To Date or to Dine Alone

Comments (1) Relationships/Marriage/Divorce

What’s a newly divorced mom with two children to do when she finds herself alone on a Saturday night? The question is pressing if you’re over 40, looking to date and new to the dating scene after being married for a number of years. The whole idea of dating again might even feel intimidating. The fact is, there’s no golden rule that dictates when or even if you should date. But if you do decide to get back out there and explore the dating game, make sure you’re spending your time the way YOU want to spend it. In other words, remember that your time is valuable.

Dating can and should be a lot of fun. It can also feel like tryouts for the school play, but one thing to remember is that you’re not in a performance. You are a woman with choices, and if you’re over 40, you’re among the most highly desired women on the planet. Accept it, and make the most of it. No offense to the 20-something and 30-something-year-olds, but when you progress past this ripe “old” age, you’ll understand why a woman in her 40s or 50s is truly in the prime of her life.

First of all, men who are 60 and over find us irresistible. We’re their “pretty young thing” without being too young. We make them look good, we make them feel younger than they are, and we boost their egos. The problem here is that—unless he’s an exception to the activity-challenged, viagra-induced, 9pm to bed-going rule, chances are we don’t want them–unless of course we’re looking to settle down again… I mean really settle down.

Men that fall into what most women over 40 would consider an ideal age group–those in their 40s and 50s—our peers–should be mature, well-established and know how to properly court a woman. The problem here is that many of them are going through some type of crisis. Whether it’s early stages of balding or belly bulge, alimony, or just dealing with being middle-aged, too many men in this age group are typically chasing some hottie between the ages of 19 and 34 as a coping mechanism for whatever plagues them.

So where does that leave us? Dating younger men? Why not? Halle, Mariah and Demi are notable examples, so why not you? This could be an ideal scenario. He’s likely to be fun, energetic, perhaps on an upward moving career path. He probably hasn’t gone through too much personal trauma. And guess what? He doesn’t care that you’re not calling him 10 times a day. As long as he’s mature enough to handle your so-called “baggage”–you know, the divorce, the two or three children, a few too many stretch marks–there’s nothing at all taboo about dating a younger man. Just be sure he not so young that he has a curfew, or a mom your age, or roommates who still think it’s cool to “moon” people on the highway after a drinking binge.

The thing about dating when you’re over 40 is that we want to truly enjoy the company of the person we’re hanging out with, regardless of his age. If the restaurant is great but the person across the table is driving you bananas (not in a good way), it’s not worth it. If you know for a fact that there’s absolutely no chemistry–and this is the third date–trust your instincts. It’s not likely to happen. He might be the nicest guy in the world. He might do and say all the right things. The point is, if you can hardly wait to get home–without him– there’s a sign that he just doesn’t hold your interest. There’s no point in wasting his time or yours.

The essence of time when you’re over 40 tends to be different than when you’re younger, especially if you’ve been married before and have children already. There’s typically no biological clock ticking, and you have a full agenda with plenty to do. It’s okay at any age to be selective and to spend your time wisely. Have fun, but don’t feel obligated to spend time with someone you’re not digging just because he’s into you. And hey, if all else fails and you have some time on a Saturday night and the pickings are slim for a decent date, hang out with girlfriends, or keep in mind there’s nothing wrong with spending some quality time alone.

Personally, when I get the weekend to myself, sometimes I just wanna light some candles and have a gourmet dinner at home, grab that book I’ve been trying to finish for six months, or soak in the tub for an hour, and have a movie/popcorn/ice cream and chocolate night—all alone. If I peruse through less than favorable options for dates, and I weigh those against doing something I truly enjoy, I usually find that the time I spend alone pampering myself is well worth it. The choice is yours. However you decide to spend your time, just make sure you enjoy it.

One Response to To Date or to Dine Alone

  1. Joanie says:

    Enjoy your time. You know you are healing when you can spend a Friday or Saturday evening home alone with a good book or movie. Society does add a lot of pressure. As a coach specializing in divorce, many women have shared how they felt if they were home alone on a weekend night that something was wrong with them.

    Joanie Winberg

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