It used to be that when men were in their 40s, they were married, had jobs, and could start to see retirement at the end of the line. They had kids that were almost grown, and grandkids could be expected in a few years after their kids graduated college and moved on with their lives. Often these men, whose lives started to slow down because things were peacefully settled went into midlife crisis. Their wives would take deep breaths, roll their eyes, and be grateful for the new convertible in the driveway because they were able to avoid the midlife crisis affair. That was then. Let’s fast forward to 2011.
There are a lot of single men in their 40s. Some divorced, some widowed, some just never married. Our economy has taken a large toll on the men who feel they should provide for their women and children. But now a lot of 40-some year old men are changing careers and starting over in new fields. They feel they are back at square one and think a woman is more worthy of someone much better and settled than them. They can’t see retirement now and taking on the white picket fence and wife is scary. A 30-year mortgage means they will be paying on the house well into their 70s—if they don’t die first. Men aren’t really being fickle—they are being realists.
This has caused the era of friends with benefits, friends, hanging out, hook ups—any label to avoid the boyfriend/girlfriend label. The boyfriend/girlfriend status leads to more things and more responsibilities. It plainly scares most men and a lot of women. So, what do you do when you get involved with someone and it’s not moving to the “next level”? In your 20s, waiting four or five years seems okay. In your 30s, not so much, and by your 40s it seems like there won’t be enough time to recover from a loss and find a new love and get your happily-ever-after. This theme is very common among couples in the world we live in. “Should I stay or should I go?” “Should I wait it out or cut my losses and move on?” Each situation is very unique and has its own set of dynamics.
In a world of convenience and instant information (Twitter, Facebook, texting, e-mailing, etc.), we have become a culture of wanting all the information now and not waiting for things. Throw in a woman’s “biological clock” and she’s very impatient by her 40s to start a family—instead of waiting for Mr. Right, many women settle on Mr. Right Now, and fall into poor marriages that end in divorce.
Waiting on something that is never going to happen is not a good use of time, but waiting on something wonderful is well worth the wait.