Years ago, my girlfriends and I relished the quiet hours when we’d steal away from our male friends to sit beneath the stars with a drink and embark on deep and meaningful conversations.
Seems like a lifetime ago.
As eighteen-year-olds, we did this frequently. Girls need other girls. We need to talk and be heard, and there is nothing like a girlfriend’s ear. We’re good at it, too. It’s like soul and heart therapy wrapped up in a special friendship bundle. Back then, it was boys and relationships that dominated the conversation, and sometimes, Michael Hutchence.
Star of my teenage dreams.
Mmm … where was I?
I don’t see my old friends too often nowadays. We are a far cry from those Michael Hutchence lovesick girls who shared everything and cried together over the most trivial things (okay, the bourbon may have played a part in that bit).
Life happens. Rock stars die too young and lone strands of rebellious hair appear in places it never did previously. But, every now and then, I am able to snatch a few wonderful hours with my friends to touch base and catch up.
Women need other women. We need to share deep secrets with someone who really understands us. Most of my emotional strength has come through the support of my sisters throughout my life. We give each other an outlet when most needed.
The conversations may have changed over the years, but the deep bonds have only strengthened. Unsurprisingly, men still seem to wind their way back into our discussions.
During a recent get-together, I asked my friends what a 40-something woman looks for in a man.
Ready to be a fly on the wall?
Here are the four-most prevailing qualities offered by these beautiful 40+ women:
(Disclaimer: the following is not professional relationship advice and are subjective viewpoints discussed by a few Aussie women who just know this stuff).
1. Please don’t compare us to younger women.
Compliments are wonderful. Some 40+ women might be in great shape and appear younger than their age — but we don’t want to be compared to a woman in her 20’s or 30’s because, well, we’re not her.
It is true that some men in their 40’s and beyond want a young “trophy” on their arm. It’s probably safe to say that every woman in her 40’s has at point contemplated if her significant other has toyed with the idea of trading her in for a younger version.
We’ve all seen The First Wives Club.
Thankfully, some men do prefer the love of a mature woman who knows how to handle her man. He recognizes that women of a similar age as him are the women he can relate to since they share a common demographic.
Women value a man who sees life the way we do; who sees us for who we are and what we have to offer — confidence. Among other things.
Time might have passed in a blink of an eye but we are in our 40’s — we have self-knowledge and life experience, and we’ve earned every inch of those golden nuggets.
We know who we are and what we want. In return, we would very much like those qualities to be appreciated by our men.
2. Mature women do want romance.
Just skip the flowers. Did anyone ever say this out loud?
We might be outliers on this one, but check it out:
Giving a woman flowers is a lovely gesture. They smell nice and they’re pretty, but we have enough to do without hunting down an elusive vase, trimming stems and combining a sachet of sugary life-prolonging powder into water before arranging the bouquet just so.
This is unduly followed by days of cleaning up the wilting petals and making sure the water doesn’t dry up.
In short, we don’t want anything that requires us to do extra work.
Quality romance to a woman in her 40’s is attentiveness and time. We want to feel the connection. We want to be “wooed” through acts of consideration, respect, and support, and we want to feel special.
Many of us are working long hours in our careers. It’s much more romantic and meaningful when a man takes the time to learn how you like your tea rather than to receive flowers.
3. No game-players.
“I don’t want to pretend to be anything I’m not, and quite frankly, I’m too tired to deal with someone pretending to be something they’re not.”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — don’t bring the games. We’re too … erm … old and too tired for the ring-around. Time is precious. We don’t want to waste it on games when what we want is someone special.
Women in their 40’s have been through their fair share of relationships and marriages. We have learned from those relationships enough to be in tune about what we want from a man, and we’re ready to get it right.
Mature women are looking for a genuine man who practices kindness and lives from the heart. Someone who will treasure her heart enough to never let her down.
4. Self-awareness is key.
It is a special man who can steal and keep the heart of a woman in her 40’s. She yearns for soul-quality. Someone who understands himself. He is on the same page as her, has learned from past relationships and is not interested in repeating old behavior patterns.
Let’s be honest, the prospect of great conversation with an intelligent man is extremely appealing to a woman in her 40’s. In fact, it’s a damned turn-on. There is a reason why the human brain is the most powerful sex organ — use it.
Narrow-mindedness, stinginess, and nit-picking are big no-nos. Let the small things slide and learn to laugh at yourself.
Humor is sexy.
So is thoughtfulness.
We are women who appreciate a man who contemplates higher-level concepts and life meaning. Someone with a broad perspective and possesses the ability to focus on the bigger picture.
And while we’re talking self-awareness, a little (or a lot) of that quality won’t go astray in the bedroom either — an unselfish lover makes the world go-around … and around.
Life is really a journey toward self-actualization. We’re in it together. Regardless of what life stage we are at, wise is the man who recognizes the gift of a woman’s heart.
Real love is a treasure-trove waiting to be discovered through true connection. At the end of the day, that is what women in their 40’s desire in a partner. At least, these women.