by Maryanne Comaroto
Q: Although I'm not jumping up and down at the prospect of dating online, I do want to get back into the swing of things with regard to finding a mate, and I do know that it makes sense to have a look at all my options. But I'm in my fifties now, feeling like perhaps I'm not as marketable as I was twenty or even ten years ago, and although my hormones are keeping up their end of the bargain, I wonder what kind of men will look at someone like me and see everything I have to offer. Any suggestions for attracting the right mate?
A: This can be such a tricky situation, and I can understand where you're coming from, because it's basically the same dilemma that anyone faces when dating: how to present yourself in an accurate way, without making it look like you're nothing but a bunch of problems and negativity. There has to be some balance there, for sure. On the one hand, you don't want to make the mistake of coming across like everything is perfect all the time, like the things that are happening to you really aren't. On the other hand, you don't want to push your doubts about yourself so far forward that you come across as warning men rather than inviting them to get to know the complexities of who you really are.
The key is to remember that men are not in such a different situation. After all, who among us doesn't age, doesn't go through transitions, or gets out of this life alive? There's absolutely no shame in embracing all these elements of being human, and moving on to see the bigger picture. Even though menopause can be a roller-coaster of physical changes and emotional craziness, it's also something else: temporary. We are so much more than the phases we go through, and even though some of those phases can be really major at the time, in the end they are only one aspect of our total being.
So try adopting a frame of mind where you accept the truth of your entire situation, with all its ups and downs and even humorous aspects. Know that your future partner is going through something similar, and will be happy to hear that he doesn't have to hide things any more than you do. Embrace everything that you are - wise, confident, passionate, menopausal, loving, tolerant, intelligent... all of it. If you're placing ads, start off by getting the difficult stuff out of the way first, so that the truth is out there already, and you can weed out those who can't or won't get real with you.
Try starting your ad with something like this: "Fifty-something woman seeking man who is into reality and sharing the transitions of life." Go on to list the things you love doing, really love doing, and also list the things you would expect him to be into. Then move on to talk about things that don't have anything to do with age, the things you want from a partner regardless of stage in life. Respect, kindness, and a dedication to the spirit of life are essential, of course, and you are seeking someone who thinks of dating as a partnership rather than a band-aid for fears and doubts. Be honest about wanting someone who can move forward with you as you learn about each other's passions and prepare for whatever is ahead in your lives together. Good luck with it - just be yourself and don't worry about the little bumps in the road!
by Maryanne Comaroto of Maryanne Live