I am 40 years old, when I started dating again after the break up of my marriage, I was 36 years old and hadn’t dated in over 12 years. I was out of my element and scared as hell. Not only because I was going back into the unfamiliar dating world but I was older and had changed. Now I know many people say ‘age ain’t nothing but a number’ but really it is more than that. Age can connote experience, wisdom, health, career all sorts of things. Although there are people who defy their age, the majority of us are who we are in part because of our age. How do you start dating when the majority of your dating competition is younger? Since I was in my late 30s it was scary and I was really nervous. I wasn’t the bright-eyed, naive 20 something of yesteryear. I had learned some lessons over the years, some of them really hard lessons. I had the symbolic scars to prove it. There were lots of things I couldn’t offer a man while dating. Time was no longer a luxury, I had to think strategically and be cognizant of the time I spent with guys. I couldn’t dilly-dally, if he was going to start a relationship he needed to make those feelings known and fast. If I wasn’t feeling him at all, I needed to cut him loose with a quickness, no gaming playing would be allowed on either our parts. He only had one chance to make a good impression. Once I got serious about finding a relationship, it needed to happen.
But once I did get serious, many self-doubts came along with that. I was older but I don’t feel old and I wasn’t really looking for someone who wanted to wile away all their hours. I wanted someone active, but it’s not like you find active guys in their 40s everyday. At that time I wasn’t interested in kids (although I’ve wavered on that recently) but I definitely was not interested in a guy with children. I was pretty accomplished in my career, had two degrees, I wanted someone who wouldn’t be intimidated by that or feel like they had to prove something to me because of ego. I’m older so all the head games, pomp and circumstance I was totally unimpressed with. I wanted someone who was college educated himself and had enough self-confidence that I wouldn’t have to spend every hour of the day stroking his ego. Although I was completely nervous about finding this man, I was really nervous because I wasn’t the young svelte Eugenia. Yes, you get a little nervous when you go on dating sites and put up a profile and scope out the competition and find much if it is younger and firmer than you. Of course, it can be nerve-wracking when you head out to events and in many ways realize you are older, maybe not as hip as you used to be.
But you knew what I had that made me feel better about my chances of snagging a great mate and being accepted by one too. I had experience, I had some wisdom. Now I’m not saying that young people can’t be wise, some I know are very wise. But the majority are unwise and a tad arrogant but then again sometimes the older set can be full of themselves and a little arrogant too. But I’m not speaking of knowing something arrogantly, I’m speaking of being wise humbly. I don’t know everything but I do know quite a bit and because I had that wisdom, some of it hard fought, I had that to offer to a partner. Potentially any man thinking about being mated with me would get the vastness of my wisdom in that partnership. When things happened I wouldn’t be caught with nary an idea on how to handle the situation. He also got my confidence, personally I don’t think any man worth his salt wants to be with a woman with self-esteem issues. No one wants to have to be a constant booster to a needy individual. But because I had accomplished some things and had made it through a rough patch, stronger than ever, I had confidence in who I was and what I had to offer. I’m certainly not arrogant but I’m not needy either. I knew what I wanted, I’d done all the ‘testing for defects’ stuff in my 20s by the time late 30s rolled around, I knew what I wanted and I was not trying to make anyone guess. Nor was I letting anyone waste my time or theirs. But not only did I know what I wanted, the things I wanted in a mate were real, valuable, and attainable. My deal breakers list was 5 or 6 items. I had gotten over the shallowness and stupidity of my younger days. I was unimpressed by men with potential, I wanted a man with results. I had results to show for my hard work and he needed the same. Not surface results either, I wasn’t fooled by the showy or ostentatious. I needed something real, tangible and enduring. I needed generosity, humility, love, companionship, intelligence, humor, hard-worker, wisdom and that was not coming in the form of a car with spinning rims. I knew what I wanted and I brought something to the table myself that made me worthy of it. My husband told me when we were dating he liked that I offered wisdom, that I had life experience, that I wasn’t caught up in surface crap that could be here today and gone tomorrow. I didn’t always think that was an asset, at first I thought it might be baggage but I turned out what could have been seen as baggage by many into a treasure that I could only share with someone special and worthy of it. I figured someone would find what I did have worthy of loving, caring for and keeping. All the things that had gone by the wayside with my youth, hadn’t been that great of a loss. I was still in pretty good health, still looked damn good and knew how to wear my sexy with confidence and class not crassness. I realized I had real value to the right person, the only thing was to find the right person and I’ve done exactly that.
Thanks for joining me in the ‘Dating in the Age of Dumba$$es’ series’, I hope you found something helpful about it. Here is the entire series: