How has my experience in dating changed since I started going through menopause?
Well it’s changed completely. One of the first things I noticed when I started dating after the storm caused by my menopause, was that my patience had suddenly gone. I mean seriously, I am able to become overemotional very quickly now, as I need to let go of every emotion that I feel, so every thought just comes straight out of my mouth. There is no rationalization. I mean, before, if a man was leaving the toilet seat up, instead of just saying “put it down” every single time (we know it is necessary to be a bit repetitive with men), I would just do it myself, I wouldn’t be bothered. Now I have to say it. I can’t keep anything in anymore. Even the little things. The beginning of my menopause was the hardest bit. It was likeI was possessed by another person. A not very rational, angry and difficult person. Hormone levels made me angry 24/7, It was difficult for me, I was difficult. The second thing that changed was my libido. Anyone even touching me would make me feel ill. It’s not nice, is it? The rejection was making my partner at the time feel rejected even though I tried very hard to make him understand that this was due to my menopausal hormones, not him, but it was making him feel weird as, sex for men is one of the most important things, if not ‘the’ most important thing, regardless of their age. Also there was weight gain, so not feeling very sexy anymore, foggy brain, and this constant desire of living in my comfy pyjamas. This didn’t really help me in building a relationship and even dating for fun wasn’t an option for me.
Then I realised I was on anti-depressants (known to take away libido) for anxiety and I thought: what if all of these effects are not only related to my menopause, but actually amplified by the medications I was taking? Well the answer I got was pretty straight forward. I stopped taking the antidepressants and started using CBD oil and I found that my libido started coming back. Then, my thyroid changed and so did my metabolism therefore I couldn’t eat the things that I liked or that I was eating before. So all at once, I couldn’t have sex like I did before, and I couldn’t eat as before, so then, what was life about anymore? After starting to understand more about the menopause and my menopause symptom, I realised that taking care of my symptoms and the food that I was eating, I actually started getting my hormonal balance back a little bit (and also as menopause progresses it gets a bit easier) and I started to feel excited again about life again. I started to feel normal, like me again.
But at this point I had changed. My whole life had changed and so did had relationship goals.
For what concern myself, I still want to be physically attractive and I still want a man who is attractive as well, but I want him to be more in my lifestyle. More in my vibrations. Meaning something simple like no big steaks, no tequila. Back in my thirties it wouldn’t matter. But now it does. I have nothing against them, but it is not me, I’ve not had meat for a long time or alcohol either. I can’t stand smoking anymore. And also, let’s be clear: I am not searching for any type of man. I am not searching at all. Even if I am on every dating website, I am not searching, I need to feel the chemistry, to find someone attractive in the “whole package”, physically and mentally.
And so I am now 53, I am not out clubbing, I am not up to staying out all night like before. Moreover, I am always sober, I live for the moment and very much in the moment. Everything has changed in this sense, but for sure I feel more free, as I know exactly what I want and need. Regarding my sex life, it is different as well. It is harder to have an orgasm, and you don’t get as “wet” as before down there. What I realised is that you have to be true to your own body and know what makes you aroused. You have to be able to talk and discover together what you both like. It’s important to be self aware and know your body. When you are young there are no problems down there. But, after menopause you are not as wet as before. That’s why after starting to use my lubricants everything changed. This is also why I insisted on making my own as they are natural and vegan. Now, using them, things are much better. And for some additional fun, try putting some on your partner as well. Lubricants are amazing also if you want to play with yourself.
Lubricants are amazing also if you want to play with yourself.
Generally speaking, despite everything, I am still a romantic and I am not neurotic. If I was in a relationship, it will be for all of the right reasons, good chemistry with someone on my wavelength, someone with good vibrations. But if for now I am single that’s fine too, I’m in a good relationship with me, I am enough.
by Meg Mathews