SEXUAL PROTECTION AT MIDLIFE?
DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR: I’m a new reader of this site. I also just signed up as a member on your new midlife discussion forum. After having been married for nearly twenty years, I split up with my wife in late 2006, the divorce became final several months ago. I have not really started dating yet, just been out with some women friends. I’ll probably sign up on one of the online dating services next month. My question kind of jumps ahead of myself – I’m wondering your opinion about using protection during sex. Do you ask them about it, or do you just do it and not say anything? Or would that be rude? Is it common at midlife to use protection? I have not been with anyone except my (now ex) wife in many years which is why I ask. I considered posting this on your midlife discussion forum, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself. Anonymous
MLB ANSWER: This is a great question and topic, and would be excellent to pose over on our new MIDLIFE DISCUSSION FORUM in order to get different opinions – especially from the women there. I changed your name here to “anonymous” – and I’ll post your question on the forum for you shortly … but first let me give you my own biased answers.
I assume by “protection” you are referring to a condom (and not a handgun … ha ha ha). I personally hate condoms because things don’t feel as nice when you are wearing one. That said – when you are about to be with someone brand-new, it is better to be safe than sorry, right? I mean – by using a condom, you are protecting both of you from possible pregnancy, from the risk of catching something communicable, etc. Every situation and person is different – but in an ideal case, after the first several sexual encounters you typically know if the woman is going to turn into a girlfriend (or not) … and once you’re sure that you both are monogamous and infection-free, that is when one could abandon the condoms. That sure sounded nice, but in reality I, personally, have not always been so careful – which means that in many cases, due to an emergency sex situation, I bypassed being cautious and just plunged right in bare. If you are going to use a condom, you can simply announce it. “I’m going to put on a condom”, and if she asks why, then say that “it is for both of our protection”. Be sure to smile during this conversation. You should probably have the condom handy – which means don’t take too long trying to locate it, else things might cool down a bit. Don’t keep it too handy though – lest it fall out of your pants pocket when you are paying the dinner tab … which would constitute a party foul or “buzzkill” ;o)
Here’s something else to think about – if you are NOT using protection, then when the magic moment is about to happen, what do you do? Pull out, leave it in, or maybe something else? That might be a good question for the MIDLIFE FORUM … ?
By the way, congratulations on your newly-found midlife bachelorhood. There is a ton of stuff on this website which you may find useful. You sound pretty self-confident – which is great. You might consider reading the Midlife Dating Advice section or at least the subsection that discusses the Midlife Bachelor Personal Makeover. Please update us on your challenges and triumphs ;o)
DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR: I am new to the dating scene. I am separated/divorcing my wife of 2 years, (who I courted for 3 years before that.) I am having trouble finding a woman who excites me as my wife did. So, I have been dating a few different women, but have recently dated a woman, who is very, very nice, but I’m just not “feeling” anything other than a passing friendship. I’m just not interested sexually. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, and I don’t want to “burn a bridge”, as I know girls talk to other girls, etc. I am conscientious of “networking”. What could I say to stop dating, that would not make me look like the bad guy. thanks, John P.
MLB ANSWER: Hello John, and welcome to midlife bachelorhood! So you were with your wife a total of five years, and now the two of you are separated and divorcing. I commend you for starting to date. Some people find it difficult to re-enter the dating world after a long period of being in a committed relationship, while others run wild fairly quickly. It sounds like you are progressing fine – and that you are thinking through everything clearly.
In your situation, you state that this woman you have been dating is very, very nice – but that you just don’t FEEL anything for her sexually. You mention that you don’t want to burn any bridges, and that you don’t want to be a “bad guy”. Letting her go at this point really is the right thing to do – otherwise you would be leading her on (which is bad karma). I would suggest that you just sit her down, and in a very nice, calm, and honest way – explain to her that you feel like your relationship with her has become more of really good friendship, as opposed to anything else. I’d also suggest you tell her this is not her fault – it is not anyone’s fault. Emphasize that you do want to be friends with her – that you value her friendship. Hopefully she will take this well – and not produce any drama. Since you have not slept with her, I’d say that your chances for drama during the breakup discussion are diminished. If you would like to read a more detailed discussion on breaking up, I would suggest taking a look at the Short Midlife Article here entitled, How to Breakup with your Midlife Girlfriend I will also post this question and my answer over on the new Midlife Discussion Forum section of this website, and see if any of our female members have anything to suggest.
You also said you are having trouble finding a woman who excites you the way your wife did. My advice is to keep trying – keep meeting new women until you find one that does really excite you. You might wind up learning something new about yourself – for example, I did not “discover” that I loved Latinas until my late 20s. There is a wealth of midlife dating-related advice for men in your exact situation on this site. You might check out the section on how to Develop a Strategy for Midlife Bachelor Success … particularly the subsection on New Lead Generation – Finding New Women to Meet. You also might benefit from the Midlife Bachelor Personal Makeover section which discusses the concept of both a physical and mental/attitude tune-up. And if you want to know what is out there in terms of women – check out the Fundamental Truths about Women and Midlife Dating Today section. If you would like to try online dating, you might consider joining eHarmony, PerfectMatch, or Yahoo!Personals by clicking on one of the affiliate ads you see on midlifebachelor.com (that way you’d be helping both you and midlifebachelor.com out). [All three ads can be found under our Website News section of the News page] Good luck – let us know how everything goes.