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Today I had a chat with a friend about the men who have been, gone and still hanging around in my life after what is now 5 years of separation (and divorce). And men in your late thirties/early forties are a completely different species to those in your early 20s. I do recall friends from high school finding it hard to trust boys (young adult men) if their parents had split up, where those, like myself, who lived at home with a sense of balance in the air seemed to be naive to the games played in dating, as we either had the romantic notion that some amazing man will sweep us off our feet and we would believe every single word they say, or we trusted the companionship our parents had/have and believed that’s what ‘love’ was all about.

So for me, the men in my life (or I should say ‘men who have been interested in me’…) have either been married or in a committed relationship, single and living at home with their mother (in their 40s & 50s… uuggh!!) or latching on to a potential ‘mummy figure’ with really NOTHING to offer me. At one point, I thought I had a chance with a newly divorced guy, who had the sexiest voice, was amazingly funny, was strong and protective with incredible work and moral ethics, plus kids similar age to my own, but some how, some other woman snapped him up (but for some reason he still flirts with me whenever he gets the chance). That’s the ‘games’ that are played in the late 30s and 40s…and possibly into the 50s. They have the woman they are committed to, but like to know that they ‘still have it in them’ to pretend to be someone else’s… It’s an ego thing…

I struggle with finding someone who is interested in me first because I feel like I would be settling… the biggest mistake I made in my late teens/early 20s. It’s like I convinced myself into liking him on the basis that I would love a man in my life… Well, that’s the pre 40s me… Now, I feel strong enough to not have that back-up and be able to speak up if something doesn’t agree with me. I am comfortable in what I have… I’m not saying I wouldn’t love the affection, attention and appreciation a man can offer, but I’m not dependent on it… like I was in my 20s and 30s. And I need to be attracted to a man mutually, not just because ‘he likes me.’

It’s funny, how in your 40s, you start to learn to say the right thing at the right time… I’ve had two incidents this year where I felt proud of myself for being able to ‘put men in their place’ for the sake of my own dignity. One was a married man asking to go on a date, of which I politely said that I am not going to be someone’s second or secret… which he understood, but tried to get around it and create a ‘work’ lunch date instead to talk ‘business.’ And another, which was only today, where I was offered a business proposition, and the ‘man’ (bully) asked if I would lower my prices to cut him in a margin, of which I said ‘No – that’s my price… I don’t need the work so I’m not prepared to do it for less.. but at the same time, I’m not going to sacrifice my loyal clients of 10-14 years to give him a deal. Some guys really have a nerve… There have been several others, but I let them know, that while I have compassion for their situations, their life isn’t one that I would want to share with them.

And it’s OK… because I am happy with myself, my commitments and the journey I am currently going on. I live my own life, make my own decisions and accept all the mistakes as my own, and all the fortunes as my own successes. I have no regrets… and I am happy to love me for me…