I am 48-years-old. Not old by any means, but old by today’s standards of what’s sexy and desirable and what isn’t. At least according to women under 35 and men between 40 and 45. Strange age differential there isn’t it?
I have been back in the dating world for close to one year now after having been married for 18 years and then in a long-standing relationship for 14 more. Pretty much my entire adult life. All the years most women date, I was already raising my two daughters. This isn’t about regrets, because if I were to say I regretted the decisions I made when I was 18, then would I have those two daughters and my two glorious grandchildren now? Who’s to say so I don’t plan to revisit any regrets or the past. This is about the now. About being a fairly attractive 48-year-old woman suddenly thrown back out into the cutthroat world of dating in a time where women are bold and men are looking for women that make them feel as though they’ve discovered the fountain of youth.
I have tried a couple dating services and some online dating. People lie. And I’ll admit I lied at first two. I took a couple years off the age. I can’t think now why I did that. It isn’t like 3 years really makes a difference and in my case didn’t make any difference at all. But when you tell someone you’re 44, when you’re really 47, it just sounds younger. Stupid as that may seem, you’d have to be in my shoes to really understand.
With dating services, I’m beginning to understand that men aren’t looking for women to settle down with or even have any kind of meaningful relationship with. They’re looking for a playmate. I found it amazing and baffling how many men actually signed up for these dating services that were married. And not just married, but actually indicated on their profiles that they were “married looking for a fling.” Am I out of touch with reality? Is this acceptable? Are these men so sure their wives will never run across these profiles or that a friend might not run across these profiles? Or do they just not care.
I had to ask myself how many women would actually answer these men. How many women would actually prefer to date a married man. I guess a woman who’s not interested in commitment might answer one of these profiles. And in fact, I can see the benefit to a woman who doesn’t want an attachment. No worries there. But I think the moral aspect of dating a married man would be where I would encounter a personal issue. That coupled with the fact that the idea of a really ticked off wife kicking down my front door some night doesn’t strike me as something I could consider exciting.
I’m looking for a foolproof way of knowing for sure when a man is married. Asking him isn’t the answer. They lie. And they lie well. I am beginning to see the signs after talking just a few times. It’s taken me a while to learn the signs but after several times of working through a broken heart, it’s finally sinking in. I wonder if all women have these problems or if it’s just those of us who have been out of the dating loop for a number of years that this happens to. At first I felt stupid when I realized a man was married. Stupid that I didn’t see the signs. Stupid that a man was able to lie so well and I didn’t see through it. Stupid because at my age, I felt I should be ‘smarter’ than the average bear.
I wondered for a while if I was so desperate to be loved and love again, that I just didn’t see what was right in front of my nose. I slipped on those rose-colored glasses and la la la’d my way into ignorant bliss. But, oh the lonely ache that wells up inside when you realize the guy is married and you don’t mean anything. That ignorant bliss isn’t so blissful any longer. It’s empty. And it’s cold.
Yes, dating a married man is not for me. But then, maybe that’s because at this time in my life, I would eventually like to find a soul mate. And I would prefer that he wasn’t already someone else’s. And yes, as I said I am 48. But that’s not dead. There is still time left and there is still hope that my soul mate is looking for me too and isn’t interested in a 25-year-old but someone who has seen a little and learned a little about making relationships work.