Reinventing Romance: Too Old?

Dating advice for women over 40: What to do when a man your age ends a relationship because you’re "too old."

By Sherry Amatenstein

Q. I’m 46 and recently started seeing someone my age. Only he tells me he can never get serious because he wants children of his own, and I’m too old! What do I tell this arrogant joker? And what do I tell myself to assuage the hurt his words have caused? — SheilaA. Give "AJ" a one-word answer: Goodbye. True, he’s the opposite of diplomatic. But, as 48-year-old Sara points out, at least he’s being honest. The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical representative says, "You may feel a little sting now but that’s way better than getting totally wrapped up in someone, and then finding out you don’t fit his ‘specs.’" Los Angeles matchmaker April Beyer explains, "If you meet someone who wants to start a family, it’s not about you being ‘too old’ for him. It’s not personal." Translation: You can’t change your age or his attitude toward it. So accept both with as much grace as possible. After all, not only are you not for him, he is not for you. Why settle for someone who doesn’t appreciate a woman ripe with the knowledge, beauty, pluck, and style only experience can forge?This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do all that you can to "package" yourself as attractively as possible. Or that you shouldn’t early on weed out men who are exclusively seeking a younger woman and children. Another essential point: Take a look at your own dating expectations. For example, do you automatically discount much older or much younger men? Widen your pool of potentials and the chances increase exponentially that you will meet "FM" (Fabulous Male).Just to keep things in perspective, listen to Sanford White, a New York lawyer: "I will not settle simply because I’m getting older. I don’t want to come off as shallow, but every person my age who I attempt to date has issues. At 53, being a cancer survivor, I am in pretty good shape. Women in their 40s just don’t care about their appearance."Life is simply too short to waste time and energy stressing over men who have a stereotypical view of "experienced" femmes when there are so many out there who will embrace you. Happy hunting. Do you have a tough question about dating or relationships? E-mail Sherry at DatingExpert@More.com and your question might be featured in an upcoming column.E-Mail Sherry Check out Sherry’s second book, Love Lessons from Bad Breakups Check out Sherry’s first book, The Q&A Dating Book Originally published on MORE.com, May 2007.

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