It is indeed a perilous path
'Fantasy.' is described by The Oxford Dictionary as an "extravagant imagining," or a "fanciful" thought. A fantasy, therefore, is not the world as it is, but the world, as we would 'like' it to be -- maybe. Fantasies can be about wondrous vacations in exotic pots; magnificent automobiles or houses; acquiring vast wealth that would solve all your problems, or about sex. Often about sex.
Of any hundred given fantasies, it would probably be fair to say that at least ninety are erotic in nature. Sexual fantasizing is natural and normal and won't make you blind or insane. I daresay that if it weren't for sexual flights of fancy there would probably be less lovemaking. A good thought-balloon can make up for any jolt of reality. If, on occasion it makes it work better if Evangeline Lilly or Josh Holloway (depending on your own gender and persuasiion) is beneath (or above) you, in your imagination, at least, you don't need to feel ashamed.
For the most part, our fantasies are private matters, and that is as it should be. While some fantasies are sweet and lovely, others are horny and lust-filled, and others are just downright dirty, even disgusting. At least, to another person they might be. As humorist Fran Leibowitz once suggested: “If your sexual fantasies were of the remotest interest to anyone else, they’d no longer be fantasies.”
In this particular consideration of fantasies I'm looking to where I was about a decade ago: a newly-divorced, relatively healthy, relatively attractive male who wasn't yet sure if he wanted to again venture down thatpath of heterosexual relationships. It was an interesting process, as you shall see.
While I am now happily ensconced in a fine relationship, at that point I spent much time pondering the ‘possibilities’ for the future. Fortunately, I lucked out, but sometimes when I think of the perilous path I was trod then, and how I might have fallen by the wayside, I shudder. While this focus is on male in the dating/fantasy realm, I know that women have similar problems in finding an acceptable male past a certain age. Anyway, these are some of the potential linkups that I, blessedly, had the wisdom to eschew:
Like this one:
too young: Your average male past a certain age might develop a certain tightness in the Levis over the little muffin-pants who brings his mid-morning Danish and coffee at the bistro across the street from the office. She's as adorable as a golden retriever puppy, but, should be crossed off any list of possibilities. She's far too youthful, and has youthful matters to attend to; things that aren't ever going to be of the slightest interest to a mature male. She smiles and passes the time of day ever so perkily when she serves the cappuccino. Maybe she even flirts a little bit. But, have you ever gotten involved in any sort of real conversation with her? Of course you haven't. You'd bore her senseless within twenty seconds if you offered opinions on the Iraq War or the state of the economy. Her subjects of interest would be equally preposterous to you. Don't believe it? Listen in when she's chatting to a girlfriend. Ask yourself how soon you would flee from the winsome charms of a cutie-pie who uses the word 'like' at least three times in any given sentence, with not one use of the word involving a comparison. You and she don't linguistically live on the same planet. Add the likelihood she never even heard of the Yardbirds. Need a little more convincing? You are five years older than her Dad.
Others to be scrupulously avoided:
the emotionally needy: These poor souls can be open and receptive to any and all attentions. You may think you're having fun kidding around with her, but she's mapping out a lifetime with you. You also, by the way, possess a few bad habits (in her mind) that she will want to change. There is a reason this person is available. You don't want to know the reason. Once she has you in her clutches, consider your freedom to be at an end. She will seek 'all' of your attention 'all' of the time. She will phone you fifteen times a day at work, and don't you dare consider taking female colleagues to coffee in future, even if it's just dear old Miss Abercrombie in accounting. You must have 'no' females in your life other than her. That includes your mother, your sister, your ex-wife, your daughter and 'all' female friends and acquaintances. In fact, she won't like your male friends much either, and will do her damnedest to break those friendships up. Everyone on the globe is a threat to her.
the predator: This woman is to be feared. If she wants you, she will pull out all stops to get you. Even if you had still been attached, she wouldn't have cared. You've seen Fatal Attraction, so you know what I'm talking about. But now that you're not taken, it's even better for her -- you are there for the bidding. And when she finally has you, you will be hers, all hers. She's a bit crazy, highly mercenary, and dangerous.
the partier: Drinks too much. Drugs too much. Initially will seem like a lot more fun than your ex. You know, uninhibited and a real wild child. She's not. Get with her and eventually you'll go down the drain, too. If you're smart, you will run. Don't let your liver give out before you do.
the weird: On the surface she seems like a pleasant enough person, if a little intense. She's probably kind of striking in a bohemian sort of hairy armpit way, and she is certainly a person with strong political and philosophical views. Views well apart from the mainstream. Views that might have made Stalin a bit uneasy. Perhaps she's a tad unconventional and uninhibited, even kinky sexually, and that's appealing -- for about ten minutes. Yet if you tap a little deeper you find elements that are disturbing.
looking for a Daddy for the kids: She's warm and gracious out in public. She's bouncy and fun. She's cute in a blonde-hair, button-nose, big-boobs, magnificent ass kind of a way. Awfully nice to cuddle with. She takes you home. You meet her three kids. There is 17-year-old Ralph. He's a druggie. You know that he is because you recognize the signs in his pinpoint pupils, shaved head, tattoos and the ass-backward ballcap. There is 15-year-old raging vegan Anthea, who looks like Wednesday Addams, or the Winona Ryder character in Beetle Juice. She's downright scary. Finally there is eight-year-old Travis who provides proof that Ritalin treatment doesn't always work. Watch the dynamic the first time you come to dinner. You will suddenly see your bouncy, boobsie new love interest turn into a raging, screaming troll who makes it very clear why the kids are all fucked-up. And, of course, she doesn't just want to marry you, she wants you to adopt the kids and inject a positive male influence in thehousehold.
the never-married: Why has a heterosexual woman of thirty-five or forty-five never tied that connubial knot, or been in a long-term live-in relationship, or even in any sort of sexual coupling? There may be very good reasons such as: she cherished the freedom her single status gave her; she was career-driven; she had no desire to commit to any one person; she was a psycho who frightened prospective partners away; or maybe, just maybe she was waiting for the right guy to come along, and you might happen to be that 'right guy.' Check this situation out, nevertheless. If you are interested enough in going the full course with her eventually, you have a right to know why she's been so gun-shy. If she's been alone most of her adult life, she's going to be set in her ways, and might not adjust too readily to your leaving the toilet-seat up, your assorted digestive noises, and, of course, the snoring. Maybe she's terrified of sex. You'll find this out pretty quickly.
the multi-multi relationship person: You knew she'd been married and divorced a couple of times, and been in two other long-term relationships. That's OK. Your experience has been pretty much the same,and you have come together on that common ground of knowing what each of you wants, and what each of you doesn't want. This can be a positive situation. But, let's say you're sitting around her sister's place one evening and her sister says, "Remember when you were living with Seymour?" Wait a minute! Who's Seymour? You've never heard of him. And, if there's a Seymour you haven't heard of, is there a Hubert, and an Alfonso, and an Abdul, and a Sebastian, and twenty or thirty other guys who explored her upper thighs over the last fifteen or so years? Was she spreading it around all over town like a carnal charity service? When you told your mechanic who you were seeing, you were a tiny bit disconcerted when he smirked and said, "Oh yeah, I know her. Know her quite well, as a matter of fact, heh-heh."
the culturally very-very different: I'm not ethnocentric in the slightest. One of the things I love about Hawaii, for example, is the racial mix. Everybody is in a relationship with somebody of some other culture, and the kids are rainbow hued. I think it's swell, and exactly the way it should be in this stupidly insular, troubled world. So, I'm not talking about getting involved with somebody of a different race or ethnicity -- go for it, it will broaden your horizons. I'm talking about getting involved with somebody who comes from a culture that is utterly alien in belief to your own. If she is a devout Muslim with a Shiite background and you're a Presbyterian, I think your chances of coming to a meeting of the minds are doubtful. If she is a Dutch South African and still adheres to the mindset that the blacks are truly the children of Cain, and you are a small-L liberal, I can see a lot of room for disputes.
Anyway, those were some of the perils and pitfalls I managed to avoid, as a male of a certain age. How about the women out there? What possible male candidates should be discarded at all costs?