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This age seems to be a landmark for your love life. You are either happily or unhappily married, in a serious relationship or fishing for the love of your life. Whatever the case may be, when it comes to love many women are lost.
Rena put down another romance novel, wishing for a little of the excitement and passion, that filled Diana's life, the main character in the novel. As she attacked the five loads of laundry in front of her, she thought about Diana's husband who worshipped every inch she walked on. When she looked at her own husband across the dinner table, Rena wondered if there was more to life. His unshaven face, the odd shirt and the ridiculous way he tried to communicate, really bothered her. I am 40 years old, this can't be it, she thought.
Mirjana sat near the phone. On Saturdays she was at the mercy of her new boyfriend Kirk. He cancelled plans as fast as he made them. All dressed-up and ready to go, she was on stand-by. No-strings-attached Kirk was only after a good time, sometimes with Mirjana and other times without her. At the tender age of 40, Mirjana believed any man was better than no man.
Andrea has been single for the past 12 years. She loves her job, her freedom and the ability to design her own life. Should the right man come along great, but if not, she won't suffer. Sometimes she is longing for love, but most of the time she is too busy to worry about it.
Let's face it most women at 40 question their love life. "What if I was married to someone else?" "How did I end up in this stagnant relationship?" "Why do I date someone who uses me?" "What is wrong with me, that I am still alone?" These questions suggest, that we are looking for guidelines. Where should I be, what should I expect and what is normal at this age, we ask? These questions also suggest that many women are victims of societal endorsed shoulds and should-nots. A 40-year-old, never-married woman still raises eyebrows. Heaven forbid if she enjoys being single, there must be something wrong. While there are no definite guidelines that define your love life at 40, here are some suggestions on how to feel comfortable at this age:
As long as you act responsibly and respectful of others, you should live and love any way you like.
If you are married, you should either set an example by being a loving spouse (focussing on loving your husband makes you love him more, even if he is not perfect) or relieve each other form the misery.
If you are dating, you should change your attitude to: the wrong man is worse than no man. Stay away from those who undermine your self-worth.
If you enjoy being single, stick up for your lifestyle. Don't apologize and don't subscribe to the notion that there is something wrong with you. If you do, you loose self- confidence!
If you are unhappy about your love life, change it. Take control and reinvent life, but never slip into the role of the victim. Whether you are single or not, you are responsible for your own love life. As you analyze your love life at the age of 40 you should:
Trust your heart – it will never betray you.
When being disrespected, stop the cycle or get out of the relationship.
Have the wisdom to realize when your partner won't change.
Have the confidence to be happy without a man.
Have enough self-esteem to not settle for someone mediocre.
Believe that you are worthy of a healthy relationship.
Realize that you too must contribute to your relationship.
Know that your happiness does not depend solely on a man.
Have outgrown the temptation to control and manipulate.
Define your life on your own terms, not those of others.
Be true to yourself and cherish your values and ethics.
One final answer to the million-dollar question: Does the ideal love life exist? Yes, if you are the ideal person. Should you settle for less? No, but you should never expect more than you can give!
"The life and love we create is the life and love we live." —Leo Buscaglia
© 2006 Allie Ochs, Relationship Expert, Coach, Speaker and the Author of "Are You Fit To Love?" . Her articles are published in numerous magazines and newsletters. She has appeared on radio and TV. To order her book or to take the Fit 2 Love! Test visit her website at:
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