Hot flushes, mood swings, creeping spare tires around the midriff – we are all familiar with the big M and its effects on us as we hit ‘that’ age. Few women sail through menopause with ease, and some of us have an exceedingly difficult time of it.
Thankfully, we live in an era where we can discuss, commiserate, and help each other. There is now a greater awareness amongst medical doctors and also a plethora of diet and exercise gurus who specialise in helping us through these years and giving the best advice available.
Hopefully, husbands, children, and other family members will be sufficiently tuned in to understand what is going on and have sympathy for this turn of events, maybe even help in some way. If this is you, how lucky you are.
But they know you, don’t they? They live with you every day, and they have witnessed you break out in irrational, sudden sweats in the middle of a restaurant.
They have watched with amazement as you suddenly strip off every possible garment that can be shed. ‘Is everything coming off?’ they have wondered.
At home, they know you occasionally dive into the fridge, not to search for a yoghurt, but just to get some blessed cooling relief. They know, they understand, and they love you anyway.
Looking for companionship during menopause is a different story and it can be tough on us women.
The difficulties are mainly about a sudden lack of self-confidence. We all know how depressing it is to gain weight, knowing full well that we are not stuffing our faces on cream cakes every day.
In fact, we may be doing our best to eat less and less. But still the weight creeps, on and it is so depressing to try on your best frock for a new date just to find that it does not fit any more.
We can kid ourselves it shrunk in the wash, but we know we are heavier than we used to be in our prime. We are not young anymore.
Firstly, try and get some help that is appropriate for you. If that’s a menopause consultant who specialises in diet and exercise, sign up! Just the fact of being pro-active with an expert will give you a mental boost. But critically, they can and will identify your body type and the best courses of action.
Your doctor is also there to give good advice and help you through this.
Next, know that this is a temporary stage of life. You will come out the other side of menopause feeling OK. It will pass, and you will find a new equilibrium.
In dating, we are trying each other out for size in all ways. Do we have a similar outlook on life? Do we laugh at the same silly things? Do we have similar family values? Do we have shared interests? So far so good.
But wait a minute, there is also – do we like the look of each other – is there physical appeal? This is where our nemesis can hit us where it hurts. You know that those lovely, tight, white jeans always attracted favourable glances, but the darned things do not fit anymore.
So, we must wear some baggy trousers or a straight up and down dress instead. You know you are hiding the extra pounds and he knows it too. That’s a confidence killer if ever there was one.
If you are out on a date and he makes an unkind reference about preferring a slender figure, he might well be having a dig at you, so he is not worth your trouble. If he smirks when you have a sudden hot flush and start to look a little sweaty, he is a definite ‘no’.
What is he – 65, 70? Does he expect you to look like the girlfriends he had back in the 70s?
It could well indicate that he is very judgmental about female weight and what is or is not attractive. It certainly indicates he has no sympathy and is inflexible. In addition, he may well have no experience of other women in his past having gone through this situation. All worrying signs.
Smile, be polite, and back out. It is not going to go anywhere, so think no more about him. Move on.
Above all, do not let his comments get you down. It will be his loss.
Men are very visual creatures in dating, and they do tend to have a ‘look’ that they prefer. We understand that and can work with it.
If you have taken care to look as nice as you can with your hair, makeup, jewellery etc, then he will, hopefully, realise that you have made an effort for him. A decent man will appreciate this, and he will also try to be smartly turned out.
So, if he complements you on anything, whether it is your dress, your hair, being on time, the car you turned up in, the venue that you chose, then that is great. They are all good signs.
Top marks for him, if he recognises the ‘phew it is hot in here’ comments from you, smiles and agrees with you (even if the air conditioning is actually making it a bit chilly for him). What a gentleman.
As soon as you feel confident to do so, share your situation with him. If he is the nice guy you suspect he is, he knows it anyway. If he really likes you, your smile, your voice, or whatever draws him to you, then it is nothing to him.
Men can have a remarkable way of getting to the heart of the matter and discarding the unimportant.
He knows he likes you and if he is worldly-wise then he will also know that the symptoms of menopause that you are going through can be managed with his support and help. Above all, he wants to be involved in your life and share your ups and downs.
What are you waiting for? That’s your guy!
Have you tried dating during menopause? What was the worst thing you experienced? Did you meet a kind guy who got the situation and accepted it with sympathy? What tips can you share about dating at this time of life? Please use the comment section below and let’s have a conversation!
Tags Senior Dating Advice