Let me first start by saying that I love broccoli. It’s green, it’s healthy, it’s a super veggie. But in reality, it’s often a side dish. And lately, that’s how I feel when it comes to dating at 40. I’m not the most important part of the meal, I’m something on the side that is quickly consumed and then forgotten.
As a female of a certain age, it’s been inspiring to watch the latest movements to end sexual harassment. Let’s face it, the more years you accumulate, the more likely you are to have been the subject of some type of harassment. Show me one woman who hasn’t. The blackout at the Golden Globes, Oprah’s speech, the #MeToo movement. All of these initiatives are long overdue. They make us stand tall from our previously crouched defensive position and take pride in being a woman in 2018 and more importantly a woman with power and a strong, united voice.
We are taking major steps forward to win the war in the workplace, but what about when it comes to love and dating?
If you are a woman who is Bumbling around Tinder waiting for OKCupid to deliver your perfect Match in a sea of Plenty of Fishes, you know what I’m talking about.
No one plans to get divorced and start over at 40. I certainly didn’t have that in my life plan. Let’s just say the three years I’ve been “back on the market” have taught me lessons a 20-year-old me never learned. Maybe society and how we treat each other has just…changed. Sad to say, but respect and chivalry are totally dead to 95% of dating males. I’ve learned the hard way who’s looking for the real me and those looking for the “just right now” me. With a little experience under my belt navigating the perverted shark infested single waters, I feel it’s my duty to help other women who are just getting off the shore and are looking for Mr. Right.
Here’s what I know:
- Most men who say they are separated have never sent that memo to their wives. Separated is a very non-legal catchall term that grants men an out to cheat on their clueless spouses. Most of these men are married and just looking for a side dish, their broccoli so to speak. I have talked to countless married men online who represent themselves as single. You must become a detective when you start dating. I will find your truth in 5 minutes max. Challenge me. I dare you.
- Men online think it’s great to call you “sexxxy”. With extra x’s thrown in to add to that “compliment”. It seems the more “x’s” one uses directly relates to their desire to get you in the bedroom completely forgoing any sort of actual date. Because, hey, why waste time getting to know each other? That’s SO 1991. I received a message from a man this week simply asking for my address because drinks with him needed to be earned. I’ve got news for you dude, I’m a freakin’ prize. It’s a privilege to spend time with me and my respect will be earned OUT IN PUBLIC. Take your extra “x’s” and your shirtless gym selfies and send them back to the bizarre tinderverse you live in.
- Coo coo ca-choo. Younger men have a strong Mrs. Robinson complex. The answer as to why they like the older, more mature ladies is always the same. Older women are more confident and they just know what they want. Shocking, right? We didn’t get to be this age without learning a few things. But news flash…they aren’t talking about your hard-fought career choices, your latest vacation destination or choosing the perfect paint color for your foyer. They want you for one thing. There is no May/December romance that’s going to happen here. It’s all about getting a fist bump for the cougar score. I don’t know about you, but why in the hell do I want someone who doesn’t know what they want? I don’t have time to teach you what I know. Next please.
- I’ve become very fluent in the male language. When a guy says he “isn’t looking for a relationship”, he really means…” I am looking for the perfect domesticated, super model but right now she’s MIA, so I’ll hang out with you/date/talk for now, but don’t get attached, you aren’t the person I want to be in a relationship with so let’s just Netflix and chill until my dream girl comes along.” This guy is willing to be vegan and binge vegetables until the meat counter has his “perfect” cut of filet. There is nothing more soul crushing than knowing you are the backup plan until the steak is available. You are better than that. Don’t settle.
- If he’s interested in you, he won’t inquire about your single hot friends. No. Just no. Don’t try to sleep with my friends, don’t friend them on Facebook when you don’t know them, and don’t send me a message on Match because you’d like to meet the girl standing beside me in my profile pictures. You should be ashamed of yourself. I’m calling your Mom.
- Most of us don’t want to be called baby, sweetie, honey, beautiful, or whatever before a man even meets us. Trust me, you won’t know if I’m sweet, beautiful, OR your baby until you have spent some actual time with me. I also don’t want to know about your foot fetish, or how you want to see me in a dunk tank (someone actually told me that) or want you to inquire about my favorite sexual position. None of your business darling. If you are smart, witty, and treat me with respect, you might be lucky enough to find that out one day. But it’s not going to be in our first five text messages.
- Never sacrifice your ideals or morals to impress someone. Because when someone is almost “Mr. Right”, you find yourself trading on those ideals. I’ve dated completely unavailable men. Completely. Totally. I see it now, not so much in the moment. We all want to feel like we can change someone for the better, or be the person they have been looking for that will inspire the change. You can’t change someone. You can only work on being the best version of yourself. Take a class. Make new friends. Host a single’s event. Find some new hobbies. Exercise. Be passionate about real issues. Work your ass off and make a name for yourself. When you find YOUR happiness, you are more likely to find it in others.
Now…here’s what men should know:
Women deserve to be respected not just in Hollywood or the workplace, but also in a bar, at a beach, and on a dating site. We just want to find that rare someone who accepts us for all of our flaws, respects us for our accomplishments and genuinely wants to get to know us better. We want to be courted and be made to feel important when dating. I don’t care if it’s the first email message or the last break up text, your words should be respectful and kind.
I will swipe right all day long for the man who sees me as the smart, witty, creative, interesting individual that I strive to be in life. Sure, there needs to be an attraction, but I miss the days when people had real, genuine interactions and really got to know each other. Now, it’s just easier to flip the page in the dating catalog and find the newest, shiniest toy to play with.
I am not just any piece of meat or a microwaved side dish. I KNOW I AM THE STEAK. I have raw emotions and I might be a little thicker than others with a tough exterior. Even so, my feelings are tender and I’m proud to be in my prime. I will no longer date people who don’t treat me like I belong on the center of their plate. Everyone is different. Maybe for you it’s shrimp linguine, or maybe it’s a giant piece of tofu. But you are not a side dish either.
It’s 2018 and I choose to be the main course. Who’s with me?