When asked what type of woman I’m attracted to and what I’m looking for in a relationship, I hear Nature giggle at each answer. Sure, I have preferences, but I find the more I try to focus on my ideal mate, the fuzzier the dating landscape becomes. Maybe she’s best left undefined.

For example, I really don’t have any desire to raise children now. I’m ornery. Scooping cat shit is the limit. Then a friend says, “Aw, you’ll make such a great daddy.” I furrow my brow as I sip my whiskey and reluctantly accept the compliment.

“Thank you, but no, thank you.”

“Come on. Don’t you ever think about how cool it would be to have a little you running around?”

“Yes, and then I fear how tired I’d become from chasing the little prick and delivering constant beatings.”

“Stop it. You’d be a kind and loving pop to Phil Junior.”

“Of course, I would. Still, it’s too stressful. I get acid reflux when I consider it.”

“And what about a little girl? Aw, a cute little daughter for Philly.”

“I don’t know how to operate the adult versions. How am I supposed to grow one of my own?”

“Good point. Golf, maybe?”

“A more logical choice.”

Then, not an hour past the discussion, my eye catches something delicious. I have this odd attraction to women with restrained emotions. You know the type. (Goodness, you may BE the type.) Allow me to describe her without tipping her off that I am indeed describing her too precisely and, once again, auto-cock-blocking.

She’s been married to a man who lost interest. The relationship strained, they struggled to maintain, but the distance grew. Then she got pregnant. The proximity improved, but the underlying flaw remained. He supported her with more words than actions. The baby was born. Love was possible again, but it was false hope. Mom focused her love toward baby. Dad drifted again. Mom held on by a thread. Dad became jealous, falling behind two to one. Mom grasped. Dad neglected. Mom bottled her passion. Dad sought refuge. Mom sought escape. Baby booked future therapy appointments. Splitsville. Single Mom tries to remember what she saw in Dad. Bachelor sees thinning wallet and hair. She dreads dating. He wants to make up for lost time. She can hardly remember her last involuntary orgasm. She wonders. He wanders. She forces herself to leave the baby with a nanny. She fights abandonment guilt. She dips toe in the dating pool. She’s unimpressed. She considers working it out with the ex. She allows her single friends to drag her out again. She’s not interested. She meets me. I’m harmless. She opens a little. I see years and years of bottled passion. I’m hooked and pry. She’s tempted. I’m not stepfather material. She’s not looking for a stepfather. I know her next opening will be grand—a fine aged wine about to open up and intoxicate me.

Should I keep it corked? Is she ready? Does she need more time? A delicate delicacy—she’s hard to resist.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.