Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is the Single Middle-aged Woman Invisible?





Often, women in their mid-forties complain that the fashion industry bypassed them in their effort to garner the attention of the twenty-plus female. Dating often feels like being stuck in the junior section of the department store where nothing fits right or looks good. Apparently, many men think so too, as they pick younger women to date. What gives?

People are more likely to divorce in their forties as opposed to any other age. Once the kids leave home, a couple realizes they have nothing that holds their bond together. With people living longer, the promise of a better, exciting life is more attractive. Ironically, the promise doesn’t materialize immediately.

Society and the media have schooled men that dating younger implies virility. Younger women do not challenge men in the way women their own age would. A younger woman usually is agreeable to a relationship faster than a mature woman is. Divorced men tend to be reactive too, which means they don’t want to date anyone like their ex-wife, which would be a middle-aged woman with children. Dating is hard. Most men don’t want to be troubled with the time and effort involved. Ironically, the man who was so keen on the brand new, better life will quickly settle into a mediocre relationship.

This makes the middle-aged single woman despair of ever finding herself in a relationship again. Face it; people treat a single woman different from a married one. In a Guardian article, one woman pointed out that after a divorce even friendship dynamics change. While some folks joke about who gets the friends in the divorce, the simple fact is, no one invites a single woman to a party. Only when she was in a relationship, did invitations to dinner parties appear.

Part of the problem is how middle age women regard themselves. Often, their belief that they are unattractive keeps them from drawing romantic interest or noticing men who are interested in them. In the same article, British actress Lynda Bellingham confessed she didn’t take seriously her current husband’s wooing efforts because she was a mature woman. Despite being a vivacious, talented beautiful woman, she accepted the general belief that men always date younger. Obviously, her husband did get his message across eventually.

In the same article, one woman confessed her future was a dismal, loveless one. How sad that she measures happiness by whether she’s in a relationship or not. This is usually a trait of younger women. Older women have usually learned that relationships come and go. Being true to yourself, pursuing your dreams and interests will keep you vital. Refuse to define yourself in the terms of a society that provides no appropriate role models. Mature crooner Tony Bennett still packs houses, proving there are plenty who want to listen to his style of music. He pointed out in a radio interview that music producers chase after the younger audience who often “borrow” or share songs on the Internet, while ignoring the baby boomers, who represent a bigger and more profitable audience.

What does the middle age woman do for companionship? More and more women are dating younger men. In fact, several sites have been set up for that purpose. Why do younger men date older women? According to the landing page on Toyboy warehouse, it’s for their confidence, experience, zest for life, and lack of game playing.

The simplistic answer to the middle-aged woman dating dilemma is attitude. If you see yourself as used up, then others will too. Staying home and feeling sorry for yourself gets you more of the same. As a single woman, you can do whatever you’ve always wanted to do, from trying out new hobbies to traveling. Chasing your dreams will bring back the confidence you lost in your divorce or along the way. Value yourself and your achievements and you’ll discover others will too. Even though this may seem counter-productive, imagine your worst scenario of living alone. You can go out when you want, go where you want, eat whatever you want, spend your money how you choose, and live a life where you’re the sole architect. A full life filled with friends, family, and activities you love.

Life can be perverse because once you’re okay with who you are and being alone, you usually bump into someone. As a strong single woman, you can decide if you want to invite this person into your life or not.




2 comments:

  1. While I think it is good advice to recommend that middle-aged women maintain their self-esteem and not consider themselves "used up," as you put it, women might also consider some of their unrealistic expectations. I write a dating blog for men called My Life in (Dating) Hell and I have written a couple of pieces about this topic, from a male perspective. I encourage you and your readers to take a look for another perspective. And if you want to read about older women dating younger men, I have a piece about that, too. See the following:

    http://mydatinghell.com/what-women-want/

    http://mydatinghell.com/what-a-drag-it-is-getting-old-cougar/

    Please share with your friends and offer your comments. Thanks.

    Best wishes,

    t-rock

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  2. Hi Tony,
    I've addressed both men's and women's unrealistic expectations in different columns including men who list on their profile that they will only date a size 2 or a D-cup. While women insist on men 6' or taller and with a glamorous occupation such as pilot or surgeon.

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