Monday, June 15, 2009

Old Benchmark

Divorce has made me stronger in more ways than I can count and for the most part, I am grateful for the opportunity (however difficult it has been) to become a more self-assured, independent and confident person than I had been before. But I envy any woman of my age, who has been married anywhere between ten to fifteen years, never needed to seek and find approval of her physical appearance from random men. She can relax, put on a few pounds were she so inclined, not worry about how she stacked up against twenty year olds who were also in the same meat market as herself.
As the years pass, I become increasingly unwilling to be viewed as commodity whose value is determined almost entirely by the packaging. I want to believe I am a lot more than that. I will freely admit being far more superficial back in the day - if a guy did not make my pulse race, he was not attractive enough to make the grade. Today, I am interested in a man's mind, his integrity and the generosity of his spirit - that to me is a sign of maturity.
That said, I have reached out to some who come quite imperfectly packaged if I believed they had the qualities that are important to me. Unfortunately, the standards have not changed reciprocally. For as long as I was in the singles market, seeking a potential match, more often than not, I have run into men who are not interested in me the person. They would have me compete will women ten or more years younger to get their attention based on external appearance only. My life experiences in that period of time and my hard earned emotional maturity don't count for anything at all. A girl in her twenties with dreams in her eyes that can all come true, a future extending to infinity where anything and everything is still possible will look nothing like a a woman who has been through what I have.
When I see pictures of myself from ten or more years ago, it could be an entirely different person - despite the fact that I have changed very little physically in all this time. The person inside has transformed to the point that the old and new me only vaguely resemble each other. I would have found the person I was then quite boring today but amazingly enough men even older than I would find her far more acceptable than the present me. If I were to apply the same standards of physical attractiveness that I had ten or more years ago, it would be impossible for me to consider the overwhelming men in the singles marketplace that are of my age group. Even knowing that rejection based on superficiality is an unpleasant feeling.

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