Ask Kat Curious
Dating in Your Forties
Dear Kat: I am simply unable to meet anyone who seems to be interested in me. Yes, I am 47, but I am just as likely to be at the front of the stage jumping up and down or generally robot dancing in the pit with the youngsters. I am lighthearted, happy, rather quiet, handsome, educated and quite unique, but when it comes to women, I feel like a troll. I ask people out for coffee and nary a single person ever bothers to say yes. What gives? Is it that you are doomed to be alone if you don’t have a partner by the time you are 40? (I was married a long time, but at age 44, she left me for a 19-year-old, and I have been alone ever since—my entire forties!) Should I start checking into monasteries?
Of course, the most important aspect of becoming more interesting is this: If you're really devoted to whatever you’re doing, you'll be way too busy to notice the lack of a "special someone" in your life.
Dear J.A.: You ask an age-old question that has a similar answer for anyone of any age. If you want to be dateable, be interesting.
Of course, you’re probably interesting already. You go to concerts, you're educated, you've experienced life, you can do the robot. But you may need to become more intriguing, or at least join a group more specifically suited to your interests to meet people (I don't just mean women, btw) who can be interested in you. If you settle on a more specific venue than bars or concerts and find people who are fascinating to you, the coffee date will follow naturally. Join a meet-up group that goes hiking. Take a cooking class. Hell, there are hundreds of available women at Salsa Baby on any given weekend. Go learn to dance for real and quit doing the robot.
Having a hobby helps you meet people and gives you something to talk about when you do. Of course, the most important aspect of becoming more interesting is this: If you're really devoted to whatever you’re doing, you'll be way too busy to notice the lack of a "special someone" in your life. Then you can stop whining about it. And yeah, you're whining about it.
Single folks can smell desperation from five miles away, even in the desolate wasteland that is single Albuquerque. You know why "nice guys finish last"? It's because they're too wrapped up in complaining about all the action the bad guys are getting to do anything else. The very best thing you can do for your love life is to stop caring so much about it. In two words: give up. The magic happens when you quit trying so hard.
Instead, cultivate excellent friendships with all sorts of wonderful people, regardless of whether you're trying to sleep with them. If nothing else, they'll know stimulating people to introduce you to, with whom you may want to sleep eventually.
Furthermore, if you're still mad about your wife leaving you for a younger model, maybe there are other issues to work out before you’re ready to date. Do you really want to date someone else, or are you looking for revenge? Or maybe you’re just looking for every woman to be the bad guy in your life: First your wife leaves you, then all the stupid hos don't recognize how great you are. It's not you, it's them! Your exasperation with the ladies will just keep them further away. Women can sense that chip on your shoulder, and even the handsomest prince in the universe can't make that kind of anger attractive.
You clearly loved your ex, or you wouldn't be so hurt. That's what you need to recall: a capacity to love. Love your friends, love your family, love your life, and a woman who is lovable may follow. But even if she doesn't, you'll be too busy learning about wine or fixing motorcycles to notice.
I will give you this, though: Dating in the 505 is hard for anyone. Burqueños marry young, divorce young and have babies regardless. We come with a lot of baggage ... er, I mean, responsibilities. We're not good at dating. If the activity-group/friends-having route ultimately proves futile for you, maybe you should look into moving to a bigger metropolis where dating might be a more normal (and fruitful) activity.
Kat Cox is a writer in Albuquerque who will do anything to get you the best advice possible.
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.