Not for Everyone

Photo courtesy of PublicDomanPictures

When I get lonely these days, I think: so BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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A couple of weeks ago, I found this message in my OKCupid in box.

Wow, caught your profile and had to write. Your (sic) looking fabulous! Are you really over 50?

Captivated as I was by such a charming introduction, I visited this gentleman’s profile. This is what I found. Please forgive the errors in spelling as they are not mine.

My self-summary
I’m a married man living in the North Gwinnett area. I am tall, white, educated, and clean. I am seeking discrete relations with married ladies, single moms or mature single ladies. Prefer ladies who are fit and positive.

What I’m doing with my life
I’m a successfull businessman that is looking to share some of his earnings with the right lady. Enjoy nice lunches with friends, shopping, and adult company.

I’m really good at
Various things. Very open-minded, and will work with you to achieve you goals. Experience in many genres.

The first things people usually notice about me
How tall I am…and how comforting I can be during stressfull times. I can ease you concerns with a soft conversation and time spent together.

You should message me if
You are looking for a beneficial, discrete relationship. If you are married, that is great. If you are a single mom, or a young single lady, I can help with some expenses that you may have, but cannot spend endless hours with you, especially nights and weekends.

The journalist in me wanted to know more. I messaged him back, told him I found his profile “intriguing,” and asked him for further details. This was his reply.

Thanks for getting back with me. And “thanks” for not judging me on my profile. I just try to be up front, not trying to hurt or deceive anyone.

Yes, I’d like to get to know you. I’m an area business owner, father, husband, coach, and church goer, so you can understand why I don’t post alot of pictures on this site. I know alot of single moms (and married ladies!) from the area on here. I’m in a sexless marriage, and can explain more later.
Anyhow, if you’re interested in learning more, perhaps we can arrange a meet-and-greet over coffee to see if we have some synergy.
I wasn’t exactly sure how a married man could honestly believe that cheating on his wife wouldn’t “hurt or deceive anyone,” but I had to find out. We arranged a coffee meeting. I waited. And wondered.

On the following Friday, I showed up at Starbucks at our appointed time. I hadn’t seen any actual photos of Larry (not his real name) so I had no idea who I was looking for, but he recognized me and introduced himself with a shake of hands. Do you remember Lenny and Squiggy from Happy Days? Imagine Lenny in his mid-50’s – same pants, same shirt, with a small paunch and a sagging face. And bad teeth. That was Larry.

He had already purchased his beverage and didn’t offer to pick up the tab on my soy chai latte. I wasn’t surprised. We took our seats, he checked his watch, and began his spiel. His wife is older and not in the greatest of health, he said. They haven’t had sex in years, but they get along well, they are really good friends. And there are children involved. He wants to keep his family together, but he has needs that simply aren’t being met. He has no choice, really.

Looking over his shoulder every couple of minutes for people who might recognize him, he informed me that he had had a several-years affair with another woman – a married woman, the ideal partner because she also had something, her own marriage, at risk. But her husband had been transferred so they had moved away from the area, hence his current search. Younger women were often interested in what he had to offer but experience has taught him that an older, mature woman is preferable in his situation – someone who won’t come banging on his door at 2AM, demanding time or money. Because nights and weekends are reserved for his family. He has a flexible work schedule, though, so can easily break away during the day for “meetings” without having to explain his whereabouts to anyone. Since I am free weekday mornings, my schedule coincides perfectly with his. And since I have a home of my own, the “where” is also covered.

Besides the obvious pleasure of his company, he continued with a leer, there would be other rewards for me. Although he isn’t a wealthy man – in no position to make my house payment, for example, or pay me a monthly stipend – he understands that I am probably on a tight budget. So if there was a special blouse or an expensive pair of shoes that I liked but couldn’t afford to buy for myself, he would be happy to help me out from time to time. And I would be free to continue dating. He understood that I might meet someone special no longer wish to see him; he was willing to accept that possibility.

Bile rising in my throat, I watched as Larry took the last swig of his coffee then stood to go. He had another appointment across town, he explained, but hoped I would consider his proposal and be willing to meet with him again the following week to iron out the details.

Later that evening, I received another note from him.

I hope you’re having a nice weekend. Thanks for considering the idea of meeting with me further.
I was thinking about this arrangement from your perspective today. I can understand concerns that you might have in disclosing your OWN privacy in this setting. Given the fact that you have a business and two children at home. If it helps in your decision making, I would be fine with arranging meetings in area motels.

Thoughtful, eh?

My research concluded, I wrote him back and said that, although I had found our meeting fascinating and wasn’t sure what the future held for me, I know what I DON’T want: an affair with a married man. He thanked me for my honesty, acknowledging that such an arrangement was “not for everyone,” and wished me luck in my search.

Husbands and wives, do you know where your spouses are?