Sondra Wright is a speaker, author, certified behavior specialist and expert on women and aging. She and I met on twitter and I enjoy her tweets and love her blog. she specializes in helping women over 40 remove the obstacles to moving forward “fierce, focused and full of life! She asked me for some tips for people over 40 and dating and I sent her a few. She included them in the following article on her blog and I’m excited to share it with you.
Too Late To Find Your Soulmate: Will This Lie Ever Die?
Recently, I came across an article at Mail Online, a UK lifestyle site which features a section of women interest stories called “Femail.” The story that caught my eye (and my breath) was called “The Plankton Generation – that’s women who are barely visible and at the bottom of the food chain for romance – just because they’re over 45.” It was written by a woman, Winifred Robinson, who I would guess to be over 40, simply because she describes herself as “married and out of the dating game for nearly 20 years,” and had come across the blog of a mid 40’s single woman who refers to herself as – -wait for it – -“The Plankton.”
Plankton – any drifting organisms (animals, plants, archaea, or bacteria) that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water, and serve as food for fish and other larger organisms. ~ Wikipedia
The Plankton’s blog is one which is dedicated to the lamentations of over 40 women, looking for love. She expresses that, “like the plankton in the ocean, she is barely visible and ‘at the bottom of the food chain for love and relationships’.” Ms. Robinson sees this as a growing concern for many women over 40, and offers several possible reasons why; “middle-aged men are looking for partners who are far younger than them,” “The opportunities to meet other single people tend to peter out as we move from youth to middle age,” “older women may be missing out on the chance of finding love because, bruised and rejected in earlier relationships, they lack the confidence and persistence to keep dating until they find a match,” and“Older women may also be scuppering their chances by being too picky.”
For me, I detect a more subtle but primary reason that The Plankton is still single. One that has little to do with the fact that she’s 45 and everything to do with how she views herself at 45. In my opinion, any woman who refers to herself as Plankton and further solidifies her beliefs by dedicating a blog to it, has not only ruined her chances of finding a prince but she can kiss all the frogs good-bye as well. Her beliefs are affecting her actions and expectations and what she is getting in return is a direct result of that.
To be content on seeing oneself as small, weak and insignificant – is to dismiss the beauty and value you bring to the world. I did some digging and discovered that plankton are of extreme importance to our existence; playing a central role in our energy, carbon, and oxygen cycles in life. In fact, “Most of the oxygen we breathe is produced by photosynthetic plankton in our oceans.” ~New World Encyclopedia
At almost 48 years old I am very aware that as I move throughout the world, men notice me. They notice me because the thoughts I have about myself are revealed in the confidence my body language expresses. That’s what they see. And it’s not just me! I see it in 50 something’s, 60 something’s and yes, even 70 something’s, who feel good and practice feeling good about themselves. Those are the behaviors I model. Your outcomes start to change when your idea of yourself starts to change.
Women self sabotage and self destruct by buying into and perpetuating the stereotypical beliefs about women over 40 finding love and marriage. Just look at the way Ms. Robinson from Mail Online chose to end her piece, “So, no matter how much we might all wish it, when it comes to affairs of the heart, for the older single woman, there just isn’t a happy ending every time.” She bought it and now she’s selling it back to you. Otherwise, why would she suggest this is a problem for older women? Isn’t the real truth ladies, that when it comes to affairs of the heart, there’s no age group of woman for which there exists a happy ending every time?
Listen, marriage won’t solve your problems. If you’re not happy with yourself now, that won’t magically happen once you say “I do.” What you now have is a married unhappy you, who now risks poisoning someone else with your unhappiness. My advice: work on you! Work on you from the inside out so that when that lucky guy does come along – he won’t see Plankton when he looks at you. Instead, he’ll see you for the vibrant, confident, 40+ and Fabulous woman you are.
I checked in with my friend, Elizabeth Maness, founder of DatingDivaSites.com, and asked for a little dating insight for the over 40 crowd. Here’s what Liz had to say…
You are never too old to fall in love
I have read the letters from men and women of many of which are over 40 and find love again. In fact 35 and over are my target market in my business because they are more serious about finding relationships than younger people. Men and women join about 50/50 and most are interested in a long term relationship.
You can become too bitter allow yourself to fall in love again
I also get letters from the broken and bitter, and attitude is everything. They don’t believe they can find love again and they will not. I can’t think of anything attractive about a bitter soul. Can you? These are the clients that I refer to coaches. They have to heal before they can find a healthy relationship.
Self respect is an attractive feature
Love and respect yourself and you will attract the same from others. There is nothing sexier than a person who has self respect and it shows. People who respect themselves are very attractive and draw attention from people with the same qualities.
For more information on how to live “40+ and Fabulous,” visit http://40plusandfabulous.com