Ask Ava: Looking for Love after Marriage

Q: Dear Ava, I’m new to dating, period. I was married for 28 yrs, since I was 17. I was never with other men in my marriage years. My husband and I separated in 2010. Since then I’ve been on a cougar site, meeting new and handsome young men. My dilemma: I can’t seem to get past the first meeting. They sleep with me and I never hear from them again. This happened to me on three occasions, consecutively with three young cubs. I was very interested in one of them; but after our night, he turned cold and stopped talking to me. The same thing happened two more times.

I don’t know if it’s me or them. I’m an honest, sincere person. I’m not sure if I am doing something wrong on our first date. I’ve never been in the dating scene. All I know is a serious relationship, but somehow I think I am confusing the two. Is there any tips that may help me keep a cub interested? Appearance is not the problem. I think it’s my personality? Or maybe the sex? I’m not very creative in that arena. Or maybe I’m just too serious?  All I know is I am just being me. Any advice is appreciated

A: Dear L, I was so excited to read your email because I don’t get very many letters from women. Dating after being married for such a long time is difficult for anyone, and with internet dating introduced, it’s all very different… so I’m impressed that you’re out there, using a site that is specific to your desires, and persevering. That takes a lot of courage and vulnerability, L. You should be proud of yourself!

It will take a little getting used to, this internet dating… I still feel it’s an ongoing learning process with bumps along its road. But I do prefer it to going out in hopes of meeting a younger man. From your letter, I see you are confident in your appearance and ability to attract men through a dating site. That’s a big first step. And I don’t think you’re confused about what a one night stand/hookup/casual sex (what you’ve experienced with your first three dates) and a serious relationship (what you had with your husband) is. What may be happening is that you’re dating profile isn’t specific enough. If what you want is a serious relationship with a younger man then there should be somewhere in your profile that conveys that, otherwise you will attract men who just want sex.

I will also say from experience that sex on a first date often doesn’t lead to anything long-term. If you’re on a first date and feel that there’s chemistry and the possibility of something serious, hold off on the sex and end the night with a goodnight kiss. If he’s interested, he’ll definitely want a second date, and maybe something more. He’ll see you as being worth waiting for. Really getting to know someone without what I call the “sex cloud” fogging one’s brain is paramount to creating a solid foundation for a committed relationship.

You didn’t mention the name of the dating site you use, but some sites for mature women give off more of a hookup vibe rather than helping women find meaningful relationships. You may also want to try a site like OKCupid that is more general, but where you can still keep your search specific to younger men if you want.

I don’t think you’re too serious, just serious about meeting someone special. Continue to be yourself because you want someone to love you for you, warts and all… and we all have them! And don’t be so hard on yourself about your sexual prowess. It’s understandable after being with the same man since you were seventeen.

L, I hope this helps and would love to hear back from you about how things are going.

Need advice on dating, relationships, or sex? SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION HERE, and who knows, you may appear in the next Cougar World newsletter. -xo Ava

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