How to Own Your Age: Advice for Middle-Aged-And-Up Daters
Some people assume that dating is more difficult for middle-aged or older individuals than it is for younger people. Some people wonder why it is that I prefer to work with clients over the age of 35. The first assumption is flat-out wrong and I’m happy to explain why people who’ve lived a little make the best clients…
If a single woman in her 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, etc. can hitch up her courage and her confidence and refuse to believe the societal myth that “it’s almost over” (what a load of crap!) she can have an incredibly rich and wonderful dating life. The first step is body confidence. Former supermodel Beverly Johnson said it best when she asked, “Why am I trying to keep this teenage body when I’m not a teenager and everybody knows it? That was an epiphany for me.” Darling, no reasonable single man in your age bracket expects you to have a teenage body, and if he does – well, he’s one you‘re better off without. Of course, I always encourage the women I work with to strive for the best body that is achievable for them. Packaging counts and good health is an asset in the dating world. But the objective is not the body you had 10, 20, or 30 years ago. The objective is to be the best possible version of yourself at the age that you are.
The second step is to know your worth. Know that your experiences and the wisdom you’ve gained from them give you vibrancy. In our youth-obsessed culture, you’ll be bucking the trend for sure – everything about advertising tells us that if we’re not young and hot, we don’t matter. And it’s easy to internalize this message without even realizing it. Actress Cybill Shepherd admitted in an Oprah interview to a common fear that as she grew older she wouldn’t be valued anymore. But Oprah – as always – had a solid response: “I refuse to let a system, a culture, a distorted view of reality tell me I don’t matter. That only happens when we buy into the propaganda.” So honor, celebrate, and revere every project you’ve completed (and even the ones you’ve just started), every stroke of fortune that has blessed you, and every hard-won epiphany.
The third step is to practice truth in advertising. A number of my new clients come to me with already lying about their age on their online dating profiles, but I strongly discourage this practice. Again, Oprah expressed it best: “People who lie about their age are denying the truth and contributing to a sickness pervading our society – the sickness of wanting to be what you’re not. Denial leads to delusion. I know for sure that only by owning who and what you are can you step into the fullness of life. Every year should teach you something valuable; whether you get the lesson is up to you. Every year brings you closer to expressing your whole and healed self.” Don’t shave years off your Internet dating profile. Go ahead and make the external tweaks and touch ups on the outside that match how young you feel on the inside and be sure to write about yourself in a way that expresses your energy, strength, and self-love. Be honorable and own your years.
Of course, from time to time, we need reminders about these practices, for they are indeed counter-cultural. So, when that uninvited guest in your brain called self-doubt comes for a surprise visit, take comfort in knowing that there are others who feel the same as you do and there is one thoughtful, compassionate dating coach who will support you in your journey.