Just under the wire, my last interview of the summer series "What are Men Thinking?". I love this love story because I've known Pedro since 2001. We became great friends when we worked for the worst possible boss ever in the world. He was older than me but always young in spirit and I admire that. I'm not going to take credit for his marriage, but I did push him to start dating online and helped him with his profile. You're welcome, Pedro. And thank you for reminding me it's never too late for love, and oh yeah, don't settle.
: Pedro Fleminguez
How long have you lived in NYC?
My whole dating life, 49 years. I started early.
Do you think dating in NYC is more difficult than other places?
Has to be easier because there are so many people. What if you lived in tiny town with limited dating resources?
How did you meet your wife?
On the web.
- I was her first online date just after she got divorced.
I remember Nerve, it was pre-OkCupid and cooler. So online dating worked for you. What were your other online dating experiences?
I tried Lava and Match for a couple of months but the vibe wasn't really my style. A lot of people seemed a bit burnt out and jaded. It was pretty tough to find positive interesting profiles. Nerve had some more creative people on there. I had some of your typical online experiences. People writing you who were obviously not your type. Learning how to let them down easy. People who didn't look like their photos. OCD types, heavy drinkers etc.
You got married later in life. Why the wait?
Life happens. In the beginning I was just young and not ready to settle down. Was in the restaurant biz-had a bar and bakery-it took up a lot of time and I also didn't feel financially established. Women put a huge amount of emphasis on that and in turn men put pressure on themselves. I finally started a second career and by the time I got established I was in my forties. Layer that with trying to find a "soul mate" and not necessarily wanting kids and you wind up losing a lot of time.
When did you know she was "the one"?
How long were you together before you asked her to marry you?
It probably took a little longer because she was separated but not yet divorced. I had to take it slow, she seemed skittish, but that was good for the relationship. I knew she was special right from the start, but I'd say a couple of months into it was when I really knew we had something special. After about a year we talked seriously about getting married and agreed I'd pop the question within 6 months. Which I did, and then we got hitched 8 months after that.
Did you ever have doubts about getting married?
Not to my wife, but before. Yup, lots of doubts. My brother got married when I was 17 or something. I had a nightmare about it...lol. Then, I just thought I'd like to wait until I was a much older at least 30. Life sometimes gets in the way, there are so many factors. I was in the restaurant business and not making much money. I think, I felt insecure about what I could bring to the table in terms of a marriage. Then I changed careers, but needed to find a good match. Takes a while sometimes.
What is the best part of being married and what is the most difficult?
The best part is having a great friend that you always want to spend time with and can always depend on. It doesn't seem like it's really been that difficult, for me the hard part is being so vulnerable to someone. It makes it easy to get hurt.
How do you keep the romance alive?
I try never to take my wife for granted. And I try not to over think things. If I feel like saying "I love you." I just say it. Plus, we still try and do special things together. Big things like going away and little things like going on walks.
Do you plan to have kids? Why not?
Timing was a bit of a factor for me...just kind of got too old. Mostly, I just never felt up to the job. It's a lot of work and commitment and I think I'm just a bit selfish about my time. My wife is a teacher and she feels the same way. Plus, she's around kids all day...
Was this a mutual decision and did you talk about if before you got married?
Hell yeah. I actually know people who got married without that discussion. That's just one of the major discussions you should have.
If there is one piece of advice that you could give all women about marriage, what would it be?
Make sure he's the right one. Wait as long as it takes and don't go in thinking you can fix his problems. There will be compromises, but when it's with the right person it won't feel that way.