Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Finding Love at 48

Today is my 48th birthday. I've been thinking a lot about finding love at an older age. I was divorced at 43, and being single has had its ups and downs. "Dating" at any age is not really my cup-of-tea, but the older I get, the less I want to do it. I much prefer an established relationship to the early getting-to-know-you days. I'd love a 48-year-old balding guy with a paunch if he loved me, was the father of my kids and I'd shared the last 25 years with him. I'd take him over a hunky young studmuffin any day. The problem is the bald father of my kids doesn't love me, and, in fact, is married to someone else. Honestly, now that I am 5 years past that painful time, I'm glad. Being single is not great, but it's better than being married to someone who doesn't love me. And there are many habits that my ex-husband had that I am more than happy to no longer have to deal with.

It's hard to feel attracted to "older" people, though. Bald men with a paunch with whom I've shared no history, don't do it for me. That's why we fall in love when we're young, get married, and by the time we don't look good anymore, we have developed that "mature" love that's based on so much more than how attractive we are.
We usually accept each other's mutual decline on the attractiveness scale and do not have that dreaded fear of exposing middle-age imperfections.

Luckily, I have aged relatively well. I get my fair share of attention from the "older" generation. The other day I had some guy that looked like he could be 70 try and pick me up. Though I know I should be flattered by any attention, I admit to feeling somewhat panicked that my "dating pool" is moving dangerously close to those headed for the geriatrics ward.

The good news is I still get approached by young guys, too. While in Cancun last week, some young guy invited me up to his room. (I almost called him a "young hottie", but...the truth is, he wasn't that hot.) I told him I don't go to the rooms of men I don't know so he invited me for a drink to "get to know me". I accepted the drink, but told him I thought the difference in our ages was too great. I kiddingly told him I was turning 70. Now here's the really bad thing about joking like that.... He said, "Really?????" as though it might actually be true! No, NOT REALLY! DUH! To think someone might have actually believed I could be 70 (even if they were surprised!) was not pleasant. Our little "getting to know you" drink, blessedly, did not last long.

Though I sound very cynical, and, honestly, I know my ambivalence about dating is one of my biggest obstacles from finding romance at this older age, I cannot say I do not have love in my life. I have met many friends (both men and women), thanks to my single status, who I do now love. I have friends help me when I'm too weak, short, or ditzy to do "hard" things myself. I have friends I can call when I'm feeling sad or just need someone to tell me that I am sexy, even if I am pushing 50. I have friends who will laugh with me, cry with me, or tell me to "get over it" when it's time to "get over it". I may not have found my "soulmate" yet, but I have found more love since my divorce than I could ever hope for. And for that I am very grateful.

This, once again, may not be a year I "fall in love", but it is a year that I will continue to find more people to love....that's what life is all about and I plan to do it until the day I die.


Anonymous said...

This was fun to read and I did chuckle a bit! I'm a guy the same age 48, but married! I think maybe I will start a blog about the other side of the story. The same old story I've heard so many times before but now it's happening to me! Feel like you've missed it, life is moving forward to fast. Feel trapped by life and cicumstances etc etc.

Anyway thanks for cheering me up from the other side of the fence. Oh yes one more point not all guys of 48 are balding and have a paunch! Hang on though I will just check the mirror.

Yvette said...

Anonymous, the grass is always greener... I think it's quite common for married folks to envy the freedoms that singles enjoy.

I've learned that regardless of our marital status there will be ups and downs in love and life. I guess the key is to appreciate all the good stuff. If you need a reminder of the difficult side of being single, though, check out my book, The Laptop Dancer Diaries.

And if you start that blog, let me know! It would be interesting to hear the tales from the other side...

Anonymous said...

I'm also 48, female and newly single. I read these comments with interest and also a chuckle. I know I have to let go of the panic feeling that I sometimes get when thinking about being alone. I have wonderful children, family and have made new friends over the past year who are like family to me. Many blessings but I do want to fall in love again, with someone who loves me too.

Yvette said...

Anonymous2, have faith that you WILL fall in love with someone who loves you, too. Actually, my book is all about my 48th year and searching for love. If you email me, I will send you the pdf file for free. I think you'd like it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Yvette. I will email you and am definitely going to buy your book! In spite of the pain, it is a time of personal growth and I do feel that there will be more joy in my life.....perhaps even better than before!

Yvette said...

Absolutely, Anonymous2. I can tell already that you're the type of person that knows how to live fully and to learn from the curve balls that life throws us. Divorce, of course, is a pretty big curve ball, but I guarantee that you will find love again! (The secret is all revealed in my book! ;-) )

Deidra Franco said...

I loved the article. I am a divorced 48 year old whose had my fair share of ups and downs with dating. Actually its a nightmare dating at this age. I really don't think I will find that compatible someone to spend my last days with. I get approached a lot by younger men (20 to 42). Yes it does wonders for my ego but I don't know. Hopefully one day I will meet someone until then I will just focus on becoming a better me.

Yvette Francino said...

Hi Deidra,
It's almost been 10 years since I wrote this post. I'm still single, but I've had relationships and learned that whether single or married, in love, or nursing a broken heart, we will have our ups and downs. I feel grateful for all the relationships I've had and though I haven't found a partner for life, I've found a lot of love. Yes, focus on loving yourself... That's a relationship that will last the rest of your life!