He’s got a comb over, beer belly, and has donned a wrinkled shirt. Yet he thinks he’s James Bond. George Clooney. God’s gift to women.
Because he gets a lot of attention from ladies. Especially over-40 single women.
Because there are more midlife single women than men over 40. Women in that age group have learned to go after what they want. And they want a man. Even the men described above.
These women have held out for the man of their dreams and been disappointed that the one(s) they thought was close, turned out to be a cheater, a ne’er-do-well, or emotionally unavailable. So they’ve lowered their expectations. Now they just want a man who will treat them nicely.
Average-looking single men have recounted how women throw themselves at them. The women make overt sexual advances on the first date. The men are inundated with women inviting them over for dinner and a little something-something for dessert. The man feels he’s got mojo oozing out his pores.
Author Bernard Salt calls this “hotness delusion syndrome.” While women can suffer from it as well, it seems particularly pronounced in middle-aged men who’ve stuck their toe — or more — in the dating pool. They feel they are not only in the candy shop, but immersed in a vat of delicious morsels — they can’t wait to try the next one. There’s an unending supply to quench their desires.
So what to do when you encounter one of these delusional ones? Generally, I’d say run in the other direction. It’s unlikely he’s going to be ready for the reality of the work and compromise a real relationship takes. If the relationship takes any tweaking (as relationships do), he’s gone as he can always get someone new in a flash.
However, if you feel you want to stick it out, you’ll have to feed that delusion and reinforce his perceived hotness. If you tell him the truth — that his ear hairs need trimmed, or he needs to lose 30 pounds, or he should buy iron-free shirts — he’ll be dejected and you’ll be rejected.
So if he’s self-aware enough to know that his hotness is unusual and unexpected, he’s a keeper. As long as he doesn’t begin to believe that he should only be dating Jennifer Aniston.
Want to understand more about midlife men? Download your copy of Embracing Midlife Men: Insights Into Curious Behaviors