Stay Young, Cinderella

Shannon Kernaghan octo-drawing-400 Stay Young, Cinderella Romance  young love romance love

For women, finding romance after 40 is like searching for a restaurant with perfect lighting – too much is glaring, just enough is mood and too little is dungeon.

Lighting problems aside, I haven’t met a woman yet who’s lived under a rock. That means she has baggage by the time she reaches 40.
Baggage can be the size of carry-on; for others, we’re talking a steamer trunk, the kind travelers once took on lengthy ocean voyages.

When the voyage involves a 40-plus female seeking new romance, get ready for a choppy sea. After all, when you were young, single and dating, your main worries were getting your hair to cooperate and ensuring you had taxi fare home, in case Mr. Right turned out to be Mr. Octopus. 

Today, the typical 40-year-old has bigger concerns than hair and fare when she goes on a date: will she be able to enjoy dinner while wearing tight Spanx, especially with her lactose-intolerance? Should she order that crème brulee for dessert (see above re: Spanx and potential gas)?

Once upon a time, a young woman only had to deal with sneaking home past her curfew, or  trying to cover hickeys with a turtleneck in the heat of summer.

This same grown-up woman, back in the dating scene, must now seek dating approval from her children!

Since I haven’t been single for a while, I sought the wisdom of a higher power – Google. One article I found offered “dating guideposts.” Here are three top tips:

1) “Release your tiger – young and buff is hot, but seasoned and savvy is even better.” I’m allergic to cats. Perhaps I’ll release the hounds instead, payback time for the eight-armed “handsy” octopi I dated when single. And while I admire the writer’s optimism, there’s a fine line between seasoned/savvy and weary/jaded.

2) “Rebuke age myths – show ‘em that when it comes to love, it’s not too late.” For me, it is too late, at least when the subject involves sleep. Most nights I’m ready for beddy-bye before midnight. How will I ever stay up to party at hot clubs with a new date? Cinderella and the stroke of twelve never looked so scary.

3) “Ride the wave – no need to be a barfly or a party hopper. Post a profile with an online dating service.” I get seasick if I ride waves, and I rarely purchase online because I like to see and touch the merchandise. That means I’m not brave enough to rocket myself into cyberspace, or trust what crash-lands in my dating Inbox.

Suddenly, my husband is looking really good. ”Honey, can I rub your feet, how about a snack? . . . I am being serious!”

And how about a dimmer switch, for both your new love life and your restaurant table? It might be time to turn up the heat on romance, but remember to turn down those unforgiving lights.

Audio version song
“The Opening” by Dan Lebowitz

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