Question from a reader: I have a question about dating at 50. For some reason, men in their 50s are judged by different criteria, not looks alone, whereas for women, physical appearance still is a primary criteria. I am 52. I hear feedback from many men my age that they are simply not attracted to women their age. In dating profiles, the age range within which they are looking is 35-49, as if at 50, you turn into a pumpkin. I think men care about saggy boobs, no matter how good you feel about yourself, no matter what is on the inside.
I don’t mean to be unkind and generalize men as superficial jerks. But I am a size 8. I don’t think that is overweight. I run marathons, half marathons, and keep myself pretty fit. But in the four years since my divorce, I have been on 3 dates, all of which were men my age or older, who very clearly stated that I was a “wonderful person” but they just didn’t feel sexually attracted. And these weren’t hunks – just ordinary 50+ year old guys just like I’m an ordinary 50+ year old woman. So I’m confused. And I feel that by stating this, I’m going to get a response that is suggesting all the things I’m doing wrong, or I’m attracted to the wrong men, etc. This feedback makes me reluctant to “get naked”with anyone or even go out on a date, and I just don’t bother anymore with even trying. Any advice?
Here’s my advice on dating at 50…No, you don’t turn into a pumpkin when you hit 50!
First and foremost, I want to hold space for and validate the frustration and disappointment that these experiences in dating at 50 bring up. I know you are not alone and appreciate you addressing the issue. Our society does seem to have a very narrow view about aging, especially when it comes to women. We are bombarded with images that are made to appear real, but do not represent women as a whole. There is an idea of what women should look like and how we should age that is simply unattainable.
This is a narrative, a belief, that we have bought into and one that we all must begin to rewrite. The first step in changing this narrative is to shift your own self into owning and embracing a different truth. To no longer buy into the belief that men don’t care about what is on the inside and that we have to do everything possible to remain looking youthful to be loved. This narrative will remain reality for as long as we choose to participate in it.
Our beliefs literally shape our reality and will therefore create the experiences that show up in our lives. We hold so much power within us and when we are able to own that power and consciously attune it to align with the reality we desire to see, our world literally changes before our eyes.
Let me give you an example and something you can practice with:
Think about a specific color car, let’s say yellow cars. Really focus on it, even forming a belief that yellow cars are the new thing and everyone is driving them. As your focus remains and this belief gets stronger, you will begin to see yellow cars throughout your day. As yellow cars appear, your belief will grow even stronger and even more of those yellow cars will be spotted. Your belief will pick up so much momentum that before long, it will seem like everyone is driving yellow cars.
Your experience in dating at 50 is absolutely not about anything you are doing wrong. On the contrary, I would love to challenge you to tap more deeply into the beauty, strength, and confidence you feel at your core and listen to what that part of you has to say.
That part of you knows that love is not about perky boobs.
That part of you knows that narrative is a false one, even though others may have bought into it. That part of you knows that when you choose to believe what is really true, the experiences in your life shift and your reality transforms.
With love and joy,
Jennifer Joy Butler is a love and relationship coach, a certified health coach, writer, and podcast host dedicated to helping people fall deeply in love with themselves and awaken to their internal power to create joy, love, and freedom in their lives. A graduate of New York University with a Masters Degree in Social Work, Jennifer is also a divorced single mom who has transformed her own life. Jennifer truly understands her clients and the journey they are on. She can be found hosting the Worthy podcast “Divorce & Other Things You Can Handle” and her writing can be found on JennJoyCoaching.
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