Middle age can be a challenging time for dating and yet at the same time you may feel exhilarated to get out there and meet people. Unfortunately the media wants to snuff out your excitement because you no longer look 20 years old.

Next time you turn on your television you are likely to see ads telling you that in order for you to be seen as attractive you must be young or at least looking younger than you actually are. These advertisers have products that will magically change a 55 year-old face to look like a 20 year-old face.

I know you are not going to want to hear this but the truth is no creams or gels are going to stop the aging process, you know this anyway. If that’s true, why do so many middle-aged people keep buying these products and spending so much money on trying to look young? Hey, what’s wrong with looking your age anyway?

During middle age men and women begin to feel a loss of control over their physical appearance. They still feel the same on the inside while their outer body is changing. Unfortunately these physical changes can negatively impact your self-esteem.

To understand what you are feeling inside, keep in mind our culture worships youth and beauty and is even obsessed with it. The youth obsessed culture hits women’s self-esteem much harder than men. Did you ever notice how many television shows have the older distinguished looking man hooking up with a beautiful woman much younger than he is?

At the same time derogatory jokes are told about the middle-aged woman’s body and supposed lack of attractiveness to men. Consider how women are bombarded by these messages everyday. It makes a woman want to through the television right out the window!

So what do you do about it? For starters stand up for yourself and consciously reject the messages. Don’t let the media interfere with way you view yourself. Remember they are just trying to sell you creams and cosmetics. Why feel ashamed over an aging body. We cannot control the aging process and it is important to remember no one escapes the process. This is a natural part of the human life cycle.

The second step is to look inside yourself and admire the beautiful qualities you have. Focus on the inner person you are. Middle age can be a good time to clarify for yourself just what your values are. Look at all of the talents you have developed and the wisdom you have acquired during your life. Remember you bring this rich body of experiences and wisdom to your relationships.

In middle age we are never going to be able to meet the standards of beauty as defined by the media and our youth obsessed culture. So let’s nourish and love our selves and our bodies and deepen our individual self -respect. Once we feel good about who we are we will feel more confident when dating and we will attract someone who shares our values and view of the world.

Donna Deming, MSW, http://BreakThroughLifeCoaching.net: I am a life coach specializing in assisting men and women through midlife transitions. Please visit my website to learn more about me. If you are interested in life coaching please sign up for a free 30 minute coaching session and try it out. I look forward to hearing from you. My credentials: masters in social work from New York University and additional training at MentorCoach.

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