone else’s picture.

3. Be on the ready for a confrontation by someone from the spouse’s camp or from the spouse themselves- the potential from going from “secret” to “target” are quite high.

4. If things actually work out with your married date and he does get that divorce and begins a life with you, there’s a very good chance that he’ll stay with you until he finds someone else that he wants to build a life with. He successfully did it once before; he might just try it again and you will always wonder…

If your goal is a monogamous relationship, you need to remember that when pursuing someone else’s someone, you’re positioning yourself to always be in second place.

When it comes to my next relationship, I’m not interested in scoring a Silver Medal. My eye is on the top tier of the podium, and there’s only enough room in that golden spot for two. Getting involved with someone else’s someone isn’t going to get me to where I want to be, which is why I choose not to entertain the idea of dating a married guy.

But for some, perhaps they don’t want what is perceived by most as a conventional relationship. There are lots of people that are quite happy with an “arrangement” or open relationship or even a polyamorous relationship. If that’s the case, pursue away.

If that’s what you want, then you should have no worries finding a married man. The world is full of them.