While mid-life is a very satisfying period for most men, for many others it brings on an existential crisis, resulting in a search for meaning in one’s life.
Rather than coming out of left field, however, midlife crises are typically triggered by a significant adverse event in a man’s life, such as the death of one or both of his parents, a downward turn in his career or a change in his personal relationships like a divorce. Seeking to resolve a midlife crisis usually involves attempts to fulfill an unrealized goal or to feel youthful again. Unfortunately, though a man experiencing a midlife crisis is not always aware he’s in the throes of one, others can spot the signs a mile away.
To give you a woman’s perspective on men’s midlife antics, here we review the top ways men act out in a midlife crisis — and what she really thinks about those behaviors.
1 - Dress Like a Tool
What you do: Trade in your button-up for an Ed Hardy T-shirt.
Women view this as: A haphazard effort to appear stylish and virile.
Dress like you've climbed the corporate ladder. Looking better when you’re older isn’t about looking younger, it’s about looking distinguished. Whether they’re 20 or 40, women prefer a gentleman over a frat boy, so when you’re out shopping, go for an elegant, refined look over a trendy one.
2 - Change Your Ride
What you do: Switch from a four-wheeler to a two-wheeler.
Women view this as: A dangerous and reckless attempt at an adrenaline rush.
Take up a fitness plan to get you into fighting shape. Working out will naturally help you feel better about yourself by boosting levels of feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters in your system, including adrenaline. If you actually use your membership at the gym, but your routine just isn’t giving you that extra kick anymore, try skydiving or an extreme sport like mountain biking to get that living-on-the-edge feeling. You might even meet some women who share your new interest.
3 - Dress Too Young
What you do: Get an earring.
Women view this as: A misguided way to seem cool.
Get a stylish but age-appropriate haircut or a signature accessory like a watch. Society’s obsession with youth drives many men in the midst of a midlife crisis to attempt to relive their younger years by conspicuously altering their body, such as with an earring or a tattoo. Just think of film legend Harrison Ford’s earring and you’ll realize there’s no quicker way to destroy your sex status symbol than by getting an earring after 30.
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4 - Approach (Much) Younger Women
What you do: Strike up conversations with women half your age.
Women view this as: Young women think you’re creepy and try to get away as soon as you buy them a drink. Older women just think you’re a creep.
Meet groups of women — not single, young college girls — by cultivating your interests. Art buffs should take painting classes, foodies should take cooking lessons and fitness buffs should sign up for marathons or hiking excursions. By spending time engaged in an activity you’re actually interested in, you won’t seem so desperate and you’ll therefore be much more likely to succeed in cultivating a “fruitful” relationship once you meet someone with a similar mindset.
5 - Abuse Your Body
What you do: Experiment with drugs.
Women view this as: Idiotic.
Refine your palette. Become more sophisticated by educating yourself on food, whisky, wine, or anything you have developed a taste for over the years. Once you have reached middle age, taking drugs becomes significantly more dangerous than it was in your 20s as you’re at an increased risk for a heart attack. Also, staggering around and looking like you’re out of control isn’t usually a turn on for women, no matter what their age.
6 - Change Your Tunes
What you do: Drastically alter your musical tastes.
Women view this as: Inauthentic. Going from rock ‘n’ roll to pumping techno makes it seem like rather than enjoying your tunes, you’re using them as an embarrassing mating call.
Research the albums that got top reviews in the last year, have a listen to them and figure out what you actually like. Taking this approach to music means you’ll be able to discuss new bands and the latest hits all while appearing hip and relevant at the same time.
7 - Act Out
What you do: Use your vacations to go crazy rather than to calm down.
Women view this as: If women don’t like you at the local meat market, imagine what they’ll think of you at a wet T-shirt contest on Daytona beach. See No. 4 — women will think you’re creepy.
Use your vacations to get the RnR you deserve. You have worked hard to get to where you are, so go ahead and stay at a swanky hotel, dine in fine restaurants and order 20-year-old scotch instead of beer bongs and plastic-cup tequila. As you get older, use your precious vacation time to treat yourself and any woman you’re seeing to the luxuries in life. She’ll be suitably impressed and you’ll return feeling rejuvenated rather than exhausted.
Time to Reflect
If you recognized yourself in any of these categories and you have undergone one or more life-changing events in the past few years, you may want to consider that you’re experiencing a midlife crisis. To speed up its resolution, rather than chase after a youth you can’t return to, take some time to reflect on what you’d like to do differently in your life and then set some concrete goals. Taking this route will mean you’ll waste less time getting to a more satisfying place and you’ll have more success with women along the way.