Compared to most of my 32 year old friends, I have a pretty high energy level and prefer to live life in the fast lane. So meeting Peter Pan turned out to be refreshing, he seemed like he could keep up and he was 40! I was actually ecstatic about his age, anytime I meet anyone over 30 I get excited, because of my lifestyle I am always surrounded by guys in their young twenties. I love my little 20 something’s they are too cute, but they still have things to learn that I can’t teach them. On paper he was absolutely PERFECT! But, much like my chest (Victoria’s Secret promises two cup sizes), what you see is not always what you get.
Pan and I have a mutual friend who introduced us. The next day he found me on Facebook and sent me a message. I dodged him for weeks and denied multiple requests to go on a date. I gave excuse after excuse and I didn’t care. I hate dates and I have actually only been on three in two years, going out with someone I don’t know bores me to tears, I feel like it’s fake and forced. I prefer high school style dating, my friends meet up with your friends and we bar hop, everybody wins. There’s a method to my madness, I observe the whole time. I want to see how you treat your friends and how they treat you, I want to know how nice you are to the bartender when you order drinks, do you say please and thank you, and if you’re genuinely interested in me I want to see how much attention you give me when all of your friends are around.
I got extra ballsy one weekend and took way too many shots of Fireball. When I took a brief time out from dancing I turned around and there he was; Peter Pan had perfectly positioned himself right next to me. He was cuter than I remembered and in that moment I decided I had to have him. So I grabbed him and kissed him and let every girl in that bar know that this one was mine. And then I left. I’m so mysterious.
I went to work Monday and discussed my inappropriate behavior with my co-worker who also doubles as my life coach. Turns out, Peter Pan was his friend. Whoops! I told him Pan had already sent me another Facebook message asking to go out (I wouldn’t give him my number). My life coach gave me the scoop and said he and his girlfriend broke up 5 months ago, he was a good guy, and I HAD to go out with him. He was unusually excited about this and said we were identical, we were both out every weekend and it was only a matter of time before our lips locked. He’s usually right about most things, so I text Pan and told him I’d be out Friday night and we would meet up.
Pan was every bit as fun as my co-worker promised. He had a great sense of humor, he was genuine and he was different. He was definitely a breath of fresh air. He actually told me he had a crush on me and when I asked him why, he said he just had a feeling. He told me every single thing any girl would ever want to hear, he also called me out for denying him and asked if I would now finally go out on a date with him. I said yes, and I have to admit I was actually looking forward to it.
We spent the night together and kept it PG, he was a perfect gentleman. He was just as affectionate the next day as he was the night before and when he dropped me off I was certain I was going to hear from him sooner rather than later. When I didn’t hear from him I consulted my arsenal of man friends, we decided that there really are no rules, so I broke down and sent him a message 3 days later. He replied back – 8 (inexcusable) hours later. I let it slide and asked if he was going to an event I invited him to on Friday. I never heard back. Oh wait, he did send me a Snapchat that Friday night, some stupid selfie about how work was sooooo long. Now, 25 year old me would have been elated and sent him a selfie right back. 32 year old me threw my phone down and told him to fuck off. The next night a neighbor and I went out, we just wanted to dance; it really cures everything. We’re doing our thing at the bar and in walks Pan with his harem. Looks like I wasn’t the only one that had a penchant for 25 year olds.
He did that thing where he pretended not to see me and walked right past me. I tapped him on the shoulder and called him out, I refused to play this stupid game. He proceeded to explain why he was there with these girls and I had no idea why he was explaining this to me because I didn’t ask, I didn’t give a shit who he came there with. The weekend before he couldn’t keep his hands or his lips off of me, this weekend he couldn’t even look me in the eye. He was thrown, too many of his girls were in one place and he had no idea what to do. Rookie.
He was standing by himself and I was seething. I marched up to him with authority and said, “YOU KNOW WHAT?! YOU REALLY HURT MY FEELINGS!” (Ugh! I sounded like I was 3!) I told him he needed to be careful what he said to people. He told me he meant everything he said and then he told me he did have a crush on me. Then he flipped it on me and told me I was really rushing things and it had only been a week and I was acting like I wanted this to be the end all, be all. For a second I wondered if MAYBE I was being a little crazy, and then I said no. I wasn’t the one that told him I had a crush on him, I wasn’t the one who told him he HAD to go on a date with me, and I certainly wasn’t the one who told him my clock was ticking and I needed to have a family, yes he said all of that. And when he did say those things I said nothing back, because I didn’t know what to say and when I’m in doubt, I make out! (Works every time.) But, I did manage to give him a pretty nice compliment in the midst of our high school style spat. If I’m out with a guy I always have one eye on him and one eye on the door, I’m always looking for the next best thing. When I was out with Pan he had my full attention. He sold me a one-way ticket to Neverland and I bought it without question. I bought it all because he just seemed so genuine. Before I walked away he told me he didn’t want me to write him off and he told me to give him time. Part of me wanted to punch him in the throat and the other part of me wanted to laugh. Give you time for what? To figure out if it’s going to work out with you and your ex-girlfriend? To figure out if it’s going to work out with you and a member of your harem? Take all the time you need. Because there’s one thing that I do know and that’s my worth. I’m not an option, I’m a priority and if I can’t be treated as such, then you don’t deserve me.
It finally clicked as I looked around the bar. He had no idea what to do with me, he had no idea how to treat me, because I’m too final, I’m the girl you marry, I’m the end all, be all. He was trying to treat me like a 25 year old. And I got it. Because last year I went out with a 35 year old who was ready to settle down and have kids and I bolted. He was too final, he was the guy you marry, he was the end all, be all. Dating people in their 20s is easy, there’s no finality and you’re in control of the entire situation. Dating people 30 and up, if it goes well do you update your Facebook relationship status after date 1 or date 2? It’s eerily final. I think there’s a genuine fear for people who have regained their independence, it’s a very hard thing to give up, and when it comes to a relationship there’s this new part of me that I fear losing.
What Peter Pan didn’t know, was that while he was fast asleep dreaming of chasing his shadow and sword fighting Captain Hook, I was awake the entire night fighting off panic attacks. I was trapped in the suburbs, and this was a representation of my old life that I grew to hate, an old life that I escaped and now I was back. When he talked about wanting kids, it sounded like he wanted them NOW. Although I didn’t mind that he talked about that, things were just very real. I told myself to take all of this for what it was, a fun night, and enjoy the fact that I found someone who was actually intriguing. If things ended up getting more serious, I’d handle it when it was time to handle it. Right now I just needed to have fun and I needed to stop ending any potential relationship before I gave it a chance to begin.
My ex used to call me Peter Pan. I hated it. I hated it to the point that I would almost cry, but the truth hurts. Before I walked out of the bar that night I threw my ticket to Neverland in the trash. I guess sometime in the past two years I finally grew up.
I was hopeful for Pan, I’m not angry with him, he’s not a bad guy. I was definitely disappointed, it sucks putting yourself out there only to get rejected. I’ll definitely put myself out there again, there’s no point in running anymore. If I get rejected again, it’ll leave a scar. But scars make good stories, and what’s life without a good story?