Overweight and Lonely

What’s A Middle Aged Woman To Do

Dear Neil: I am a middle aged female, professional and good-looking. I am a lot of fun and have a variety of interests. Middle age has caught up with me also, so I am a few pounds overweight, but not obese. What I have found is that since I have gained a few pounds, it seems I have become invisible to men. When I find a man my age, he’s not interested in doing things with me (exercise, sports, camping or socializing). What is wrong with men in their 40’s? They seem to be beaten down by life and ready to give up.

Invisible in Aurora, Colorado

Dear Invisible: If you are around men in their 40’s who are all used up, that is a not a reflection on you. Find new men—by taking classes, workshops, joining groups, clubs or organizations—and generally putting yourself out there in new social circles.

Second, it is true that men (women also, but to a lesser degree) desire their mates to keep up their appearance in general, and their figures in particular. Women often think this unfair and even hypocritical, because as men age they tend to pooch out as well, and can grow lazy and unattractive with their own appearance. It thus may appear that men have one standard of attractiveness for women, and an entirely different one for themselves.

It is also tiresome—not to mention unattainable.

Dear Neil: Although I generally agree with your point of view, I think you missed the boat about the woman who is “emotionally distant.” As you recall, this is an intelligent, motivated, self employed and presumably independent lady who is pursuing further education. She is “emotionally distant,” primarily because she lacks strong feelings for a guy who is “wonderful and decent.” You went on to have her analyze the source of her problem.

It seems to me the issue is that she feels that she should be in love with a guy that she isn’t. To me this lady doesn’t need help. She needs to find someone that she loves.

Denver, Colorado

Dear Denver: Although I would like to agree with you, there are in fact some people who truly remain emotionally distant, armored and removed from other people. They want a close loving relationship, but they also fear being exposed and vulnerable, so they keep themselves emotionally removed and distant, and don’t permit themselves a deep personal investment with other people. They thus remain on the outside of intimate relationships—always looking in but never connecting—because they fear losing control or being rejected by someone else.

Some people do indeed sabotage their intimate relationships by being too aloof and removed. They value safety at the expense of happiness. Although I can’t know for sure about the women you mentioned, it was from this perspective—and in this spirit—that my recommendations were offered.

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