Being single in your 40s means you may be tempted to do a little of what I would call dabbling in the boundaries of the dating demographics.
Whilst we’ve already delved into the downsides of dating a toyboy it is prudent not to launch yourself too far in the other direction either.
Whilst you may not be subjected to the Gen X tendencies for dubious texting, music festivals and trying to build generation gap bridges, venturing into a decade or so above your own can be as perilous as trying to keep Lindsay Lohan sober before lunchtime.
One – he might be a bit smothery.
Not all men with a level of chronological maturity necessarily possess an equivalent level of self confidence. This can mean they are pre-disposed to marking their territory with the same eye-watering intensity as a crazed tomcat.
It might seem like a truly lovely form of affection or a nurturing streak gaining momentum after your BF emerges from his prior sterile and loveless relationship but more likely it is attributable to them trying to demonstrate that they are your significant other rather than your father.
At the point that it starts to take on characteristics normally reserved for WWF wrestling, you’d be well advised to MAKE A RUN FOR IT.
Even if you don’t see this characteristic when you are out and about together, at a sporting match, browsing supermarket shelves in a state of mutual domesticity or dining at an outdoor café, do understand that you don’t actually have to be present for your BF to undertake a cringe-worthy PDA.
Two – he may have accumulated somewhat of a reputation
Its not just having the advantage of years that may mean several women have trod that path before you, it can also be that your new squeeze has been fairly prodigious in the dating market.
Two immediate warning signs from the online dating world:
- He doesn’t remove his profile from the site whilst you are dating
- He appears in the Top 100 list
If you suspect you are just another frequent flyer mile on his journey to platinum status, exit the aircraft through the forward doors NOW.
Definitely do so before you discover that his effect on women, and ensuing vanity has become such that someone has written about it….
…’you’re so vain’ …..
Three – there are going to be offspring
This in itself is not necessarily unique, and in fact a little carry-on baggage in the form of some miniature humans is the bread and butter of dating in your 40s.
You may be able to deal with this quite well, and find you have in fact now accumulated a couple of new BFFs to share fashion tips and beauty advice, but at all times, adhere to one single rule.
Avoid being photographed together for fear you somewhat awkwardly look like siblings rather than ‘steps’
Four – there may be have been some ‘struggles’ before you arrived
Beyond reputation and children, there may be other accompaniments when you latch onto someone with a few more miles on the clock than you.
They may have had some prior struggles.
And, yes, we know that no-one becomes single in their 40s without a little bit of alcohol-induced facebooking, some dabbling in ‘look at me’ type antics and some tabletop dancing injuries, but we’re talking here about something a little more ‘permanent-record’ and indiscreet.
You are well-advised to avoid anything that involves a well-documented sex addiction, bit of anti-semitic rambling or youtube-viral drunken slanging of your offspring. Consider it an early warning sign. Yes. Really.
Five – He may be ill-prepared to age gracefully
Surprisingly, you may have been a carefully cultivated encounter – one of a procession of thinly disguised, targeted campaigns to keep his arm candy in a demographic that suggests his own endless virility and youth.
It’s a slippery slope from here to other aberrant behaviour, including pursuing the fountain of youth a little more aggressively than just secretly snitching your Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream.
Hello Mickey Rourke.
More commonly it exhibits itself as age-inappropriate fashion, a failure to recognise the attire that they could only have pulled off with any kind of swagger when 90210 last screened.
Sounds fairly innocuous. But its just a mere moment from mild awkwardness of this
To the consistent downright laughability of this
With the potential danger of you waking up one day to find that he has toned it down several notches and suddenly you are the one OUT ON THE SARTORIAL EDGE.
Dodge these pitfalls and you might just find your way to a solid long-term relationship with someone ready to be settled and stable.
Just be sure that doesn’t represent something that no amount of time will ever make ok.