Second-hand love

10 Apr

cowboy boots - original photo by Nikodem NijakiRemember how in your 20s, if you were lucky, you felt like you were with the love of your life? Not that you were going to stay together forever, necessarily. But you felt a true connection. You’re heart was wide open, and your mind was producing all kinds of ideas about how your life (possibly together) would unfurl.

My first big love was like that.

And after a few years it was over. Other adventures lay ahead, and I had to face them on my own. Or maybe my Big Love just started to get on my nerves…Big Time.

Many years later, I’m post-divorce and dating again. And the women I’m meeting are (like me) no spring chickens. Some have decades-long relationships behind them. Or a couple of darling kids. Or tattoos from their 20s that they now kind of regret.

I’m thinking: I’m not going to be any of these gals’ First Big Love. They’ve already had that.

So what’s left? It’s hard not to think of myself and the women I date as hand-me-downs.

But when I think of my favorite pair of cowboy boots, they’re never the ones fresh out of the box. They’re the ones that are a little lived-in, that fit my feet perfectly, and that make me feel like I could kick the world in the ass if I wanted to.

I think my best choice is to put a positive spin on hand-me-downs: We’ve got experience. We’re not interested in drama. We know what good love looks like, but we won’t try to convince you it’s what you want. And on a good day, we’re just about as hopeful as we are jaded.

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