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Dating today: high — and low — expectations get in the way

Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM



Jason and Sean are Highly Eligible Men. To fit into the category these days, a man needn’t be employed, virile or even single. It seems like it may be enough, in this the era of dwindling available men, that he merely be. Any qualities beyond — loose change, a clean shirt, a car, a library card, a nice smile — are bonuses, not to be taken lightly. Today’s highly eligible men have all of the above, plus wit and intelligence. This elevates them to Catches.

Jason, divorced with two kids, early 40s, says he’ll date almost any woman at least once. Sean, 10 years younger, is a sucker for high-powered women with glamorous jobs; his reveries are about the Forbes List of 50 most powerful women in business. What they agree on is . . .

“Women want so much,” Sean says. “They come so needy to a relationship. You see a women three or four times and suddenly nothing is enough. I’m a good guy. But women are already looking for chances to say, ‘You’re not good enough in this or that way,’ or ‘You’re not open.’

Jason says he knows. “Women seem so angry. And they’re willing to lay it right out very early in a relationship. First date kind of thing: ‘Here’s the way men have worked me over, and you’re going to listen to it.’ I’m sick of it. I tell them that there may be thousands of jerks in the world, but I don’t happen to be one of them; so this time maybe they’re lucky.”

Divorce frequently comes with an expectation. That is that they’ll be another marriage somewhere down the line. And most people who get divorce do remarry at some point. But not all of them.

Julia married in 1986. The marriage worked, less or more, for 15 years. Then she got involved with a coworker. They had an affair. It wasn’t an earth-shaking, life-altering affair, but it was fun and it made Julia realize that life could be more exciting, more adventurous, more fun than she had come to accept. So, she got divorced. Not to be with her coworker, but to make a more fun life for herself.

She’d read some statistic that said that 90 percent of divorced men and women remarry. That for every newly divorced woman, there’s a newly divorced man. That’s what she was counting on.

It hasn’t worked out that way. Julia says she’s had three honest-to-goodness dates since she got divorced. She doesn’t count the men she met online through dating services because nothing ever came of them.

“Before I was divorced, when I was just getting separated, I used to think of these single men I knew, and I would look them over and think, ‘This one I wouldn’t really like to be involved with, but I would go out to dinner with him,’ or ‘If this one calls, I would never go out with him.’ I assumed that somehow they would come out of the woodwork. I am amazed and by now resigned that I have had so little social life at all.

“Sure, I would like to be married again. And I would be a much better wife this time.”

Did your romantic expectations come true? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.

Creators Syndicate



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