On: Dating Older Men
Question: Have you ever dated an older man?
Answer: Yes. and it was beautiful. I learned so much about myself, and about the stupidity of superficial husband hunting and expectations.
In more detail:
This is what you came for.
This March will mark the one year point, after Richard and I separated and ended our relationship while on holiday in Argentina. This came as a shock to many when we arrived back in the states. It’s also shocking apparently to lots, that we are still very close in friendship. A friendship I value so much not only for inheriting knowledge from a man I respect most highly, but also of course for some cutting back handed shade material only suitable to be uttered by a member of Austrian aristocracy.
Breaking up led to many people asking questions. It also led to many people drawing their own conclusions about my life with an older man. An older esteemed man to thicken the stew (over 30 years my senior). After a year, I am ready to answer those questions and satisfy the curious.. I also hope to end or at least make you question your own internal ageism (if you indeed have any).
The questions I was asked (and boy was I asked) were many, and somewhat presumptuous. Truly insulting questions like “Did you get too old? Did you spend too much (ok, so maybe that one was ok, because boy did I spend..)? Did you..” All of these “did yous” and rarely a “How are you feeling” or “What have you learned?” My closest friends understood that for once I made a decision with actually thinking it through. This had over weighed on my consciousness for a while, before it couldn’t be denied any longer. For once I went against my ever famous impulsive nature and thought about something. Imagine that!? It’s not every day someone ends a 4 year relationship with an Austrian nobleman (and all the perks that come with it). But I did. I had to. I just felt it was time for me to keep moving. (I'm sure Richard is reading this right now and rolling his eyes in a perfect mix of annoyance and humor).
Sure, there were times when I felt that I wasn’t taken seriously. But it was granted. The person I was when I met him was not the person I became. There were times when I felt that no matter how hard I worked and grew up mentally, I was still allowed to fall as the 23 year old version of myself would. This comfort, made me, well, uncomfortable. Ending my relationship with Richard was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, partly because he had been so many different Richards to me. He had been a lover, a friend, a co captain, a father, and an accountant. Friends often found our banter both hilarious and enjoyable. We would joke about our sexual triumphs with other men, and critique each other on opinions regarding our mutual love of opera and ballet. I enjoyed watching people who were uptight around him and who acted prim in hopes of gaining his favor, to only look at me in surprise and sometimes jealousy at how my unapologetic banging of the silverware actually worked in speeding up dinner being served. “Only 3 courses? Are we savages today?” continues to be one of my favorites to be said while at meal with certain social climbers over summer dinner on Fire Island.
Richard knows more about me than anyone ever has. He has seen and experienced both my lightness and my darkness. It was truly the perfect relationship for me to learn because he had “been through it all” already with prior lovers. Aside from the fabulous international travels, best theatre seats, prestige of being the husband of a top tier donor, and a fabulous collection of exclusive designer shoes (now I’m just being naughty)..I can thank him for teaching me that my words are powerful & to use them appropriately, to always continue being genuine and to always hold my fork in my left hand.
Some day I want to write a book about my life with Richard Winger. I want to write about how he saved me from my self placed doom and denial, how he taught me the importance of planning, and that if you see a light in someone, to always give them a chance. Especially in relationships, patience has its rewards. Until then however, a blog entry will have to suffice.
Your patience has helped me to become a better man today. I love you so much. Let's go to Cafe Luxembourg after the opera next week. I've been craving fish and chips.