I wonder who ever started the myth that women over 40 don’t stand a chance in hell of finding a mate and marrying, whether for the first time or the 5th. It seems to me that there are loads of women over 40 who are not only extremely attractive, but also much more comfortable in their skin than their younger counterparts. They’re more confident, more compassionate and certainly more able to love completely than they might have been in their earlier years. So why do such myths continue?
If I were given a magic lamp and offered the opportunity to ‘go back’ to any age I like, I wouldn’t go back to any of them. I like being where I am. I like the feeling of knowing who I am, and not having to subscribe to anyone else’s version of who I ‘should be’. I love the feeling of calm that comes over me when confronted by anyone who feels the need to ‘get in my face’ for whatever reason they feel compelled to pick a fight. Most of all, I love knowing that when push comes to shove, the one person in the world I KNOW I can count on is ME. It comes from living. It comes from settling in to my Self. It comes from having loved and lost and survived the heart-ache, even though at the time, I thought it would kill me. It didn’t. I’m still standing. And, truth be told, I’m a far better woman now than I ever was at 25 or 30 or 35. In fact, when I was 25, even though I THOUGHT I had the world in my hands and nothing could ever stop me from doing anything I wanted, I was a train wreck. Really. A train wreck. I was outwardly confident to the point of arrogance. I was ruthless in my honesty. I had very little, if any, patience. And I really thought I had my ‘stuff’ together. Sheesh. What I didn’t know was A LOT.
So now, here I am at what is most commonly called “Middle Aged”. I have a lean, strong body. I have a few lines around my mouth. I have strong, useful hands that are as eager to soothe as they are to create. I have a wicked sense of humor and a heart of gold. I have friends who I’ve known since I was a train wreck, and they still love me. I have the freedom to be, do and have anything I choose, and I’m much better at the choices I make for the wisdom I’ve acquired. What’s more, I have vision beyond what my eyes can see. And that vision allows for truths that I could never have seen in my earlier years. So, with all that I have, and all that I know, why would it be impossible for me to find a mate, even at this age?
I believe there are 2 kinds of men in the world. Those that know who they are and those that pretend to be someone else. I’ve seen many a marriage torn apart after 20 years because he found someone younger. He’d leave his wife, who put him through college, bore his children and put up with his bull while he was working his way to ‘the top’, just so he could feel good about his virility or his waning good looks. He tossed it to the wind so he could marry the young little chickadee who made him ‘feel like a man’. One friend in particular, who recently went through this agony, called me up one day to tell me that she was going in for plastic surgery and needed a ride to and from the Doc’s office. This is a 41 year old women who could pass for 30 any day of the week, with a brilliant mind and a lovely heart.
Yet, because the knucklehead left her for a younger woman, she decided to ‘get younger’ herself and go under the knife. I did my best to talk her out of it. Kept saying, “Honey, just wait a little while longer. Wait until you’re not feeling so devastated. Make this decision when you’re emotionally well, not when you’re falling apart.” But she wouldn’t hear of it. When, at last, I realized she was going through with it, whether I was there or not, I did what I do for all the people I love. I stood by her and stayed until she was able to get out of bed on her own and actually feed herself. It was a long, brutal 6 days and every time I heard her cry out, I wanted to kill the guy. But, of course, it wasn’t really his fault. It was her all along. And she made the choice based on her own insecurities. Maybe he left her for reasons she didn’t even know about.
The men I’ve met who are not afraid of their mortality are the ones who wouldn’t dream of leaving their wives. They’re the ones who see her for who she is, in all her aging glory, and love her even more. The ones who understand that her beauty goes far beyond what can be seen with human eyes. The ones who were there when she was a train wreck, and stayed for the party anyway. The ones who went through as many changes as she did but stuck it out because they made a promise. These are the very men who’d marry a woman over 40 and be grateful to have the chance. But, the question is, where are they?
They’re with their wives, that’s where. The reason women over 40 MAY have a bigger challenge marrying is NOT because she’s over 40, it’s because most of the men who would love to marry her are already married and wouldn’t think of leaving their beloved wives. The other men, the ones who left their wives for younger women, are likely to be divorced again (because the young chickadee got tired of his ‘old, tired self’) and ran off with a younger man. So now the old man is divorced, his first wife has gotten on with her life, and he’s the loser sitting in a bar looking for some lonely old woman who’ll ‘settle’ for less than she deserves. Problem is, that woman, the ‘older woman’, is wise to his ways and won’t have any part of his nonsense. Stalemate.
These scenarios I describe are merely scenarios. There are probably lots of terrific guys out there who’d be honored to have (and appreciate) a woman over 40. And there are likely just as many women over 40 who would find those men delightful. The question is not whether or not women over 40 stand a chance in hell of marrying. The question is, does she KNOW how utterly valuable she is? Does she hold herself in high esteem? Does she know that she’s a queen deserving of a prince who will adore her and lavish her in love? Does she know that for all she’s lived, all her scars and lines and wrinkles, she’s even more beautiful than she was when she was 25? It is this woman’s observation that THIS is where the myth arises. And it’s up to us to eradicate that myth. Women over 40 unite! Look in the mirror and sing your praise. You ARE so beautiful. And once you really feel that, you’ll be as irresistible as you were the day you brushed on your first smudge of blush. Love YOURSELF. Then you’ll see who shows up to treat you like the queen that you are.
Camille Strate is a blossoming Being who spends much of her time writing. She also enjoy lending a hand to other writers who may need a keen eye (editing) or a fresh perspective (rewrites) When she makes time for it, she rolls around in the grass with her dogs and cat, pretending to be 9 years old. More often than not,, she’s got a smile on her face & a whole boat-load of love in her heart. Visiting her website is highly recommended. http://joyizzachoice.blogspot.com