So, here’s an enigma my friends and I have been trying to crack for some years now. How & where do you find a partner/mate who is at least as old as you, if not older? The age factor becomes harder as you navigate through your mid to late30’s. For, most women of my generation can’t fathom dating a younger man. At best, he could be a year younger. The puzzle becomes rather fascinating and less complex if you look at the world through the eyes of a man! 🙂 Let’s take an example. At 38/39, a woman is looking for a man in the age range of 38-42/43. Whereas for a 38/39 year old man the options can be anywhere in the age range of 32–38. So, while for a woman it seems to be always forward on the number (age) line (and harder), for a man, it seems backwards on the number line and easier. That leaves one wondering whether the twain shall meet ever.
Now, the above facet of the enigma addresses just the age factor. There are many more angles to the enigma. In the last decade, I have lost many friends to matrimony. Now, don’t get me wrong. When I say “lost”, all I mean is that friends get busy getting domesticated and withdraw from their single friends not because they don’t need them anymore but because their priorities & social circle undergo a certain shift when they enter matrimony. This is only natural. But, that’s when the singletons mingle less often with their married friends because suddenly/gradually, the married ones assume you may not “fit” into their social circle. 🙂 So, the married friends wait for a day when their spouses are away so that they can catch up 1-on-1 and feel one with their “lost & found” friends again!
Strangely though, another phenomenon has been unfolding in the last decade. The social fabric has undergone a change and witnessed an increase in the population of people who have regained their single status for various reasons. So, now that you are back in the saddle again, how do you begin your hunt for a mate all over again? Disregard the fatigue factor for a moment. How do you begin your search? Where do you look? You don’t want to be blatant about it even though you have spread the word amongst your friends. The newness of your re-established single status takes care of you & lets you enjoy life for some time. But the search questions return after a while and you begin to wonder—where & how?
You can’t hang out in the pubs/restaurants you used to frequent a decade ago. Your friends don’t go to those places anymore. For that matter, some of those places don’t exist anymore! Or even if they do, you seem to have suddenly outgrown those “addas”. 🙂 Everyone has moved up the social ladder. And all the malls/coffee shops around you have paved way for the next gen as the new hangouts.
You also want to be a bit guarded and not want too many people to know how/why you are single “even now” (considering Indian benchmarks & attitudes). Yet, you secretly wish you might just get lucky one day with a chance encounter with a suitable fit that might interest you enough to take a second shot at life.
The more I think of it, the more convinced I am about the chance encounter. It has to be. And when it happens, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Indians, till a decade ago, were getting married at the age of 28/29. 30 was considered late for both the “boy” & the “girl”. So, when you are 38 & single & looking, where do you go looking? Your chances /avenues have become slimmer. You have put constraints on the requirement specs—you want a man with no strings attached, you don’t know where to find like minded people and you don’t need a man to provide you with material possessions –you can get them & have acquired them yourself. Your needs are now more intangible but real at the same time. This might sound paradoxical but it is not. You want more out of life now.
Where do I begin now that I am older and wiser?