Dating in your 40s is a nightmare for soooo many reasons, one of which is because……. you’re in your 40s.
I mentioned in a previous blog, that the woman in her 40s today, is not the same woman our mothers were. We are modern, exciting, we love fashion/make up and we like the same music as our kids (not all of it- but you get the point). Yet it is still the case that the media doesn’t get us and we are still portrayed as old.
It’s lost on me why more of us aren’t being used to advertise sexy make up and clothes, aren’t we the ones who can afford to buy it? Our collective buying power must be massive. In the eyes of advertisers, being in your 40s, isn’t mainstream, the ads targeted at us are those special clothes lines, modelled by the likes of Lorraine Kelly. These people who work in advertising must surely know women in their 40s and must know that their representation of us is out of date.
Yes women in their 40s can be sensible and practical, but we are also fabulously sexy and modern. We are more than mothers and wives. It is no wonder then that the way we are depicted in the media has a knock on effect of men’s perception of us in the dating world. Some men, (many) in their 40s, would prefer to date a woman in her 30s rather than a woman his own age because (in their eyes) she is prettier, more exciting, more fun, more likely to be impressed by him and much better for his ego. That’s what they think anyway but the reality is less true as in my experience, there is not a great deal to separate a woman in her 40s and a woman in her 30s. A woman in her 30s may well have the same baggage as a woman in her 40s, in some case she may have more. She may well have young children and therefore not have the energy to thrill and excite a man.
The reality is, that women in their 40s are the real catch. Our children are older (in many cases), so we have more independence, we have more time and if you’re lucky, more disposable income. I know I am generalising. The point is, faulty perception.
A male friend of mine, in his early 50s, admitted that he and his friends agree that there are more advantages to dating a woman in her 30s.
It pissed me off at the time as I’ve seen his friends who in the main are fat, ugly and broke. Not even i’m that desperate to date them let alone a woman in her 30s. Relationships are a trade off, and a fat unattractive, broke ass man, will need to have something to trade for the youth of a 30 year old. I have met some pretty feisty women in their 30s, so if these men truly believe that they’ll have an easier time with a 30 year old, good luck with that.
Let’s not get it twisted, we can be real picky and choosy when it comes to dating. I have friends who have an entire list of must haves, but they tend to be the ones who have been single for a decade or more. Of course you can and should have a list of must haves, but they should be realistic, so if your arse is chunky because you are too lazy or not motivated enough to go to the gym, then it’s not realistic to expect a fine specimen of a man, who looks after himself, to be attracted to you.
When it comes to dating, we women don’t look at things in the same way as men, we have no issue dating a man our own age, if we date a man younger, it’s usually just for fun unless he is mentally mature, in which case we’ll date him because he is mature not because he inflates our egos. We will also date a man older than us, if we get along. But what I have found is that with age, wisdom and experience, fewer of us are prepared to settle for someone just for the sake of having a partner.
I know that in the past I would have given the time of day to someone I wasn’t attracted to on the basis that they were nice, it would almost seem rude to brush them off without getting to know them first. Whereas now, I just cannot be arsed to go there if i’m not interested. I’m not saying you have to be rude, but just don’t waste your precious time.
It can be really difficult to meet people now. Nightclubs are a thing of the past, and if you are having an evening out with your girlfriends, you don’t really want to be interrupted by a male admirer. So how do you meet men? Online dating in theory seems the sensible answer to that. What is better than being in the comfort of your own home, with a glass of merlot in hand and scanning through an array of men? The problem is, there isn’t an array of men to chose from.
Online dating can be depressing as there are so few attractive men to choose from. Even though online dating has been a thing for years now, there are certain men ( the type I would be interested in dating), who would never go on there. They think its lame and desperate and the only men who are on there are those who can’t get a woman the normal way. This isn’t true of course; it may be an age thing as younger men are more open to. However if you are an attractive middle aged woman, looking for an attractive middle aged man, you are going to struggle meeting someone online.
I’ve dabbled and have had one partial success story. I went on Plenty of Fish (POF), which I now know was possibly the worst site I could have chosen. Apparently it’s the site of choice if you want a one night stand. Anyway I got lucky my first time on the site. I met a local guy and we dated for 2 years and although it didn’t work out, we have remained good friends and we meet up regularly.
More recently I went on Match.com and the choice of men was woeful. About 2 days in, a guy sent me a message, his profile looked good and he was 6ft + so he gained several brownie points for that alone. Within days we arranged to meet and I took all the usual safety precautions i.e. letting friends know where I was going, with whom etc. I got to the pub first and ordered a drink. When he walked in, I didn’t fancy him at all, but was prepared to make the most of the evening. He ordered a glass of wine and joked about what a lightweight he was when it came to alcohol and I thought that explained why he then went on to order water.
We left the pub to go for a stroll, when he suggested that we stop for a cocktail. I asked him what the point was if he wasn’t drinking but he said he’d have one. Well, one was all it took for him to get lively and a bit shouty. To this day I’m not clear how a person can get so drunk on one brandy alexander. Clearly there was an issue there, I’m guessing the alcohol clashed with his meds. Anyway I left and when I got home I found that he had the audacity to block me on WhatsApp before I could block him.
A couple of weeks later I was messaged by someone who again looked ok, his profile read well. The down side was that he was only 5ft 7. When we spoke on the phone we got on brilliantly it was like we’d known each other for ages and I was really excited about meeting him. When he showed up, there was no chemistry. He looked older than his photos and I just didn’t fancy him. He bought me a bunch of flowers, which was sweet, and also a teddy bear with the word love written on it, which was not so sweet and a tad creepy. I could see that he was trying to hold my hand throughout the date so I kept it occupied with the flowers. At the end of the date I told him that I wasn’t feeling it. We talked about how weird it was that you could have a rapport with someone over the phone but when you meet them in person it could be so different. It got me thinking whether I was being too superficial placing too much emphasis on chemistry, whatever that is, and I decided to give it another go. Trust your gut ladies. If you didn’t fancy him yesterday, you ain’t gonna fancy him today or tomorrow. I allowed myself to date this incredibly nice man for 2 months despite the fact that I did not fancy him. I wasted his time and mine and built his hopes up.
Part of the problem was, I didn’t want the reason for me not giving it a go , to be because he was too nice. When you say that out load, it sounds ridiculous, how can a man be too nice for me. But he was! Every morning I would wake up to you tube videos of love songs he had sent, it was nauseating, plus he would call me way too often (once a day is fine, allow me to miss you a little bit). This nice, albeit weird guy, had no life besides work and me, and he was too needy.
No more online dating for me. Without being a narcissist, i’d just like a male version of me!
Being single has its advantages. It’s a Saturday, 4pm in the afternoon, and I have not yet showered, or done anything much. Can you get away with that if there’s a man around?
Ladies, if we are destined to meet someone, it will happen in its own time but until then, don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Never be afraid of being single, it’s in your hands to make your own life interesting. Even if your pool of friends is small, make new one. Join a meet up group (https://www.meetup.com/) and meet like minded people.
You are 40s and fabulous. I’m off to take a shower x