I would have told you, before I was possessed, that I was fine with men my own age. The last guy I dated, after all, was someone who had been a friend when we were teenagers, a guy who, in his youth, looked like the blond ski instructors you would see on the Swiss tourist poster: “Come to Gstaad! Ski the Alps! Sleep with Rolf!” When we ran into each other again, 40 years later, we were both fatter, wrinklier and literally scarred from run-ins with serious illness. But none of that mattered. I looked at Rolf of the Mountains and I saw the face and body of the guy I had hung out with in school. Which, I now understood, was the problem. I was fine with aging when it came to old friends or people I had known for years, because I looked at them and saw the people they used to look like. Meeting men my age for the first time, I realized with a dreadful shock of self-recognition, I saw men who were too old.This is what many women, in particular, fail to understand. Although looks are more important to men than they are to women, it must be recalled that what they see is not necessarily precisely what an impartial camera would insist is there. Remember, optics are a function of the brain. When a man of forty looks at his wife of 20 years, he does not see what the stranger at the supermarket sees. What he sees is an amalgam of what she used to be and what she is now, which in most cases, due to the ravages of time, tends to be considerably more attractive than what others who view her more objectively perceive her to be now.
My grandmother, in her late sixties, once told me that she felt about 20 inside and was always a little shocked to look in the mirror and discover that was not the case. She was a vivacious personality; if you simply looked at her style and listened to her speak, she still had the energy of a much younger woman. Find your husband now, in your youth, and he will always see you as the same young woman that you feel yourself to be on the inside.
Marry in your twenties and you will always be young in his eyes. Put marriage off until you are done "having fun" and playing at having a career in your middle thirties and he will never see you as anything but a middle-aged woman.