Someone asked me a wonderful question: Q~ I’m a fifty-something, single, more Bu-ish than Jewish woman looking to get back out in the dating world. I am not thrilled with the idea of online dating but realize when it comes to the law of attraction, I need to get the ball rolling. The problem is, I am not feeling as marketable as I was in my thirties and forties, never mind my hormones are raging like a teenager—except now, instead of blooming, it seems I am about to lose my blossom. Any suggestions on how to attract a great mate?
A~ I can see the dilemma: how do you compete with your own shadow and attract a great partner when you don’t feel exactly on top of your game, and how can you be honest about who you are without focusing exclusively on the negative? This is indeed a delicate balancing act. You don’t want to do what so many of us have and out-and-out lie, or minimize some major themes in your life.
Let’s start from a bigger picture: while you may be experiencing great discomfort as you pass through (and up and down and all around) menopause, it’s true that this is a phase, a transient time, just as each day is. Besides, we are so much more than any one aspect of what we experience in any given time, day, phase, moment. It’s a matter of where we focus our attention. I have heard from some experts that menopause can be one of the most magical, mystical times in a woman’s life. No more children to raise, no messy periods on the horizon: you are more in touch with the deepest feminine part of yourself, which is a gift to you and all those around you should you care to hold the experience in that context!
The other big-picture thing to realize is that there is nothing to be ashamed of as we traverse each crevice of the human experience, and you can bet your partner is try to fend off his share of the inevitable himself; man boobs, gray hair, no hair, erectile dysfunction, or loss of libido. Essentially we are all in the same boat, and none of us are getting out alive or unscathed!
So, let’s embrace what is, re-frame some and look for the humor in all of it! Nothing we can do about not being thirty-something anymore, but we certainly don’t have to let that cloud the other equally appealing and wonderful aspects of ourselves. For example, when we reach midlife most of us are wiser, more compassionate, better lovers, more tolerant, more available, and more confident, and so on.
I recommend you lead with what you are most afraid of; in this case, your age and that you’re moving through menopause, etc. When we embrace what we are afraid of the demon disappears, and anyway it’s what’s real—and this is real life, after all. You want a partner who shares this same reality. Plus you won’t have to worry about breaking the news later: it’s out there, and if someone responds you’ll know they aren’t fazed by it. You’ll feel good about having been clear, even if it felt vulnerable. Recent studies show that being honest online is novel, and will help you weed through the myriads of BS and charm used to get people into le sac! How about something like this for an ad:
"Fifty-something BAP (Bu-ish American Professional) who’s hot and hormonal, seeking real life partner for a trade. Must love camping, vigorous exercise, or have grown up in a big family: my bed is filled with crystals and feels like the forest floor due to mystically managing my menopause which, thank god, is a temporary condition (there’s more; I sweat like a world-class athlete, especially during sex). Patience would be a good quality to have, as well as the ability to delay gratification, saving the best for last—i.e., a calmer version of me post-menopause! In the meantime, must either play golf or love to drive to and fro in a golf cart because it is among my favorite pastimes! You like movies, good food and wine (even if it’s out of a box). And love to laugh—I like a man with all kinds of range.
"In exchange, I am willing to love and respect your stage of life because I know that underneath your slightly balding, 4-pack body (with a walnut instead of a nest egg) that no matter what life has handed you, your spirit is intact, your kindness is king, and you are seeking a partnership rather than a pit stop as we face the next millennia. I look forward to learning more about you, your passions, and the journey and the peaceful, joy-filled adventure we will create together!"
Good luck and like my dear friend Kris Carlson would say: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!!