Is age really just a number?

Winking Cougar

A winking cougar. Hot.

Yogis (and my chiropractor) say we are only as old as our spine. And lots of people say you are as young as you feel. Sadly, my back is a bit out of alignment, and I’m feeling the sting of mid to late 30s because I looked in the mirror yesterday and saw this wrinkle. It glowered at me. I mean, it had literally dug out a crevasse  to the left of my upper lip overnight. I knew this was coming because I used to really want dimples and I’d smile really wide so there would be as much of an indentation in my cheeks as possible. When you’re 10 years old, who thinks about the consequences of smiling too much?

I’ve also been feeling old because it seems on match.com, my DOB has placed me out of the running in several age groups. On the whole, it seems men generally not only want to date younger, but a LOT younger. Like there was one 37 year old who chose 22 to 35 as his age group. Really? 22?

I asked a male friend about this. I figured he’d know because he had set his online dating criterion at the same overall age group. He said it was because women his age and older were so weird about relationships and he felt a lot of pressure to decide if this was it with them versus dating a women in her 20s who he could just have fun with.

The thing is, I talk to women in their 20s about dating all the time, and I think they are more concerned about marriage and relationships than I am.

And what about when you just connect with someone and all differences including age dissipate in the energy created with chemistry?

For instance: My friend was hanging out with a guy who was 10 years younger. She kept calling herself a Cougar, but she’s not, because I think you have to be at least 40 years old for that title. So anyway, my 37-yo friend was hanging out with a 26-yo dude. Okay, they were having sex. Nothing more, she insisted. It was not a relationship. But then she started to want more than the twice weekly hangs. And he couldn’t give more. So they broke it off. The End. Except they still have sex sometimes. And she feels totally connected to him and says that she has never felt more herself or more accepted for who she is with anyone else.

That’s a pretty strong statement.

Initially, I did not approve of this liaison because my friend and I are alike in what we want out of life and relationships, and I know that I would end up wanting something more meaningful. But when she told me the part about feeling so connected to him, I was like, well, why can’t it work?

Apparently, he just can’t give more. I’m not sure that this is strictly an age thing because I’ve dated people exactly my age with whom I’ve had the exact same relationship and ended with the exact same results.

Seems like a timing issue.

Of course, age and timing are so wrapped up in each other’s business, you’d be hard pressed to see where one starts and the other ends. They are like an Escher print. No matter how old or young someone is, you can’t form a relationship with him or her unless both of you are ready, whether it’s emotionally, financially, physically. (Beware the hunched shoulders and protected heart. I’m convinced a certain posture can be an indicator of an less-than-open heart (both physically and emotionally)—if you believe that sort of thing, which I do.)

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. Partially musing. Partially complaining. Timing is such a … bitch, right? I mean for all those necessary things to come together (brain chemicals, life circumstance, intellectual interest, a shared love of French fries) for two people to connect and fall in love. It boggles the mind. I’m mystified.

In other news, it’s time to start germinating seeds for my container garden. I went to a workshop on this very thing yesterday and I have some serious deconstruction of my kitchen to do to make room for the grow lights and hot pads. I’m doing this for reals. It’s going to be AWESOME.

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