Check your reflexes online dating

He said he had a Ph D, which earned him the title, plus advanced training in anesthesiology. She announced that he was the devil, that anything he had to say he could say in public. She found a therapist, who assessed the family dynamics and told Debra she needed to establish firmer boundaries with her children. They couldn’t sabotage her happiness — she had a right to it, just like anybody else. He liked to pose shirtless and take selfies of his washboard abs.

At the big Thanksgiving party the next day, it was impossible to ignore the sudden fissures in the family — impossible to ignore Terra’s absence. Debra’s mother, Arlane, thought he dressed tackily, especially for Thanksgiving. To John, this was more evidence that Debra’s kids were spoiled and out of control. If they wanted to come over, they had to be invited. If John was the man she had chosen, it was her business. Their house on the boardwalk had floor-to-ceiling windows, and from the rooftop deck they could watch the sailboats and the great yachts slide over Newport Harbor. She smiled when he’d stop in front of a mirror and say, “Damn!

She had been on three other recent dates, but the men were less handsome than their profile photos, and the talk was dull. He showed keen interest in the details of her life and business.

He didn’t want to talk just about himself, even though his stories were riveting.

heir first date was at Houston’s, a restaurant in Irvine, where he opened the door for her and put her napkin on her lap.

Her date was 55, 6 feet 2, with hard-jawed good looks and a gym-sculpted frame.

He looked a little weathered, and he dressed lazily — shorts and an ill-matching preppy shirt — but he might have once been an All-American quarterback on a trading card. He had thick dark hair and a warm, friendly smile that invited trust.

His eyes were hazel-green, with the quality of canceling out the whole of the world that wasn’t her, their current focus. They had found each other on an over-50 dating site, and she thought his profile — Christian, divorced, physician — seemed safe.

High black Gucci heels, designer jeans, Chanel bag.

At 59, married and divorced four times, she had begun to worry that she was too old for another chance at love.

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