Monday, October 5, 2009

Dating Rules Over Forty?

The strange thing about dating when you're over forty is that basically you don't "date".  At least not in the traditional sense.  Can you imagine two people over forty doing the whole look across the room...eyes meet...possible chemistry...awkward stammer as you try to figure out what to say to each other?  Should we go out?  Lunch, drinks, dinner?   I'm reminded of Sleepless in Seattle when poor Tom Hanks admits that the last time he asked someone out on a date, Jimmy Carter was in office.  How do you date when you simply haven't in nearly twenty years?  What are the dating rules for people over forty?

Over forty and dating should have a rulebook, a guide, a manual or something.  My first thought as I found myself back to dating was, no way am I going to start dating.  I had visions of dates: meeting men, trying to figure out what to wear, having to listen to them drone on about who knows what, what to say in return, what not to say and so on.  Oh the dreaded date.  And no one had any good advice or good answers.  Even my over forty friends who were dating didn't quite know what they were doing!

Now I was one of the lucky ones.  Or, maybe I was just at the right place at the right time.  No, I was actually set-up.  Successfully set-up and have been dating the same person for a little over a year.  It's odd though, you're with someone for what seems like a lifetime; then you go your separate ways and you think, I'll never meet someone.  Out of the blue, you do meet someone and you go on a date.  And maybe you date for a while.  And you wonder - honestly, you wonder about everything.  And it's not like when you're in your twenties because the things that are in your life at forty are so very different than in your twenties or thirties.  It's a strange thing to "date" when you're in your forties. Whether you're a man or a woman, forty and dating is just a whole other ball game.  Yes, I am fortunate to have found and be dating only one person.  Still, when you're over forty and dating, it's always interesting.  Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City said it best about dating when you're over forty, "Men in their forties are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle: tricky, complicated and you're never really sure you got the right answer."  Amen.

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