I found this by Anna Pasternak of The Mail in a last-ditch, late-afternoon attempt to assuage my own inner child (who has been decidedly cranky and uncooperative for the last six months, thank you very much). Ms. Pasternak writes:
"I am convinced of one fact: 40 is the new 30, and a second Relationship Window has opened up.
A new cycle of dating has changed the landscape of love for women in their 40s. Why? Because there are a growing number of men and women who are freshly divorced.
And also because there are millions of others who were too busy focusing on their careers, and suddenly, at around 40, have become desperate to find a partner to share their lives.
With the mushrooming number of starter weddings for the early 20s and the cataclysmic rate of divorce — 53 per cent of marriages in the UK end in disaster — this new Relationship Window is a second chance for women aged between 38 and 43 to find (hopefully lasting) love.
Perhaps at that age, having children is no longer a realistic dream, but a man who loves you is better than an empty bed every night.
The problem, of course, is that the pressure to find a man in a hurry during the second Relationship Window is anathema to genuine attraction — chemistry can never be faked or forced.
Yet however much women like me (aged 39 and entering my second Relationship Window) try to put the time constraints out of our heads and follow our hearts, there is that nagging voice in the back of our minds that says if we don't get the man and settle in to a committed relationship before our mid-40s, we'll be over the hill.
There is a nagging fear that the available men's eyes will be diverted by younger, fresher, feistier chicks."
The rise of career women with forceful independence and surging earning power, along with the easily battered male ego moaning about emasculation, are all factors playing out in modern unions, which wreck havoc on domestic stability and longevity.
Not only did we have American writer Michael Noer sounding off in Forbes magazine warning men not to marry career women, but economics professor Randall Kesselring's research at Arkansas State University found the richer a woman becomes, the more likely she is to divorce.
After studying the finances of 112,740 women, of whom 16,760 were divorced and 95,980 were married, he concluded that 'a female's economic success may cause friction within the family'.
He argued that for every £10,000 a wife's earnings increases relative to the family's income, the chances of marital break-up rises by 1 per cent.
Thank you, Anna.
I was trying to figure out how to deal with this now six-month long streatch of ennui. I thought, "maybe missions would be a better way to deal with the social aspects of being unmarried." After all, how many single women do exactly that: they go overseas where they are useful, productive and valued members of society. They get social brownie points for dedicating their lives to spiritual service since they haven't found husbands. Right? (I'm being facetious, here).
It's the weirdest thing. I didn't care about any of this when I was 20 years younger - why is it such a problem that I don't want to focus on any of the things I actually have in front of me to do?!?!?!?
Here's the thing: I really want to stop working altogether for a while, take some time off, get braces (since I never got them when I was younger), then find a job that has less macho-impairment attached to it with more flexibility in my hours and more free time so I can have energy and time to enjoy a life. I don't want this business of being chained to a desk all the time, not getting home until after 7:00 p.m., and falling into bed only to get up and do it all over again! If I never see another billable hour, it will be too soon!
But, I can't do that. Not right now. I'm so firmly entrenched in my career that I really can't imagine doing anything else, and I have insufficient economic resources to venture off to do something else. Even if I could do something else, I don't know what I could do that wouldn't require additional education and/or training.
I took one of those little fun online quizzes on MSN.com - it was on first lines of famous (or not so famous) novels, and I got 10/13 right. Do you know how long it's been since I read ANY of those books? :) The thing is, I was good at the literature thing - it just didn't pay enough. Still doesn't. This blog notwithstanding, I'm a good writer. I have good critical thinking skills, I can dissect and diagram a sentence like nobody's business, and I enjoy it.
So what am I doing?