Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lola of the Copa: Never Settle!

I dated a 42 year old woman recently who is very attractive, but obviously as with any woman post 35, is showing her age (Jennifer Beals being a notable exception, but even she can't defy gravity...).  She revealed during the conversation that she is still firmly stuck in her "No-Compromise Queen" stage, despite having shifted into the "Courtier" age bracket.  She wants a rich man, she wants a handsome, young-looking, fit man, she wants a smart man, she wants a sweet, generous, humorous man, she does not want kids (and especially not any of his existing ones), she will not settle for less than extreme passion (but exudes little genuine sensuality herself, unless primping and mirror-checking count?) and wants to be worshipped.   [I'm also nothing if not a patient man, so she remained 'into me' until things came to their natural conclusion. :-(  ]

So not only is she unwilling to compromise on looks and money, out of my three core 'real human being elements' (Passion, Personality and Intellect), she's unwilling to compromise on any one of the three!  (And my point in that regard is that you have to 'give' on one to have any good long-term relationship.)

Most men appreciate confidence in a woman, but there is a tipping point at which confidence turns into delusion (or at least fantastical wishful-thinking!) and a 'positive outlook' tips over into arrogance.  Now I understand that narcissistic personality types cannot help themselves, but then I take solace in the fact that there are a lot of very lonely narcissists out there (blaming everyone else for their inability to connect). 

A study about a year ago found that both men and women say women are at their most attractive at 31.  At this ripe age they are confident, have come to understand the ideal style/fashions that suit them best, have both experience and well-considered opinions and have only the faint early traces of 'laugh lines' and the effects of gravity and changing hormone levels.  Sadly things do change fairly quickly in the ensuing few years to the point where beauty queens in their 40's complain that they feel 'invisible'.  To be honest, I like the company of women my own age most of all, or of younger women (like my nearly two-decades-younger ex of 14 years) who are  mature due to a substantial intellect, however in the area of body shape and tone, my predilections will always be for women of healthy child-bearing age.  (That hard-wiring simply doesn't change.)

So I've got news for all you 'ladies of a certain age', whether or not you have developed your 'depth of character' and intellectual interests outside of your kids, celebrities and fashion, the 'I'm so hot I can attract any man' door is gradually swinging inward, sadly.  All the surgery in the world won't stop the clock (and risk moving one into 'Bride of Frankenstein' territory...).  Human males are genetically pre-wired to be attracted to women of healthy child-bearing age and the MOST healthy age for producing kids without much difficulty is 18-28 (based upon the release of ova which ramps up quickly at 18 and drops off precipitously at 28).  MAYBE a youthful 70 year old man will be sexually super-charged by a woman 20 years his junior, but for most people the "Passion" element is going to pivot on the concept of compromise and acceptance of current realities.)

Like most men, I'll happily love and cherish the mother of my children as she matures, but it's important not to mislead oneself by thinking that ongoing bond of love and companionship equals 'maturing' sexual preferences/interests (as I've had SO many mature women, and some husbands, insist that I should be adjusting my predilections to now be interested in women my age).  The enduring bond does mean a willingness to compromise!  The point being that if your man felt wildly passionate about a slim, athletic, firm, 18 to early 30 year old body when you first met, it's still that former body shape/tone that he is most interested in (though he still loves you dearly and wants to compromise!).

In the porn business, the female porn actors shift into the "MILF" categorization at about 25 (i.e. "Mothers I'd Like to Fool-around-with").  By their mid-30's they get shifted into the "Matures" category and work exclusively in videos with bizarre plot-lines.  Of the very few 40-plus year-old female porn actors, the stuff they are relegated to is, well, very "niche-specific".

The desire for climaxes wanes with hormonal changes in both sexes (a recent study proved that most women's sexual desire with their partner declines after a few years -- but re-ignites if she begins a  new relationship), but couples' sex lives slow for other reasons, too, both visual and tactile.  Just as you may no longer feel 'fully charged up' about a beer belly, balding head and 'turkey wattle', it goes both ways.  It's natural and while we can lament and regret the changes (and sometimes our choices), life is what it is here and now.

I believe that maintaining a great relationship is ALL about compromise, but equally important is the fact that, past about 35 for women and about 40 for men (who tend to be less 'mature' at any age than women are), finding a prospective mate is all about compromise 'going in'.  If we're not entering a prospective relationship (also called 'a date') knowing in advance what we're willing to compromise on, we're setting ourselves up for failure!  (I'm still trying to figure out what the 42 year old thinks she is compromising on -- besides not getting the under 35 male body/head-of-hair/hormone-level...)

I've noticed that many married women are very OK with compromising, but those same women, once becoming single again and experimenting with online dating (complete with the ubiquitous presence of a very small percentage of younger guys who are into mature women and artificially boost the confidence of many of these ladies by propositioning them constantly, but who leave the scene immediately after having sex), their expectations begin to creep back up into "I won't accept another relationship in which PASSION and CHEMISTRY are not the biggest factors!"  I'm not confident that that ship is still in port, ladies! You might find it, but it will require compromise upfront.

It's not that you are never going to have passionate sex again, it's just that going in expecting that he's going to be as excited about all your now-mature naughty bits in the cold, hard light of day, as might have been the case in the past, is a set-up for disappointment.  That former experience of passion you remember (or have always longed for) is going to be different now.  It is not going to revolve around the physicality the way it once did.  Viagra isn't needed only because he's having physical/chemical problems internally.  At our age if what really turns him on is you wearing a fruit-laden hat and a grass skirt rather than just shaking your booty in the buff, for BOTH your sakes maybe it's not such a bad idea to compromise and ask which fruits he'd most like on the hat...  ;op

My point is that if that attractive (and already 'enhanced') 42 year old woman doesn't accept some major compromises soon, she's going to be that odd old lady in heavy make-up with the big teased-up hair, waiting for a Mr. Right who's really into grannies:
"Her name was Lola, she was a show girl, at the Copa, Copa Cobana. 
Now it's a dance club, but not for Lola..."
Ahh...  Rico died, Lola.  That hot young Latino is not coming back (and it simply can never be the way it was even if he did!).

And all of the above points are basically what Lori Gottlieb uncovered in researching her book: "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough".  A 43-year-old single mother by choice (now married to an ideal man), she basically discovered that women past 35 succeed at love only once they let go of the "Queen-like" list of 300 criteria that they have assembled by the time they reach their early 30's.  My post on the subject here (click for link).

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