Yes, you can find love. But you need to face reality.
There's no other way to say it: Dating sucks when you’re in your 40s, 50s and, God forbid, in your 60s. Our faces are blighted with wrinkles and age spots. Our bosoms sag to our ribcage and our fannies droop. Our slim waistlines have been replaced with doughnuts. Don't even think about wearing short-shorts in the summer.
I dated for many years as a woman over 40. The men I wanted to date never asked me out, or if I went out with a great guy, I never heard from him again. I realized there are two top reasons mature women are unable attract and hold the sincere interest of quality men. They are:
1. A critical, judgmental, closed mind-set
2. High expectations (code for: unreasonable and unattainable)
Woman are infamous for "The List," a column of checkmark boxes that characterize the traits and attributes that must characterize the man they will date or marry.
A closed-minded woman automatically rejects a man on superficial information. If he shows up on a first date wearing the wrong shirt, or his haircut or eyeglasses are out of date, or he is bit reserved, she pulls out her Sharpie and she discards him like the evening trash.
Or if she gives him a second date, she doesn't like his house, dog, car or his favorite TV shows and she closes her mind to the possibility that this man is an intelligent, loving, stable diamond in the rough eager to be polished.
I'm amazed at the fantasy list of some women: deep pockets, expensive house, luxury automobiles and a 60-year-old man with an Ever-ready schlong. A plus-size female friend told me she wouldn't accept a blind date with a man because he was fat.
Women over 40 can be uncompromising about their "List." They've lived their first life. They got rid of their self-serving, cheating boyfriend or they divorced their overbearing, abusive husband. They sent their children off to college and they're self-supporting. It's "me-time" they say—and they conjure a long list of must-haves and deal breakers that no man can measure up to.
I met my husband on Match.com. I knew on our first date he wasn't the silver-haired bad boy I was impulsively attracted to. There was no titillating chemistry. His clothes were frumpy, drab and tired. His conversation was restrained. He was balding and 40 pounds overweight. But something in my gut told me he was the real deal — and so I consented to a second date.
In truth, I dated him because he had a farm with animals; I thought it would be fun to ride a horse and pet a cow. I continued dating him because he wined and dined me, he adored me and he never made me worry. I fell in love with his heart and I married him. Today my husband has a closet full of snazzy clothes, he sports a Michael Douglas hairdo, he lost 40 pounds — and I own my first horse.
I'm not saying lower your standards. And I'm not saying you should settle for Mr. So-So. I am saying get rid of your fantasy laundry list and give a man a chance to show you his best and most enduring qualities. You may discover that the perfect man for you is wrapped in a different package.
And as to my plus-size girlfriend? I convinced her to give big boy a chance. She did. She fell deeply in love with him, saying he was the best man who had ever been in her life. And she married him.
Do you lack confidence with men? Do you repeatedly date and commit to men who are less than what you want and deserve? Nancy Nichols’s self-help trilogy will dramatically change the way you think about men, dating and relationships, and ultimately yourself: Secrets of the Ultimate Husband Hunter, Never Date a Dead Animal and God, Please Fix Me!
This article was originally published at KnowItAllNancy. Reprinted with permission from the author.