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I usually write something about hormones or specific health conditions but this month I'm going to address a different kind of issue that comes up with my patients. Over the years, a number of middle-aged female patients have complained to me that they feel "invisible" as they age. Whereas, in the past, they regularly got wanted and often unwanted stares, smiles and comments as they passed by complete strangers. Now they notice being unnoticed. They say that anyone under 40, man OR woman, is busy looking at each other with those same stares, smiles and comments. Any man over 40 is looking at women under 40 and any women over 40 are looking at the three other demographics. So they have to periodically check a reflection in a store window or rear-view mirror to assure their mere existence.  

Don't fret ladies, men over 40 look at everyone and everything. Sure we look at women under 40 but we also look at women over 40 or big, loud trucks or cheeseburgers or a herd of cows or whatever is on channel 356. You ever look at a herd of cows for any length of time? They don't do ANYTHING!!! Nothing!! They stand and chew. You can be 3 feet in front of them laughing, screaming, jumping up and down (and believe me, I have before) and you might as well be a rock. Even if they look at you, they seem to be looking through you. Doesn't matter, guys will still stare right back, for just as long and just as vacuous. Remember those old cowboy movies where all the cowboys sit around staring at the big herd of cattle; cows and cowboys staring back and forth for hours with absolutely nothing going on? That's us.

We see you and we love you. Just because we look at some attractive woman on the street who's young enough to be our daughter, DOESN'T mean we want to be with her. What would we talk about anyway? What would we say when they're getting ready to go out on the town at 9:00pm and we're trying to decide if we should stay up for our favorite TV show at 10:00pm or just go to bed and record it? Let men have their fantasies that they think they want but believe me, it would scare the hell out of most of them if they got it.  

When we're young and unsure of ourselves, we all want someone to "complete us", so opposites attract more easily. When we're older and more sure of who we are, we want someone that's more like us. That not only goes for personality type but age groups as well. So remember that the more you see yourself as vibrant and interesting, the more others will also. Relax and enjoy yourself.

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jul 1, 2010
    • heartheart



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Rose Nino wrote Jul 1, 2010
    • Fabulous, informative, and humorous post Dr Madden! Thank you for sharing. There is definitely more to the title of “being happier makes you healthier! estaticheart



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Akoypinay wrote Jul 1, 2010
    • thanks Dr. Madden. heart



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Moloco2 wrote Jul 2, 2010
    • heart



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Jul 2, 2010
    • Try being quite overweight and nobody wants you.  Just look at Match.com and similar sites.  Then you‘re really invisible!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Kerri1985 wrote Jul 2, 2010
    • Michael,

      This was a very interesting piece and thank you for clearing up some things for us. Because we sure have been thinking the way your patients do...ha ha ha. Very comforting thanks :)

      Hugz

      Kerri



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Cappelletti wrote Jul 3, 2010
    • Thanks for sharing this Dr. Madden.  I think men are attracted to confident women regardless of age.  Confidence can be witnessed in a walk a smile a positive attitude.  

      My belief is that if you love yourself- you make it easier for other’s to see the love within you- to admire the beauty of you and will naturally be attracted.

      Please don’t mistake the word “attracted“- I don’t mean that every man that see’s you will “want” you- but will want to be around you- will want to get to know you and will have respect and admiration for you.

      Embrace yourself regardless of age.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 4, 2010
    • Now I don’t feel like such a dog.  Sorry, but not working and having an illness you don’t look as good as you should at least that is how I feel about myself.  Not all women feel that way I’m sure but I do about myself.  My partner looks at women younger than me and I feel that I always have to change something about myself just to be attractive to him.  It sucks.

      Thanks for the information.

      Dee



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Michael Madden DC wrote Jul 4, 2010
    • Dee,
      All YOU have to worry about is being attractive to yourself.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Kerri1985 wrote Jul 4, 2010
    • I second that Michael...if someone is not excepting you as you then they can’t possibly love you and to look at younger women while you are right there no respect. Love yourself Dee it starts with you!

      Kerri



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Critcher wrote Jul 5, 2010
    • Very Informative Michael, when I finally got out and under my narcissistic husband I did notice with some help that you do have to love yourself first and then everything else will come in to play. I’m still not interested in dating yet but I did notice not only men my age but the younger ones are starting to look too! I find that very refreshingestatic
      It makes me laugh inside, which puts a smile on my face.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Judeo wrote Jul 6, 2010
    • Good analysis.
      Thanks.tongue out



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Komiks wrote Jul 8, 2010
    • thanks Dr. Michael.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Darlene Sabella wrote Jul 8, 2010
    • Hi doc, it is so true, I tell my friends this all the time.  Now let me explain, this to you...I was a very attractive red head from Southern California, I turned heads and to be honest with you it use to bother me.  I know, I dressed slightly seductively like many women that are raised in coastal towns.  Then I hurt my spin and a few other illnesses and I gained weight at 55, and that is when I noticed it.  I loved it to be honest with you, no more attention, but then I let my hair grow white and stopped dying it, then I was seriously invisibleheartbreakestatic and that is for real...thanks doc



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Jul 9, 2010
    • This article is so on point. I never feel invisible and I am confident enough in myself while still humble.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Timbuktu wrote Jul 9, 2010
    • Well I’ve been invisible since I was around 50 - I was on a group holiday where a couple of guys did never looked in the direction of myself and the other woman in her 50s. Those who were younger and those who were older, yep they saw them, just not us! This wasn’t a singles holiday, nor one where people were aiming to meet partners, yet these guys didn’t seem to think we were even worthy of conversation.

      Of course this doesn’t apply to all men - but I don’t care what Dr Michael says - it is quite common. How would he know what’s it’s like anyway - he’s not a woman in her 50s is he?



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote Jul 9, 2010
    • Great post Dr. Madden!

      I have never been what cosmopolitan would call beautiful, even when I was young and skinny. I am only 4 foot 9 and a half inches tall. I never really cared if people adored my looks. I appreciated comments about my intellect or kindness; that is what floated my boat. estatic



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Timbuktu wrote Jul 10, 2010
    • I agree with Faye43’s comment - I too would prefer to be liked and appreciated for my intellect - and that’s never been a problem, but let’s be honest only men who have plenty of own appreciate intelligence in women. Those who don’t have much themselves are threatened  by us.  

      Poor little mites.

      Timbuktu



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 10, 2010
    • Dr Madden, I love July’s bog you wrote for us! I’m not one that feels invisible and for those who do, try taking Vikki’s signature line to heart.... “Smile like you‘re up to something.”  (A
      wink and a smile.) I’m 61... and a half now, and I know I’m not invisible. The X ignored me all the time but other men didn’t and still don’t. Self confidence very likely plays a big part of being noticed, me thinks, but I think maybe being interested in other people also does.

      Cathie



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Kpk65261 wrote Jul 11, 2010
    • Good article, and I agree it’s about confidence really.  While I was married, I had no confidence (thanks to my ex), and I definitely felt invisible to everyone.  Now, I just turned 42, my boyfriend is 35, and I get hit on by men both older and younger than me.  This never happened before I started feeling better about myself.  I’m not beautiful, not ugly, but I’ve decided if someone doesn’t want me, it’s their loss, someone else will!  And even if they don’t, I still like who I’m turning out to be!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Timbuktu wrote Jul 12, 2010
    • So many respondants seem to consider invisible women have no confidence - not true. I am perfectly confident in myself. I am articulate, witty, intelligent, not bad looking etc and that is my point - so many men are cowed by these attributes. They often prefer the women who they feel are less intelligent... The woman I mentioned on the holiday was an A&E consultant - you don’t get much more confidence that that.

      T



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 12, 2010
    • I gotta tell you all I just love what is being written.  The only thing that I am any good at is baking and cooking.  My partner tells me I’m beautiful every day and sometimes I just don’t see it.  I know we all have bad hair days and the such, but darn it mine seem to be all the time, then you got these skinny minnies out there and you try to slim down and can’t for what ever reason.  Mine right now is the heat.  I wear the make up, get the nails done and try to do something with the hair.  I really feel at times I’m fight a losing battle, mainly with my self.  As soon as I can figure out how to put a picture on this site I will and then you will all see what I mean.  Self doubt is not a good thing, but my baking makes me more confident in myself, just can’t do it all the time.

      Dee



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 12, 2010
    • Hi Dee,

      Confidence in our looks, no matter what they are, comes from finding what works for us
      and not how others accomplish it. It’s a “feel good” thing we do. Trust me, you are loved for yourself beyond your delicious baking skills. And you sound like a person that others will love even if you don’t keep up with fashion/nedua dictates. And it doesn’t matter what our weight is either, it’s learning to dress for our indiviual shape and self preception. It’s the same with our hair. I’m sure you’ve seen other women with great skin, beautiful eyes,
      fabulous hair and a budget for the latest in fashion, and they still do not shine/ ;oD  

      I appreciate you for your candor. It takes guts to lay down our feelings about ourself to others that can be a risk at times.  

      Cathie



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 12, 2010
    • Maybe it’s not about confidence in what we do, but about self appreciation?  

      Cathie



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 12, 2010
    • Cathie,

      I think you might be on to something.  Your right, my budget isn’t always there, but I do know how to dress with flair when I want too.  Finding my inner beauty is what I need to do.  I guess though that I don’t want to be noticed so I stay in the shadows, maybe I shouldn’t anymore.  Yes, I can bake and cook and am good at both, but darn it, even when I look good he still looks at them young things, so how can I compete with that?

      Dee



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Michael Madden DC wrote Jul 12, 2010
    • Just because a man “looks at them young things” doesn’t mean he wants to run off to Fiji with them. Don’t you ever look at attractive men? Does that mean you don’t love your husband or boyfriend? Of course it doesn’t. I will always believe that women dress for other women way more than they dress for men. Our standards (if we even have any) are very low. We like the women look in pretty much every kind of fashion do AND don’t. While women can be downright mean to each other for perceived fashion faux pas.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote Jul 12, 2010
    • LOL that is funny - women do dress for other women I believe. You are absolutley correct!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 13, 2010
    • Okay, your right.  We do try to out do each other.  This is sad but true.  I am thinking this site is doing real well.  This is the best one yet.  Yes, I do look a men, but the one’s closer to our age and not younger, only because I have 4 boys of my own.  Great, now I wonder how many women look at my boys.  Have to tell you Doctor, you have done a great job on this one.  Great job!!!!

      Dee



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 13, 2010
    • Hi Dee,

      Yep, that’s a man thang.... it usually means nothing. If he starts following them around and flirts with them like an old leech, and touching them, then it’s time to worry. ;oD  

      I think you are so lucky your partner tells you you‘re beautiful every day. my X didn’t ever willingly compliment me in anything and while I was/am confident, it would have been real nice to hear them. (What a stingy man he was!)  

      Cathie



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 13, 2010
    • I dress for myself, but I sure Love wearing something new and that’s because my friends get why I had to have it. LOL   Our women friends compliment us and who doesn’t enjoy
      validation? I do, I do! LOL

      Cathie



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Critcher wrote Jul 13, 2010
    • I have to agree with you Cathie, I do dress for myself as well. It all starts there in the morning when you get ready to do whatever, work, shop or just around the house if you take care of your self first the rest just follows.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Deenakay wrote Jul 14, 2010
    • Have to say I agree with you both.  Okay, right now I don’t look my best, out of shape and what have you, but today I get my nails done and who knows maybe a new top.  Your right I need to dress for myself and sometimes I do, because I want to feel like a woman lol!!  Yes, he does tell me daily that I am beautiful and believe it or not gals this is my ex that I live with again.  So, I do feel pretty lucky that some part of his still has it for me.  What I don’t get is I wear make-up for me, but he tells me I don’t need it, any thoughts on that one?  Dressing nice makes me feel sure about me and sometimes for him too.  But, mainly for me.

      The old saying, can’t live with em and can’t live without em.

      Dee



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Alina Bartell wrote Jul 26, 2010
    • Thanks, Dr Madden. I love hearing men’s perspective sinece it’s often so different. But it’s also great to have a man who can verbalize that perspective!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Steve Aka Bubba wrote Feb 21, 2011
    • I totally agree Dr Madden. You have put it in a way that makes a lot of sense and I believe that most men wouldnt have a clue as to how to say what you did. One thing that I have done my utmost best to do is to pay strict attention to the woman I am with. To make her feel as if she is the only woman on the planet. I have to admit that sometimes it isnt easy. I think it is because of other distractions.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Feb 22, 2011
    • Ok.... first, I’m surprised there’s a man here that isn’t Dr Madden being this is basically a womens list.... at least it was my impression when I signed on over a year ago. Now Bubba why do you want to hang out here with us women?  

      For myself, I don’t want to feel like I’m the only woman on the planet... who would I share my designs with? Who’s going to bolster my esteem over my choice of dishes or give me a good recipe? It’s all about being appropriate in appreciating other women. Men can do it! I have seen it with my own 2 eyes. In other words, not all men are jerks.  

      Cathie



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