Okay, I'm officially old. I mean, really old.
I remember being a skinny young teenager, out on a first date or even a second one and wondering if, at the end of it, he would kiss me. I worried about kissing and was sure I would totally suck at it. Just how do you learn to kiss well? What are you supposed to do? Move your head? Pucker up? Open your mouth a little? And OMG what if he sticks his tongue in there?! Ew!
All I knew for sure was that sloppy wet lips were gross, and beyond that, it was all a big scary mystery.
Now, a few decades later, I'm an unattached woman who hasn't dated in a really long time. After doing my best to keep up with "Liz" I figured it was time to have a relationship with myself. But enough with the hibernation.
When it came to relationships, I used to dive in head first before checking to see if there was water in the pool. But from now on, it'll be "toes only" whilst I take my time.
So why am I now officially old? Because recently, a group of young women friends were telling me it's considered "normal" to be doin' the wild thing on the third date. I nearly fell out of my chair.
"The third date?!" I cried, suddenly feeling like a seven-year-old exposed to Boy Cooties.
"Yep!" said one of them. "How many dates do you think it should be?"
"How many dates? I'm thinking how many months!" I replied, realising that my toes would probably never see that pool again. Nor would certain other parts of me.
The young women laughed. Yup, they all giggled at this silly old broad and said, "That was cute!"
"Why waste time on a guy when you don't know if you're compatible in that way?" they asked.
"How can you be compatible in that way when you hardly know the guy?" I countered. Ew. Even more gross than a sloppy wet kiss.
I suggested that I'd just discovered why a couple of them are having so much trouble finding Mr Right. I'm not sure my comment was appreciated.
I had my share of crazy meaningless sex in the late 70s when it was The Thing To Do, and I'll admit that I tried pretty much everything that was on offer. I'll even admit that it was a load of fun and I have no regrets.
But when it came to relationships, crawling into bed too soon was a fumbling, awkward disappointment, even if it was athletically ambitious and creative. With a foundation of meaningless sex with no emotional intimacy, those relationship-wannabes didn't stand a chance at getting off the ground. Gee. What a surprise.
These women didn't seem too worried about STDs either. Perhaps it's just that they are young and immortal and I'm old and conscious of the clock ticking, but it sure as heck worries me. I've actually heard people say, "You can live for many years being HIV positive; you just take the cocktail and you're fine."
I can't even begin to fake the level of stupidity that would be required to respond to that statement.
I really don't understand what's happened to people. Oh, man, did I just write that? Good grief, I sound like my mother but I just don't get why we've got babies having babies, sometimes not even knowing who the father is. And we've got people climbing into bed with virtual strangers and expecting to find love, romance, emotional intimacy and really great sex - all on the third date. Excuse me??
Perhaps people have lost the ability to connect on a personal level because most of their communication takes place via texts and the internet and out of a longing or desperation for that connection, sex is the quickest, easiest substitute. Or perhaps leaping into bed in a heartbeat is a reflection of our impatient culture's need for instant gratification. Whatever the reason, without the foundation of a loving relationship sex is a bad idea.
This body may not be as firm, thin and shapely as it was a few babies and a lot of years ago but it's the most intimate and personal gift I can give. I'm only going to give it to someone who deserves, respects and appreciates it (wrinkles, droopy bits and all). There needs to be a good connection mentally, emotionally and most importantly spiritually first, and if those go well then the physical side should fall into place quite deliciously - or at least with a level of love, familiarity and comfort that would make it easy to teach and learn what works.
I may be old but thank heaven I've learned a useful thing or two getting here. Having sex on the third date sure isn't one of them.
Visit me at www.libertyforrest.com