Romance Redux

1 Mar

Letterbalm Couple in ShadowDear LetterBalm: I have connected with an old love from 40 years ago. He called out of the blue a few months ago, and we’ve had endless conversations. We’ve realized that our relationship is worth rekindling. We’re both single, and he’s arranged to visit me in my hometown in a few weeks. I haven’t told him that I haven’t been intimate with a man in more than a dozen years. I’m scared we’ll be awkward with each other. Much as I’m excited to see him, I’m reluctant to say any of this to him. I don’t even know how to bring up the subject of sex. What if he’s turned off by my older body?

–In Love in Louisiana 

Stories of lovers who get together years later make Ms. L.B. all warm and fuzzy. But it’s important that you and he establish the obvious: Time has passed and neither of you resembles the bright-eyed young thing you were in 1973. Have you exchanged current photos? Without undue detail and without vitriol, have you discussed your careers, health, marriages, children, grandchildren, successes, failures, politics, philosophies and other inevitabilities of life? On a practical matter, it’s probably better if he stays at a hotel than with you. If you feel you and he have been honest and are moving emotionally in tandem, you should feel comfortable being clear about concerns and expectations during one of his pre-visit phone calls. If he’s turned off by the more mature you, then he’s not worth it. And, remember, he might be more nervous than you are. Here’re some thoughts:

Brad, I haven’t told you about something that is difficult for me to say. I trust you to understand and not be put off by my frankness. I’m so excited about your visit – I can’t wait to see you, and I know you feel the same. But you need to know that I have some concerns. The last time I was in bed with a man was more than 12 years ago, and I’m nervous about being intimate with you now that I’m older. It’s important to me that we take our time to get to know each other again. There are so many things to learn about each other before sex, so we need to be patient and kind. I hope you feel the same. I think we have all the time in the world. Do you agree?

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