Turning 40 - What's next?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:39 AM GMT
    Hi Guys,

    I am interested in gaining some perspective from you all on life in your 40's.

    I am hitting the big 4-0 next month, and to be honest, I am not sure what it all means...if it means anything at all.

    As a gay man, how has your life evolved in your 40's as opposed to your 30's?

    What is different? What is the same once you hit 40?

    What do you learn in your 40s? How have you grown as a man, and what should I look forward to in my 40s? I would like to hear from both the single and partnered guys.

    For those of you under 40, what is your perception of men over 40? Is it immaterial? Is 40 really the new 30?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts...I appreciate it! icon_smile.gif

  • cdnclub

    Posts: 79

    Sep 26, 2007 1:04 PM GMT
    When I was in my 20’s I thought everyone over thirty was an old man. My life was a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs and lots of drama. I would have emotional highs and lows daily, and it didn’t take much to throw me into a depression. It seemed like everyone was always looking at me, assessing me, because of course I thought I was the centre of the universe..lol. I assumed “the good life” would be over at 30. In my 30’s I calmed down drastically. No longer cared what people thought of me. Was not trying to out best my friends, and could finally leave the house even though I know my hair and clothes weren’t perfect. Now that I am in my 40’s, I can see that my life is much better than either my 20’s or 30’s. My focus is different, and maybe there’s a hormonal element to aging too. I am calm, easy going, active, laugh easily and FEEL like I have never looked or felt better in my life. That being said, I’m still afraid of the big 5. 0. lol
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 2:37 PM GMT
    Try reading the chapter on 40 in New Passages by Gail Sheehy.

    It is a remarkable book. You know how you expect babies to do certain things, like roll over and sit up, at certain ages. Well, that ontology doesnt stop at babyhood. We all go thru remarkably similar developmental stages all thru life. The male "Mid-Life Crisis" is one of the most famous. This book describes those changes that you can expect at certain ages in your life.

    It is also fun to read forward in this book to see what will happen to you. And it is also fun to read back in the book as see yourself, and understand yourself and your behavior, earlier.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 2:43 PM GMT
    And remember:

    30 is 18 with money
    50 is 30 with wisdom

    ...so you are half way between money and wisdom.

    (I wanted to say something else that I thought would be funnier, but I dont know you and it could have been offensive. Quelle horrors! So I edit myself. Impose self restriction and dicipline. icon_biggrin.gif )
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Sep 26, 2007 3:53 PM GMT
    When you turn forty, all the thirty-eight-year-olds who used to answer your personal ad stop replying out of principle.
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    Sep 26, 2007 3:57 PM GMT
    I spent my 20's in universities. My 30's were spent working for corporations. In my 40's, I'm working for myself. Maybe it's just coincidence that it has worked out that way. Or maybe turning 40 leads one to think about how much time is left and to make any needed course corrections.

    Oh, and nobody will steal your pics on the internet any more, lol.
  • in773guy

    Posts: 89

    Sep 26, 2007 3:59 PM GMT
    LOL, DUDE!
    It's a number......Last time I was in this good of shape and felt this great in and about life I was a gymnast in high school, and what an idiot I was then.
    It all gets better because you know more and you know what matters and what is important.
    When they say 40 is the new 30 they ain't kidding......Roll with the punches and enjoy life.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Sep 26, 2007 4:02 PM GMT
    As I get further and further from my teen years my ability to appreciate a man who's confident and mature is growing. It might be mid thirties, maybe early forties, but either way, there's a lot of benefits to dating a man who's slightly older than myself.
    And to be honest, if he takes care of himself, it's frequent they are even hotter than the younger, more flighty and easily distracted guys.

    But i've always felt arbitrary date lines are insane. What makes someone hot one day at 29, and not the next when he's 30? I'd like to blame the habit of making up random dating limits on our government's example with the age of majority, however I'm sure it's a lot more complicated than that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:08 PM GMT
    Turning 40 - What's next?


    ...and what a view!

    for me:
    30's - most transitional time.
    40's - most developmental time.
    50's - happy.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Sep 26, 2007 4:16 PM GMT

    Thanks In773guy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 5:04 PM GMT
    Turning forty means you are turning 40.

    The only thing that matters at any age is how you live your life, how you experience the voyage.

    In my 20's and 30's I was way too busy getting an education, serving in the Army, building a career, forming my own company. I think I was way to busy to even think about what I really wanted long term.

    Turning 40 brought me a turning point only because I stopped long enough to decide I wanted to go in new directions.

    Being 40 something has led to professional and personal fulfilment as the hard work I did in the previous two decades paid off; and especially since I married my partner two years ago.

  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Sep 26, 2007 5:15 PM GMT
    ditto in773guy's comments:

    *better shape than ever before
    *better and more sex
    *Know what matters and what is important

    41 was the crappy birthday... icon_cry.gif - for me. But it was just a short-lived pity party. I kicked my own ass back into shape and got right back out there.

    Good Luck bud!
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Sep 26, 2007 5:21 PM GMT
    Hi Van- You still look like a kid!! Age is just a number!! When I turned 35 I decided to live for me a bit more. I always put others first. Now I look and feel better than I did in my 20's. Happy taken guy here now 4 yrs and counting! I'm 38 and told I look 29-32- At times I feel 22. Still play sports, still continue my education and at this poitn in my life I wouldn't change much at all.

    Be happy enjoy it!!

  • dhinkansas

    Posts: 764

    Sep 26, 2007 5:41 PM GMT
    I think at 40 you worry less about what people think and do more things for yourself. The 20's were about finishing school and starting a career...the 30's were spent running on the corporate treadmill. Now, I don't worry about 12 hour days and leave it at the door when I go home.

    It's no big deal really being in your 40's. I think our culture tries to make it a big deal, and there are lots of people out there who will say...sorry...no one over 35 please. Does the body change...yes...it can, but I wouldn't go backwards in time for anything.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Sep 26, 2007 6:20 PM GMT

    If you said you were turning 20 I would believe you. You look great, and age is just a number, and I think you are the proof of that.

    I will be 40 in December and my partner will be 49. We like almost all the same things. We think the same about most things. For us, it is just a number.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 6:24 PM GMT
    40 was definitely No Big Deal. Neither was 50, for that matter.

    I wasn't expecting anything at 55, but we went to the movies the next day and I found myself staring at my "Senior Ticket" and thinking "oh, SHIT!" ---

    But since then, it's proved to be as irrelevant as the other b'days.

    Yes, I get the occasional asshole agist comment from guys online, but then, I also get some incredibly complimentary emails from guys, too --- just like always - both sides of the coin.

    Just take care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually and financially.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 6:40 PM GMT
    Actually I am happier now then I have ever been, and to be honest since I am HIV+ the fact that I am getting older is a good thing, it sure beats the alternative!
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    Sep 26, 2007 6:46 PM GMT
    Damn my friend....if 40 is really the new 30 then your definitely it!!!
    I wouldn't be surprised if some people hit you with late 20's....maybe its your lifestyle..or maybe the genes, or both..either way its working for you man!

    I'm 29...so on the young side, yet Im having a hard time accepting the big 30 coming up soon...even though many would say im still a kid.

    Overall I think 40's is the mark of a potentially wise man, yet still very capable of going out to play when there is physical demand.
    My other half of 9 years is 42 and the guy is more athletic than me...and you seem to be the same...so in my opinion, you have little to worry about. Enjoy the maturing process because alot of people seek the mature/wise/attractive combo...and you got it buddy, so run with it man!
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Sep 26, 2007 6:46 PM GMT
    They say, life begins at 40.
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    Sep 26, 2007 6:53 PM GMT
    And then they're not around long enough to say the same about 50.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 7:10 PM GMT
    Hey Guys,

    Wow! icon_smile.gif I appreciate all the quick replies. Thanks for the kind words and candid thoughts. This is helpful.

    Many of you mentioned the traditional steps through manhood in your 20-30s (e.g. education, career, etc). I agree with cdnclub and mindgarden that I feel a shift of focus happening as I enter this next stage.

    I also agree with in773guy that life does get better as I have enjoyed every stage of my life, and with what Briarhawk mentions that men in their 40’s have a lot that is attractive to younger men. I am personally always surprised at the amount of interest I get from men under 25 on this site for example… lol! – Getting hotlisted is still a nice ego boost! ;)

    My sense is there is any easy mindless path too for gay men who are single in their 40s with good jobs, and little responsibilities beyond themselves. We all have seen it – e.g. circuit parties, easy travel opportunities, availability of hook-ups. This is a path of least resistance. However, I am also interested in the alternative paths guys have found at this stage.

    What intrigues me is the process by which I might define my 40’s. I would like to be proactive about it vs. just letting it unfold.

    What key experiences have you had in your 40’s that gave you more insight about yourself or wisdom? What can I look forward to?

    Any additional thoughts? Keep it coming! Thanks!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 7:14 PM GMT
    OK, well, you'll find that your balls hang much much lower than they did at 30. You might even find that you're a little shorter than at 30. I used to be 5'11. I've lost a half inch over time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 7:37 PM GMT
    The 40's were a period of intense change for me.

    1) My first long-term partnership began AND ended in my 40's.

    2) My career escalated beautifully, then came to a crashing halt in the dot-bomb collapse.

    3) My second (and this time, it's for good) partnership began in my 40's.

    4) A major health crisis caused me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and my priorities.

    5) I changed careers briefly, then changed AGAIN.

    6) I worked for myself for the first time, instead of relying upon others for a paycheck.

    7) I made some hugely bad speculative investments.

    icon_cool.gif I began to find my self-worth in who I was, rather than what I owned, or what I did for a living.

    Interesting 10 years, don't you think?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 26, 2007 11:01 PM GMT
    I have found a new interest in the gay community in terms of volunteering, giving advice to gays in the next generation. Generally speaking I am less self-absorbed in my problems and more interested in helping others.
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    Sep 26, 2007 11:13 PM GMT
    You become a "Daddy" so stock up on those cigars and be prepared to meet all the boys you never knew you had. icon_eek.gif