So here’s some good news for all you Gen Xers who are shoving back hard against the term middle age. A clever man in the UK has written a book about middle age and all the good things that go with it (and if you’re 40ish you’re middle agedish).
Now you’d assume that it would be a very short book, but English professor David Bainbridge says that midlife, and its accompanying crisis is nothing but a big fat myth.
Dr Bainbridge believes that middle age is a particularly special parts of our lives. In fact, Dr B says that we should consider ourselves lucky to have middle age instead of the gradual slide toward death as most creatures do. Now isn’t that comforting.
Anyway these are the good things about middle age:
Sex is sexier: Yes, you’re getting wrinklier and fatter but Dr B says to compensate for the changes in our bodies (sob) it’s likely that our brains rewire in middle age to make long-term partners seem more alluring than they really are as it makes evolutionary sense for couples to have an added incentive to stay together until their children have grown up.
Most are married. Nearly 90 per cent of all humans have married by the age of 49. And there’s much evidence to show that marriage helps prevent depression and generally makes people happier.Middle-aged men not only tend to stay married, but also report more satisfaction with their marriage than women do. Both sexes, though, are still likely to find many positive characteristics their partners, even after many years of marriage. These include tolerance, trustworthiness and a comfortable level of give-and-take.
A roving eye, but no-one’s going anywhere: biologically, middle-aged men are still attracted to young women because of their potential to have babies. However new research suggests that fertile young women may be wise to steer clear of middle-aged men, because their ageing sperm leaves a lot to be desired.
The right headspace: by 40, most of us have finally learned how to divert our emotions from self-defeating cycles of self-criticism. Instead, there is evidence that we channel our emotions in a purposeful, focused and effective way. We become an island of stability in the maelstrom of human life. Our personal relationships are more stable. As studies have shown, we rate our personal relationships more highly than young people do, and tend to see our close friends more often.
So there you go. Feel better? No? Well best be off to buy yourself a shiny red convertible then. Image