Rules of engagement (fraternize!)

There are rules.
And with these rules come opinion and analysis. Outlooks and advice (oh, chrissakes the advice).
Being newly (nearly) single is not for sissies.
(Disclaimer: technically, I am not officially divorced until Sept. 17, 2007; I however, have been given the “green light” by female friends to “date” in as much as I’m honest and open with the women I meet. I am.)

Rule No. 1: Do not sleep with any woman who is not single.
Given the recent past and personal experience with infidelity, this is an absolute. Even if that woman is dating, and that relationship isn’t really working for them. Single, unattached women. Got it.

Rule No. 2: The half plus seven rule.
This theorem, this equation, determines the youngest age of a woman I’m allowed to date (and not look like a total perv). Fourty-four divided by two plus seven is 29.
I still think, for a guy at the beginning of middle age, 29 is awful young.
Besides, selfishly, I don’t know if a 29-year-old has the life experiences I’m interested in for debate and discussion.
I will reject this one and go with my own 10-year theorum; any woman within 10 years of my age is fair game.

Opinion, analysis and advice. Oooffa. That’s where this all gets rather tricky. Especially between men and women.
Here’s how men offer advice or opinion in my situation:
“Fuckin’ anyone?”

Women want to discuss.
(Disclaimer No. 2; I enjoy each and every one of my dear, dear women friends who engage me in conversation about this; I always listen very politely to the advice. And do what is exactly in my heart to do. I’m a good guy. I trust myself to do what’s right.)

“Whatever you do, don’t just go out and screw everything that walks – just because you can.”
Ok. Totally not me, and that isn’t going to happen.

“You’re going to hate women for a good six months.”
I have a slight distaste for one woman (even still, I care for her), but I love women. That’s why I have so many of them as close confidants.
I am not damaged.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that I was in therapy already to deal with my mother’s death when the marriage blew up in my face; I just kept plugging away. Hell, I got kicked out of therapy for being “too good.”
I love women.

“Be honest, TDaddy.”
Absolutely. If you think about it, I am a commodity. I’m 44, single(ish), successful and sane. And I’m not gay.
I’m a catch (without having the big head about it, either).
Right now, I just want to hang out, have fun and keep it light with women. Doesn’t mean I’m not open to love and lust and a deeper connection with a woman.
I just want to be honest to where I’m at – and convey that openly.
What I’m saying here is don’t fucking worry about it. People worry too much. They take too much medication for worry. Chill out. I’m here for fun and friendship; let’s see what happens with that first, Ok?

And a final analysis, given to me by a very dear friend:
I scare some (most?) women.
I’m in touch with my emotions, I’m able to verbalize them, I know who I am and I know what I want. I’m a hopeless romantic and truthful as a Boy Scout. I believe in long, slow, wet kisses that last for days. Feelings? I can discuss feelings.
What’s to be scared of?
I thought women would welcome a guy like that.
This one confuses me.
It’s tricky out there.