41 and dating in 2020

Less than a month ago I turned 41 years old. Some men at my age have grown kids. Some might even be grandparents! But me?


It’s not for lack of trying. I had a handful of good dates in 2019. You see, success (meaning: getting any date at all) started quick in 2019. As in… January 1st I had my first date of the year. We met at The Well Coffeehouse in Nashville and had an enjoyable conversation. I remember thinking, “This is a good way to kick off a new year!” We talked about meeting up again…


Never. Never will I see this woman again.

This quick start to 2019 was an exception to the rule. I don’t think I had another date for a long time after that. Most of 2019 went this way, and the other day it dawned on me… most of my dates were first dates. Rarely was there ever a second date. Before you have pity on me, though, I’ll admit sometimes all we ever planned was to make-out, and one date was enough.

It’s now middle of January and so far, it’s been about the same. I’ve had a couple of first dates but I’ll commit to this right here and now… 2020 is about the elusive second date!

So here’s to less first dates in 2020!

-Out of the Wilderness

Football coach flips the script on offensive creativity

Indianapolis, IN — It was about two decades ago when Kansas State made a splash in college football introducing the wildcat offense. It was highly effective, so much so that many other football teams including those on the professional level all the way down to peewee ball* incorporated it into their playbook.

In this variation of a run pass option, usually it’s a running back that will line up as the quarterback, take the snap, and either run it themselves or hand it off to another running back lined up in the backfield with them. The team’s quarterback will line up as a receiver, or simply remove themself from the field for the entirety of the wildcat formation.

Since the inception of this defense-confusing-lineup, coaches have become more aware and in turn been able to foil most wildcat variations, which is why it’s mostly fallen off most playbooks on all levels.

Enter coach Trevor Knightby. He was a graduate assistant on the sidelines of his college team when he first saw the wildcat used. It was then, he says, the idea was born for another offensive revelation.

“I had no idea I’d become a head coach one day,” says Knightby, “but my parents wouldn’t let me move back in after college unless I helped my dad out with the local high school’s sucky team– I mean– promising young team.”

The senior Knightby, then the coach of the worst varsity squad in the state, was gently forced out of his position mid-season (although he was allowed to remain on staff as a 10th grade history teacher) and that’s when Trevor took over. “It was the fourth or fifth game that year and pretty much the entire city had moved on to prepare for the upcoming basketball season. We’re known for being an almost average basketball school, so I guess most people thought even that was better than a football team that hadn’t scored a touchdown since Saban was an NFL coach.”

Knightby threw caution to the wind and started running an offense never before seen on any level of football. To call it a variation of the wildcat is a wildcat understatement. Under Knightby’s leadership, this new offense was ghostly, surprising, and could downright cause reactions of apocalyptic proportions.

In his offense, there are 11 players on the field but that’s about where the similarities to the wildcat end. In fact, that’s where similarities to any offense you’ve ever seen end. What you won’t see are running backs, quarterbacks, or passes. Knightby credits his dating life for the new radical offense. “My ‘aha’ moment was actually when I was ghosted by a girl I’d met a few weeks earlier. She was nice, but one day she just disappeared. Haven’t heard from her since.”

Take that to the gridiron and you have an offense line, a handful of wide receivers, and that’s it. The center snaps the ball to an empty backfield (where most teams position a quarterback), causing the defense to feel like the quarterback must be ghosting them. They scramble around assuming they’re missing something but don’t want to be made to look foolish.

This design has yet to earn a win for Knightby’s team, and in fact, at the time of this publication, they haven’t gained any yardage, points, or respect from the city.

-Out of the Wilderness News

*Peewee league teams using the wildcat cannot be confirmed, as none of the news staff has ever actually watched a peewee football game. 

Married Man Loses Touch with Single Guy Friends

Louisville, KY — A Kentucky man recently admitted since his wedding last year, he hasn’t talked with any of his single guy friends. The now husband and father of a toddler said, “I’m not sure exactly what happened. Some of us had plans to play basketball in a league that summer.”

We were able to track down a few of his groomsmen. One had no comment while another was willing to talk under conditions of anonymity.

“Yeah, we did have plans to play ball that summer. He and I had been playing together for years… until she showed up.” He went on to say his friend dating and eventually marrying changed everything. Then once the couple started having babies, he gave up on ever hearing from his buddy again.

The third groomsman we contacted was relieved to hear his married friend admitted to losing touch with him and the rest of the guys. As it turns out, he started dating someone around the time of his pal’s wedding, and just remembered he hasn’t texted any of his guy friends “in a few weeks… or months.”

“I thought it was my fault he and I lost touch,” he says, “I’m glad to know [married guy] feels responsible. Let’s keep that story going.”

Upon checking with the Kentucky man’s wife on how relationships with her single lady friends are going, she had this to say: “Well, it’s been disappointing. We can only meet at Panera three times a week.”

-Out of the Wilderness News

40 years in the dating wilderness

I’ve never felt like Moses more than I do at this very moment. He wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and I’ve been wandering in the dating wilderness for my entire life- 40 years!

Of course, the wanderings were and are for different reasons, and the promised land isn’t the same either… but I am so grateful the Lord opened my eyes to this comparison. It’s lighthearted, sure, but I do think of my journey to the dating “promised land”– marriage– paralleling the Israelites journey.

The thing is… their journey had a (mostly) happy ending as they finally made it to the land flowing with milk and honey. Will mine? I’d love to find a woman as wholesome as milk and sweet as honey 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

Would you rather date through Facebook, or go on The Bachelor?

Ever since the dawn of man, men have been trying to get it right with the ladies. Heck, Adam was the very first Bachelor contestant, right?

But there is nothing easy about deciding to be on The Bachelor, I’m sure. A lot of your dating history will be exposed to millions of people who will either cheer for you (which would be awesome, I guess), or cringe (which is most likely). Then there are the tears.

So. Much. Crying.

If you watch the show, or any of it’s spinoffs like The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise you know exactly what I mean when I say these people are… what’s the word… interesting. Most of them think being on the show is their one last shot at finding true love. Most of them are also under the age of 25.

Bless their hearts. Then, if one of these young’ns don’t get a rose, they bawl their eyes out because they thought they had found “the one.” After 3 days of being part of the cast. Barely knowing the person’s last name.

Well, getting dumped on national TV is no longer their last chance of getting rejected!!! Facebook has entered the game.  Facebook wants to be for single people what Alex “Hitch” Hitchens was to Albert Brennaman. 

So romantic. Really, it is. But does Facebook have any hope of being a successful matchmaker? I’ll say this… using an established social network to romantically connect people together makes a lot of sense. There are millions of people who have millions of friends in common, so perhaps this could be a way for friends to meet friends of friends… people they wouldn’t have met otherwise.

I just have my doubts as someone who’s tried a handful of dating platforms.

You see, what I’ve heard from my female friends is this: guys on dating sites are mostly one of 3 types. The creepy guy. The runner. The player.

[creepy guy]

Creepy guys are hard to explain because they can appear in a few different ways. But mostly, and this is just based on what I’ve heard from female friends, they’re clingy, or as soon as a woman doesn’t respond right away or asks a question about the guy’s authenticity the dude gets defensive and hurtful.

The runner is the guy that has a lot of potential in the beginning but as time wears on the other shoe drops. Meaning this… he’s got something in his DNA that won’t let him get to the place where a relationship can last. So he either ghosts, or just goes away, blaming himself.

The player. This one is easy to define. Sex. His first message is something like, “Hey baby” or “Ur fine” or something super genuine like that. 😉

They want one thing and one thing only.

Here’s another truth for you… when women join a dating site, they are flooded with messages, matches, winks, whatever. While that could be flattering, it’s actually really overwhelming. And from a friend who checked out the Facebook dating “portal,” it hasn’t been any different. She said the influx of matches caused her to delete her dating profile.

Sucks for the ladies who are on “here for the right reasons,” and for the dudes who are genuinely “looking for their person.”

So why would Facebook be any different from dating apps that exist currently? I can’t think of a solid reason except for the friends of friends thing. In that regard, it does open up more options than The Bachelor ever will, because nowadays, they’re all just dating each other. Yes, we’re looking at you Blake from Stagecoach.

He. Sounds. Hideous.

Have you tried the Facebook dating thing? Have you auditioned for the Bachelor? Chime in below and let’s get a conversation going!

-Out of the Wilderness

What happens when there’s no romance

There’s eye contact. Laughing. An attractive woman with a pretty smile. She touches his arm playfully. He compliments her style. This has all the makings of a great relationship forming. But what happens when there’s one thing, one critical thing, missing?

It might not be apparent on the first date, or even a 5th date, but have you ever been out with someone only to realize you don’t have romantic feelings for them? Whether you ever admit it to them or not, I imagine it’s happened to most of us at least once.

So let’s get personal, shall we? Earlier this year I spent time with someone in whom I was hoping to have interest. There was clearly an attempt on both of our parts to strike the match for a romantic spark. We went out a few times and saw each other quite a bit in “non-date” scenarios. All that to say, we were able to see each other’s personalities pretty well, and I was purposely trying to be a gentleman throughout the entire dating relationship. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m generally happy with how I behaved. Well… that makes one of us!

I’m not one to leave things hanging or to assume she can read my mind so once I knew I didn’t have feelings for her, I wanted to talk about it. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not one who’s known for being tactful. I’ve got none! But I made a point to be kind, considerate, and to muster up at least an ounce of tact. It must not’ve worked. Somehow my approach for sharing my feelings was off-putting and she took the opportunity to let me know. Let’s just say she had a spirited response…

…which was 17 pages. FRONT AND BACK!!

OK, it wasn’t as dramatic and the Ross and Rachel saga, nor was it more than 10 or 11 pages, but she was clearly upset and told me all about it. And just so you have all the facts, she also didn’t have romantic feelings for me! The verbal lashing seemed to be out of left field, and what I couldn’t figure out is who she thought she was talking to? And I don’t mean that in a puffed up kind of way. What I mean is that she derided pretty much my entire approach to our dating relationship, the same dating approach I was proud of! Surely she was thinking about some other fellow, right?

Way back in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think what really upset her is that I brought it up first. Maybe she wanted to be first to say there wasn’t interest. I honestly don’t know, and won’t ever know, because after I defended myself, and spent time considering her comments, I let it go. Any further communication would not have been helpful to either of us.

What helped me through this is remembering I can only marry one person. So every other person in the entire world is someone I didn’t marry. Makes sense, right? These other people… either I didn’t know them, didn’t date them, or didn’t have romantic feelings for them. Those are all the options. So this latest relationship is simply one of the ones that aren’t the one. I wish her the best…

As tje band Queen said, “Another one bites the dust!”

-Out of the Wilderness

Still in the dating world

Not too long ago, I had a date and while I fancy myself good company, I do always hope that the company I keep is good, as well. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that! Well, lately my few and far between dates seemed to have been cursed.

You see, I have a personality trait that 1) thinks too much and 2) loves to anticipate. So with most dates, I think about them a lot beforehand and if I’m already clicking with the woman, I anticipate a lot about the first date, or second or third, whatever the case may be.

So this particular relationship was headed for the first date, anticipation building. We’d seemed to connect, at least through various messages, and there also appeared to be chemistry. It’s such a coin flip when it comes to “real life / face to face meeting,” though. And this coin flip landed on whatever side means:

The date itself was fine. With the right person, it would have been a great first date. The anticipation from earlier, though, wasn’t fulfilled, so I arrived back home deflated, annoyed, frustrated. Trying to glean something positive from it, I counted the date as practice; a chance for me to hone my dating skills so that one day when a great match comes along, not only will I be good company, but also her anticipation will be met with a great reality.

-Out of the Wilderness