Over 40

I few weeks ago, I noticed that I hadn’t been getting any messages from potential dates via the site OKCupid. I have a theory about this which I’ll get to.

I’m on Bumble as well, which has proven to be a huge waste of time. I’ve never been on a site where so many men answer my introductory question (one like “You mention you love to travel. ‘Been anywhere cool lately?”) and then stop messaging. One guy responded to me with “hm Amsterdam.” and that was it. Now perhaps my intro question is lame but I refuse to be all “I love your eyes. OMG you are amazzzzzing!” ’cause that shit’s eyerollingly stupid in my opinion.

I am so fed up with men making ZERO effort in a conversation!!! (You can really tell I’m annoyed because I used three exclamation points. I’m not kidding around here, readers).  A friend of mine who recently went through a break up told me that she hated the feeling that her ex was simply moving on as if she never meant anything at all.

I could absolutely relate to this feeling. Someone’s important to you and you think you’re important to them and then they are done finding you important and that’s it. The end. It’s the worst feeling in the world – to no longer be important to someone you love.

I, of course, do not love any of the few potential dates I am messaging with online because that would be disturbing, but there is this lack of feeling important when online dating these days. (“Important” may not even be the right word because it’s too big. Relevant? I don’t know. I’ll keep working on it).

I tested my above-mentioned theory about lack of messages from potential dates by changing my age in my profile from 42 to 39. I am not kidding you when I tell you that in the 48 hours that followed, I got about ten messages. After months of very little. TEN. Now, in my profile itself, I explain that I’m actually 42, so I’m not lying, but what the hell is that about?!

If you’re a man searching for a woman to have children with, you’re going to search for someone under the age or 32, (if you’re smart). And that makes sense. It makes sense that if having your own children is important to you, you choose someone of the right age to try and make this happen. So why does the cutoff appear to be 40? Choosing “women under 40” as a dating search criteria seems really arbitrary.

Unless, of course, you’ve been living under a rock like I have and thought that woman of ALL AGES ARE WORTH SOMETHING! This “match me with women under 40” stuff is, I believe, because our society doesn’t view women over 40 as sexy, datable, valuable beings.

So that’s where I’m sitting now; trying to engage with men who are age appropriate for me, who I feel I may have something in common with, and all the while in the back of my mind there’s a toxic, (I think) societal-driven voice whisper/yelling Don’t bother. To him, you’re not actually worth knowing. Yeah yeah, you’re smart, funny, a decent person, not unfortunate looking, but really? He thinks he can find the same in someone younger.

In the past year or two, I have been more comfortable in my skin then I have ever been in my life. I’m content with my life and my dog and my volunteering, travel, family, creative projects, profession, and ice cream consumption skills. I could stand to lose fifteen pounds and yet I have never felt so accepting the body I’m in (I refuse to torture myself about trimming down like I would have years ago). I have emotions that I’m not afraid to share (this entry is a case in point). I have opinions that I am not afraid of voicing.

And yet, I have never felt less valued than I have in the last few years in the world of dating. When you’re given the impression, over and over, that you are of no romantic value, how do you not start believing it yourself?

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