ON A RARE NIGHT out with an old friend (male), and after a couple of beers, he talked about his on-line dating, and what he thinks of ‘women of a certain age’, ie peri-meno’ or menopausal.
Harry: Older women go on about wanting a relationship!
Me: They’ve learnt exactly what they want, and what they definitely don’t want.
Harry: Anyway, dating a younger woman is less hassle and they don’t come with a ton of emotional baggage.
Me: I’m sure that may well be true, but if you’re after more than ‘a shag’ then – along with that emotional baggage – comes a ton of life experiences; in and out of the bedroom.
Harry: I exercise regularly and a lot of women I see on the dating apps have physically let themselves go
Me: You have no idea how hard it is to stay one step ahead of a changing metabolism. It’s a downward cycle for many women: weight gain, feeling less attractive, low self-esteem, reduced motivation and helpless resignation…..
Harry: Give me a break they’re menopausal nightmares!
Me: I can’t believe you’ve just said that! You can’t assume that every woman over 50 is suffering in any way from being menopausal.
Harry: What’s with the tears out of nowhere, mood swings and outbursts, that makes no sense.
Me: You’ve no idea – we are not always in control of our hormones or the signals coming and going from our brains!
Harry: Menopause isn’t new, so why harp on about it?
Me: Actually, I kind of agree. I also think that some women hit a ‘mid-life crisis’ and hide behind their menopause while they try to cope with their new place in the world.
Harry: Anyway, most guys will stray because they don’t think the woman is that interested.
Me: Probably because her hormones have caused her libido to drop, or she is so uncomfortable when having sex that she would do anything to avoid it.
Harry: Yeh, yeh, I hear you, but it’s still what every woman goes through
Me: Yes, it is, and men’s testosterone levels can also drop – just imagine being impotent? Women experience not just a drop in oestrogen, but testosterone as well!
Harry: The bottom line is that with menopausal women the sex is hit and miss.
Me: It can be, but they are probably struggling with physical problems as well as a lower libido. If you care, try modifying your bed manners – be gentle!!
Harry: Jesus! I remember one night I went to spoon and she was soaking wet.
Me: Yeh, those night sweats and hot flushes are the worst! Just put yourself in her shoes, do something nice to help her back to sleep!
Harry: When a marriage breaks down in middle age, it’s always been accepted that it’s likely to be the husband who’s done a runner. The truth is over 60 percent of divorces are initiated by women in their 40s, 50s or 60s — the menopause years.
Me: Women are not doing a runner, they are taking control of their lives.
Harry: Every guy can deal with a woman’s menopause. The trouble is, there is no warning, and they assume you know when it hits them!
Me: The changes can be very subtle, over a number of years, and a woman might not even recognise that she has hit the peri-menopausal state until her periods actually stop!
Me: All there is left to say is that you should keep an open mind about dating women in their 50s – don’t make negative assumptions or sweeping generalisations about them, and charm then with your knowledge, and your empathy! Do you want another pint?!
Harry: So, any chance of a quickie?