I think that anyone who has been through years of dating can agree that it is difficult. Frustrating. Obnoxious at times. As a guy who is still trying to lose some of those insecurities about himself, it’s that much harder. As I careen into my 40th year as a single man, I’ve found some interesting changes in the way that people view me that make it even tougher. As I do more dating at this age, I find that there are some with very suspicious views about a guy who has made it this far and not been married. But I also think that I have reasonable explanations to calm those concerns.
“40 and single—what’s wrong with you?” I admit it—I have flaws! Many of them, if I’m going to be completely honest. I procrastinate, I can lose myself in sports on TV, I despise texting, and I can be a bit messy. Among other things. But I certainly don’t expect my partner to be perfect, and I would hope that at least a few of my flaws are endearing. I promise that I’ll do a better job of making sure that the dishes make it into the dishwasher immediately when there’s somebody else visiting regularly or living with me. The vacuum will run a bit more often. Honestly, sometimes it’s difficult to motivate myself to go the extra mile when I’m just doing it for myself.
“40 and single—you must be afraid of commitment.” Nope. Scared of getting it wrong? Absolutely. Positively. Without question. I’ve seen enough divorce among my friends. I have a very high standard to live up to with parents who have been married for 45 years and counting and grandparents who were married for over 60. I want to do my best to follow in their prodigious footsteps. And I truly want that connection and commitment with the right woman.
“40 and single—you must be a player.” While I certainly admit to having my moments in the past, I never had the confidence to be a true player. And although there were times that I wished that I could learn, I feel like most of that was behind me some time ago. I’ve grown up, matured, and priorities have shifted. In the interest of honesty again: those sexual interests certainly remain (I think that’s the case for just about everyone), but they’re not of primary importance. Having that person to come home to at the end of the day, to travel with, to have the life experiences with, to chase the kids with (hopefully!), is much more important. Sometimes the urges take over. But in the long run, it’s never satisfying.
“40 and single—are you sure you’re not gay?” Yep. I’m sure.
Dating in my late 30s and beyond has become…interesting, to say the least. But apparently optimism reigns eternal and I find myself willing to push through the frustration, the games, the nerves, the rejection, and other people’s preconceptions about me and try again. Even if it takes answering the same questions over and over again.
When Josh Krauskopf isn’t doing his day job, he’s trying to learn new places to focus his creative energies. Improv and writing are the current obsessions, but there’s undoubtedly more to come. He firmly believes that if you’re not learning, you’re dying!