Ghost of boyfriends past

Style: "Agfa"I love Facebook. Ok, maybe not love, but it’s been great getting reconnected with old schoolmates and friends I don’t get to see often enough. That said, what’s up with old boyfriends trying to get back in touch? And I mean old boyfriends I’d either forgotten or wish I could forget.  And let’s be honest, for a lot of them, when they say “getting in touch”, they mean it literally. So should you reconnect with the ghosts of boyfriends past?

Last week’s “It’s Complicated” post got me thinking about the past and how we sometimes rewrite the history of a relationship leaving out all the bad parts. It’s like how you remember that cute way he used to laugh at your jokes, but forget about all the times the joke was on you. Or how you remember the cards and the flowers, but forget that he sent them “Kobe Bryant style” to make up for several indiscretions. So forgetting all of that, when he blows back into town or sends you that friend request on Facebook, you ask yourself what’s the harm in reconnecting? Continue reading Ghost of boyfriends past

It’s complicated, but worth it…

complicated

Finally got to see It’s Complicated and I loved it! The movie stars Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin as divorced parents of three adult kids who “reconnect” during an out of town trip. To complicate matters, Baldwin is currently married to his former mistress and Streep is being courted by her architect, played by Steve Martin.

I loved It’s Complicated because at 60 Streep is beautiful, because of her droopy eyelids not in spite of them (one of the funniest scenes in the movie.) I loved it because even in their late 50’s, adults do stupid things, are tempted to repeat the mistakes of the past and are still vulnerable when it comes to matters of the heart. I loved it because there’s a little part of me that (I’m ashamed to admit) was happy that the new, much younger wife go a taste of her own medicine.

Women all over the country looked forward to the movie’s release because it was the first time in a long time we’ve seen men in their 50’s dating and being attracted to women their own age on the big screen.  But the movie’s about much more than that. It’s about relationships ending and us wondering whether they should have. And it’s about dealing with the fallout of divorce and the reality Continue reading It’s complicated, but worth it…

Playing the dating game at 40

Yesterday The Today Show dj0440906id a segment about dating at 40. I missed most of the segment because I was…well, still asleep – more about that another time. But  what I did manage to catch was interesting. Dating isn’t easy for most people, and if you’re 40 or older, single or find yourself suddenly single again for the first time in ages, then dating can be downright scary. So here’s some dating advice from the experts:

  1. Don’t be afraid to make the first move – If you grew up in a time where women always waited for the man to make the first move, this will be especially difficult for you. But the truth of the matter is, many men are just as nervous about dating and approaching you as you are about approaching them. If you’ve made eye contact and you’re getting that vibe…go on over. What’s the worst that can happen? Ok, besides being rejected. If you’ve made it to 40 and lived any kind of life at all, this won’t be your first or last rejection. There’s no rule that says men can’t be shy too. I’m not saying this is necessarily for everyone, but, if you see someone you like, be the bold one. Which leads to the next piece of advice…
  2. Don’t be afraid to try new things – No, we’re not talking adult friend finder here, but connecting through Facebook, Twitter and on-line dating sites is a perfectly acceptable way to meet people. Many women are fearful about meeting strangers over the internet, but the truth of the matter is that the guy you met at the bar or coffee shop can be just as crazy as the one you meet through the internet. A little thing calledStyle: technology isn’t enough to keep the crazy away. But, if you do go the internet dating route, as with meeting up with any date for the first time, use common sense. Don’t  have him pick you up at your home, let your friends know where you’ll be (which will be in a public place), take your fully charged cell phone with you and some cash. Hey, we want you to be bold, not stupid. And, while you’re on that date, if you’re having a horrible time because he’s a jerk, leave! I saw a Facebook comment yesterday that said something I thought was great. She said “we’re 40 now so we have permission.” She’s right. We have permission to stop doing things we don’t like and we have permission to walk out on a jerk if we’re not having a good time.
  3. Don’t tell your life story on the first date – This is true no matter how old you are. Leave the drama for the Lifetime Move Network. You’re on a date, not at a counseling session. And, if you find that you’re compelled to tell your entire story – gory details and all – on every first date, then maybe you’re not quite ready to get back into dating. Spend more “ME” time releasing whatever it is you’re holding on to. You’ll be grateful you did, and so will your future dates.
  4. Don’t be mutton dressed like lamb – If you’re not familiar with that expression, it’s when an older person dresses way inappropriately for his or her age. Pamela Anderson wearing low riders and a thong is a prime example. Even if your body is slammin’ you don’t have to put it on display on the first date. Not unless it’s for sale anyway. Even if you’re with a younger man, most mature younger men who date older women, date them for their beauty and wisdom, not because they can see their thong when they bend over.
  5. Don’t be afraid to be afraid – Getting back into the dating world is scary. You will be nervous, anxious and yes, afraid. Don’t wait to conquer your fear before dating again – go on that date anyway. And then the next and the next. Use the internet, reconnect with old friends, have friends fix you up – start dating to meet new people and do interesting things. Have fun with your new experiences and don’t pressure yourself to find your next boyfriend or husband. And oh yeah, don’t forget to breathe.

Got dating advice for Women at Forty? Leave it in the comment section of this post, on our Facebook Fan page, or email us at contribute@womenatforty.com.

Are we lowering our standards or are people lowering them for us?

pink huffy bike As I was leaving the grocery store this morning, an old man approached me hollering “hey baby girl…can I maybe…” NO. NO. NO. If you’ve got me by at least 15 years, you should already know that no self respecting woman in her forties is going to respond to a “hey baby” hurled across a busy supermarket parking lot.  Or would she? Even on the rare occasion that she would, as Rachel alluded to a couple weeks ago, a neck is a desirable trait. And if a neck is desirable, then teeth are a necessity. My parking lot Casanova had neither.

Which brings me to the topic of the day. As we get older, do we “lower” our standards, or do people lower them for us? Of course there will always be men who think they can approach a woman of any age, with whatever game they happen to be playing on themselves at the moment. Years ago when I volunteered to prepare dinners at a homeless shelter, I remember a young guy coming up to me as I was serving meals and asking me if we could go out. My first thought was, you need to have a place to leave before you can go out. I know, it was harsh, but sarcasm is how I deal with uncomfortable moments. And that was so very uncomfortable. I hear arguments all the time that professional women need to broaden their horizons when looking for a mate, and I’m all for that. But, I think you should at least have a place to stay before you try to pick up a woman. Don’t you?

The other incident that stands out in my mind is once again leaving a grocery store, (what is it about groceries that give old, toothless men gumption) and hearing bike tires screech to a halt as a man I can only describe as being old enough to be my grandfather, slammed what I assume was his granddaughter’s pink huffy bike into the ground. He ran up to me (breathless) to ask me for my number. I wonder if when he borrowed his granddaughter’s bike, he told her that he’d be using it to troll for chicks. While he did get a laugh out of me, he did NOT get my number.

Ok, so in both those cases the answer was pretty obvious, but in every day situations when we’re approached by men who, years ago, would not have gotten a second glance from us, are we lowering our standards or broadening our horizons when we go out with them? And then there are those of us who hear the opposite, that we’re being too picky. But when it comes to love, life and our future, can we ever be too picky?

Share your thoughts and pink huffy bike pick-up stories in the comment section, on our Facebook fan page, or tweet your response to twitter.com/womenatforty.

eHarmony vs. Old School: Digital Dating and the Analog Introduction

Today I’m excited to feature Women at Forty’s first ever guest post by fellow blogger and freelance writer, Rachel Dachel. Rachel’s a friend of Women at Forty and creator of the blog Rachel-y Motivated Incidents. She’s got something to say about being almost forty and dating in the digital era.  Any of this sound familiar? BlackCouple

Technology is an amazing thing. It is common these days to log on and pay bills, complete research and even shop online. Shopping is especially popular and many websites allow you to custom order goods to your own exact specifications, contributing to our society’s demand for instant gratification. The internet is becoming an increasingly popular method for people to meet socially as well. From MySpace to Facebook and Match.com to Yahoo Personals, people are logging on and surfing in record numbers to find like-minded people with whom to connect and hopefully forge some sort of relationship. Continue reading eHarmony vs. Old School: Digital Dating and the Analog Introduction