Let’s face it, until we hit our late 20’s, we are all diamonds in the rough.  When I met my ex-husband, I was 20 years old– not even done with college, nothing in savings, and no idea where I was going to work after graduation.  I mainly wore jeans and had never been to a gala in my life.  Obviously the guys I date now are getting involved with a completely different person.

What I cherish most about the love story with my ex-husband is that he truly just loved my company.  We may not have had much in the beginning, but we had each other.  Meanwhile, his mom, whom I deeply admired, was an important executive in the retail world, and she is the one who took me under her wing and introduced me to fashion, make-up and spas.  One could say she is greatly responsible for polishing the stone her son found.

I got married while I was still in law school, and I didn’t even have a clue what type of law I wanted to practice.  To my husband, that didn’t matter, as long as I was happy.  That unconditional love and support is what became the wing beneath my wings that allowed me to fly.  Fifteen years later, even though we are not together, I look back with great fondness at that young love because it is truly special– and it is also quite painful, because I’ve had to accept that it will never, ever be recreated again in this lifetime.

Dating later in life is different.  Once you have hit your mid-30’s, you should no longer be mining for diamonds in the rough.   We will all make a lot of assessments about one another  at record speed– based on how we dress, where we live, our occupations, and what we do in our free time.  Those of us that are pros at 20 questions can get all the basics within the first 15 minutes to determine whether it is worth investing any further time or not with you.  So, not to be harsh, but let me be clear– you need to be the shiniest diamond possible when you are out there in the dating world, and please do not be stupid enough to think that someone over 35 may just need a little help getting polished.  By this point, you either have style, or you don’t.  You either have honed in on your true beauty (and I’m not talking about the external packaging) or you haven’t.  You have either figured out your crap, or you haven’t.

At our age, if you can’t accept the package the way it is presented, you need to move on.  If you really feel the urge to take on a new project- my advice is to go get a pet.  Puppy-training techniques are best applied on dogs, not dates.  Also, at least when they pee on your carpet, you won’t blow your lid.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.