Being engaged to my older man Patrick was both thrilling and frightening. I was thrilled that this man had chosen me, but on the other hand, I wasn’t completely confident this was the right thing for either of us. And, of course, there was the family issue—his difficult family and the one I wouldn’t have if I married him because I would be giving up motherhood. That was frightening to me.
I didn’t voice those concerns to him. Instead, I surrendered myself to him. He had worked very hard to finally and firmly keep me in his life. I had no doubt that this man loved me more than any man I had ever known. In some ways, it felt like “father love.” He was so protective, so concerned with my comfort and happiness, and he constantly doted on me.
One evening, Patrick and I went out to dinner with a group of my friends. There was a couple with us whom I had never met before. We all gathered at a wonderful steak house that was considered to be one of Chicago’s finest. There were 10 of us and we all sat around a large table, ordered drinks and wine, appetizers, and, finally, steak. I wasn’t much of a steak woman, but Patrick insisted I try a filet, done medium rare.
When the entrées arrived, Patrick reached over and began cutting my steak for me. I will admit that it took me off guard, but I didn’t object. The meal was delicious, everyone seemed to have a great time, and we went back to my apartment around 11 p.m.
My phone rang several minutes later and when I picked up, it was my girlfriend who had been at dinner with us. She wanted me to know that her friend (the one I had just met that evening) had been shocked and disgusted that Patrick had cut my steak for me. She said her girlfriend thought it was ridiculous that he “infantilized” me like that. She herself wasn’t upset, but she did say that maybe Patrick went too far in some social situations, hovering over me and performing ordinary tasks for me. I told her I’d talk to her in the morning and hung up.
We went to bed and, as usual, had wonderful sex—ardent, hard, long, passionate, and sensual sex, ending in rolling orgasms. In my head, however, I kept hearing that word, “infantilizing,” and it troubled me. I was an independent, strong, and intelligent woman. I had never been with a “sugar daddy” before and the age difference was both a blessing and a curse. Was it all part of being with an older man? Was this OK? Did others think he treated me like a child? I wasn’t questioning my May-December relationship before the dinner, but all of a sudden, I wasn’t so sure anymore.