I read a post yesterday by Alana of House Goes Home, written after she’d seen the new Amy Schumer movie I Feel Pretty.
Most of it resonated as Alana talks about worrying less about her looks now she’s older and feeling more confident in general and I would have probably said the same thing a year ago.
However… fairly recently I joined a couple of online dating sites. It’s something I did a dozen years ago, tinkering off and on for a few years before giving up. I’ve always hoped it’d come organically – I’d meet someone. We’d fall in love. Etcetera.
I’ve talked before about giving up on that notion. Slowly but surely my single friends dropped off until – in my mid 30s – there was a core group of us hitting the pubs on a weekend hoping to meet THE ONE. Or… someone who might become THE ONE.
We then turned to online dating and speed dating and the like. So, I’ve been there and done that. And still didn’t get the t-shirt.
Increasingly over the past year or so I’ve again contemplated the idea of a relationship. It’s something I thought I was doomed to live without. And finally – in the absence of meeting someone naturally (via everyday life, with a bit of extra effort… like leaving the house on occasions) – I joined a couple of online dating sites.
I’m 50. But a young 50 (cos HELLO?! immature as all hell, plus no kids!). So as I scroll through pictures of those 8yrs either side of my age I’m struck by how friggin old they all look. And most of those locally – ugh! SO MANY TATTOOS. SO MUCH FACIAL HAIR. SO MANY MOTORBIKES. AND CARS. Not to mention bad selfies. I seriously can’t believe some people put those things up in a public forum without at least some filtering. (And if they’ve already done so, then… faarck!)
Why do most of the men my age look so old?
At least to me – though I’m possibly in denial about how old I actually am. (30ish surely?)
So, obviously I’ve decided I’m far too good for most of the men around. I ponder my criteria…. is it too much to expect them to be taller than me? Well educated (or if not, articulate at least)? Be gainfully employed?
Simultaneously however, as I look with scorn at those faces flicking across the screen before me, I’m not quite brave enough to contact those I do find (even vaguely) attractive. After all, who the hell do I think I am; suggesting they should be interested in me?! And prone to overthinking as I am, I start to wonder if I’m punching above my weight?
Two things come to mind as I contemplate this.
Firstly, being out with a long-term bestie for a St Patrick’s Day thing at a big Brissy pub in the early 2000s. I was perving at some guy and my friend commented that he was probably too good looking. Perhaps not someone who’d give us the time of day. Despite my years of self-hatred (and disordered eating) I was kinda shocked.
And then perhaps 6-7 years later, bemoaning to my bestie about men in general. I was depressed that the sort of men I was interested in, would never be interested in me. I recall talking about my weight. She was also shockingly blunt and basically told me my options involved: doing something about my weight; or lowering my standards. (Tough love perhaps?)
I don’t know why I’ve always been single. I know I blame my weight (and how I’ve felt about it) but I’ve not always been overweight. It’s not like I’ve got terrible tales of rejection. I’ve actually never been ‘in love’. I’ve never been vaguely close.
It’s not like I haven’t wanted a relationship. And intimacy. I’m usually bitterly envious of those in seemingly happy relationships. Those who have someone to share their ups and downs. I was reminded of this when I read Lisa Ireland’s The Art of Friendship recently. I referenced a quote about being ‘the most important thing’ to someone. Usually when I comment on my lack of that kind of connection, my close friends will remind me how much they care. But it’s different.
So has my problem only been that I’m too fussy? Too unattractive to actually attract the men that interest me?
I’m fairly sure I caught the attention of a man recently. It’s so rare I assumed I was mistaken. And nothing happened cos there was a whole ships in the night scenario, but he will forever be known as THE MAN ON THE PLANE.
My confidence peaked. A bit. For the first time in a decade or two.
And then came crashing down to earth. Thanks to the online dating thing where EVERYONE LOOKS SO FRIGGIN’ OLD! And two recently comments about me being a grandmother. I mean… I know I could be a grandmother, but I don’t feel like I could be. I mean, I don’t want to look like I could be. Perhaps I’m in denial re the ageing thing. And that’s probably a whole other blog post.
Needless to say it scuttled my confidence. I’m wondering if men are looking at my online picture and thinking I look old. Too old. And of course SOOOO much of the online dating this is about first impressions and looks. (Take my swiping and grimacing for example!)
Fuck. I’m in a quandary. Again. And it’s depressing me. I want to just shut down the accounts and not think about it any more. But will I regret it? Those who haven’t been single for long periods of time tell me to relish the time to myself. But I think 50 years is probably a little excessive.
No. I’m being practical. Reasonable. So I’m thinking plastic surgery.
Any ideas? Any online dating, or dating stories? Any single male friends (aged 45-55, over 178cm, non-smoker, witty, educated, financially secure who appreciates domestically-challenged and slightly sarcastic overweight middle aged women)? #notaskingforafriend
** And though I love flattery and your (understandable) adoration (!!!), please don’t feel the need to tell me:
- I’m worthy
- I have time
- Someone will come along when I least expect it
- I don’t need a man to complete me.
Which probably covers all bases other than therapy. (Have THAT t-shirt!)
The Lovin’ Life team includes: