Yes this is one of those posts where I word vomit and complain
You’ve been warned. Stop now if you don’t want to hear my truth.
The first time that British Ex-Husband mentioned wanting to get divorced was when I was pregnant with Penelope. The second time was when Penelope was 6 months old. The third time was last October, a week before we moved back to Chicago. The fourth time was the day after Christmas. The last time was April 28th. You’ve heard a bit of this story in a previous blog post.
What you haven’t heard is this: After every single one of these times (except the last,) he backed off wanting a divorce within days, and we agreed we’d go to counseling to work on our marriage. Except, whenever I arranged it, he avoided it.
Finally, while I was at my parent’s house in May, we had a long FaceTime call in which I discovered that (he claims) he never loved me.
And, my heart broke– some more.
Dating, in general, is rough. It’s why I got married (for the 2nd time,) in the 1st place. So I wouldn’t have to date anymore. Oh, and I suppose because I loved the idiot. And, was pregnant. There were a lot of reasons. Not having to date anymore was at least in my top 5 reasons.
“Being single isn’t what it used to be… these AA batteries don’t last like they used to,” said every 40-something single woman everywhere.
Problems with Dating After 40
There are a lot of problems with dating after 40 that I did not anticipate encountering. I started putting my feelers out via dating apps around the time that British Ex-Husband and I decided to “open our marriage.” (The death knell for any married couple experiencing trouble.) A lot of these problems apply to women, more than men. Or at least they are problems I’ve experienced, and I am a woman (last time I checked.) I am bisexual, so I have experienced problems with women and men. Here is my breakdown (or, takedown…)
Keep in mind in the age of Covid-19 this is all virtually dating, which makes things even more awkies.
Trying to date women when you’re after 40
- For me, I am attracted to alt-goth-punk women. When I am on a dating app, they show me plenty of options. But they’re all in their 20s and early 30s. WTF, dating apps. I’m 46. It’s not like some hot little lesbian is going to want to go out with me. You know, unless I was a sugar mama, which I am not.
- There seem to be a lot of vegans. Who will not date someone who is an omnivore or carnivore (I am an omnivore.) That’s just ridiculous. My cousin is a vegan, (and is constantly trying to convert me to veganism,) but she doesn’t have a fainting spell when I eat a steak in front of her.
- There are a lot of women on dating apps who are my parent’s age. Not that I don’t deny them the love and companionship they are looking for… just, I’d find it kind of weird to date someone the same age as my Mom.
- Couples looking for a unicorn. Ugh. I don’t want to be the third wheel in a marriage. Especially if it’s only a hookup thing. Or, even a thrupple thing, It’s just not that attractive to me.
- They show you a lot of straight women when you indicate you’re bisexual on a dating app. Really, guys, get a handle on your algorithms. No lesbian or bisexual woman wants to see straight women. That we “convert” women is a myth. A big, stereotypical, homophobic, myth.
Trying to date men when you’re over 40
- For a lot of guys, there is a really good reason why they’re still single over the age of 40. I won’t go into a comprehensive list, but let’s say that it starts with some internalized misogyny that won’t make itself apparent right away. They have baggage, fuck often a whole luggage set.
- Many men on dating apps expect you to look like you did when you were 25. Look dude, I’m 46, my hormones are changing and I’ve had 2 kids. The last time I had abs was in 2017. And, then I had a single ab, not a 6 pack. I’m proud of my wrinkles, they show my life experience and wisdom.
- Again, there are a lot of married men looking for a unicorn to spice up their marriage. I’m just not into couples. I am fine with non-monogamy, but I don’t want to be a visitor in your marriage.
- With guys over 40, you get a lot of dick pics, shirtless pics, “how YOU doin,'” and lots of one word messages like “Hey.” Really, men – put some more effort into introducing yourself.
- Then there are the vague posters. Only one picture, that doesn’t show their face, vague weird descriptions. Okay, dude – at 46 the emotionally unavailable, mysterious man thing lost its charm at least a decade ago. Now it’s just annoying and boring.
- The biggest problem I have with men over 40 years of age on dating apps is when they say prominently in their description, “I’m looking for the one.” Like for real? If you’re over 40, single, and you haven’t realized that there is no “the one?” Wooohooo, that’s a lot to unpack with you, mate.
Dating after 40 Rules
For me, I have 5 rules that I expect people to follow when I date. They are:
- I am not your one night stand. I am too old for that shit, and I have a little kid to take care of.
- Don’t ask me to U-Haul or be “your lady.” I am not in search of a serious relationship for Dog’s sake… I am just getting divorced.
- Put up or shut up. The back and forth of messages is fine, but if you’re not interested in actually meeting in real life (even in this weird social distanced space) just go away. I don’t have the energy or the time.
- No sexting. I don’t care if it’s Covid-19 time and you need to get your rocks off or want to with me. I’m not doing it over text, the phone, or Zoom. That is how revenge porn gets made.
- No actual sex or making out. This one is kind of sad. It’s Covid-19 related. I have an autoimmune disorder and cannot take the chance. Exception: If you present me with authoritative proof that you are not carrying Covid-19 or the antibodies. (Ahem, Tall Drink of Water! If you’re listening.)
What This Woman Really Wants
A fuck buddy. Who I actually enjoy spending time with out of bed. Nothing serious or romantical. Just that someone.
And, dating is so fucking awkward right now. Like who wants to take a yardstick and hold it between themselves and their date? Do we get megaphones and shout at each other from across the street, or park, or building?
I feel lucky I have met a guy like Tall Drink of Water, who is cool, understands that I don’t want to get married tomorrow (or, ever.) Who respects my Covid rules (though he did laugh when I brought a tape measure to ensure we were 6′ apart on our first walking date. It’s good he laughed, it was a joke.) Who is content to text flirt for the time being. But, as we have to wear masks and stay 6′ away, it’s still hard to tell if we have chemistry or are destined to just be friends.
One thing: Dating after 40. Yuck, on the whole.