My new older man, Keegan, and I headed out for the night; it was the night before Thanksgiving. Dealing with the holidays while dating someone new is always a tricky feat. Despite this, we were insistent on going out. This time, we went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
As we sat down and took off our jackets, he pulled out a small jewelry box. I started freaking out. He placed it on the table, setting it to his right, and looked at me with a smile. I immediately excused myself to the bathroom and called my mom.
“Mom, he pulled out a jewelry box! What the hell?” I screamed over the automatic flushing toilets.
“I had a feeling this might happen. Just relax! It’s probably just earrings or a bracelet. He’s a smart man, so just relax,” she said calmly.
“Gee, thanks for nothing,” I thought. But surprisingly, her advice helped somehow. I made my way back to the table and sat down. “I didn’t scare you there, did I?” he asked grinning.
“Yeah, a little—what’s in the box? I can’t take it, it’s driving me crazy. What is in that box?” I asked as I downed my entire glass of rum and coke.
“What, this little box? Oh, nothing. It’s just a little something I wanted you to have, for doing so well in school,” he said, grinning devilishly.
I immediately felt like an idiot. Of course it wasn’t an engagement ring—why on earth would he do that? My heart and mind were about a year ahead of his, because he was hesitantly cautious. He wanted to make sure he could really love me and be with me, and that he wasn’t just some phase I was going through. He opened the jewelry box to show a beautiful necklace with an aquamarine stone in the shape of a circle. I loved it immediately, and it’s still my favorite piece of jewelry to this day.
Later that night, a few of my friends were blowing up my phone with texts from their party. I declined the invitation, but still wanted to know how the party went. As I responded to the text messages, Keegan said to me, “That, what you are doing right there makes me feel like background noise in your life, and whomever you are texting is primary. I don’t like that.”
I was stunned. It had never occurred to me that I was making him feel that way. It just never crossed my mind and he was being brutally honest in pointing it out to me. That’s when it dawned on me what my mom had said about a month earlier, to always put him first. Sure, I had done so with my ex-sugar daddy, Michael, but it was a requirement of our arrangement that I was not allowed to use my phone and it had to be turned off and left in the car while I was with him.
This was what my mom was talking about. Dating a younger woman can make an older man feel somewhat insecure, it can make him feel vulnerable in ways he’s never experienced. I unknowingly was making him feel insecure; I was making him feel like he was being taken advantage of in some way, because I was texting so much this particular night, and apparently most nights. Needless to say, I learned my lesson—it’s important to always put your older man first, otherwise you may end up just pushing him away without even realizing it.
I immediately turned my phone off, popped the battery out, and dropped all of the pieces into my purse. “I’m so sorry. It never even occurred to me,” I said, kissing him gently.