Ways Men Act Out When Pushing 40
A lot is said about middle age and all of the ways one might exhibit a midlife crisis. There is also, of course, plenty of discussion around turning 30—the side effects of which perhaps plague women more than they plague men. But if your dude doesn’t have much to say about turning 30 it’s only because his time of acting out will probably come closer to 40. Sure, around 50 a man may show full signs of that midlife crisis, trying desperately to appear younger by going after 23-year-old women and driving very loud, very expensive cars. But 40 is a very strange and overlooked time in a man’s life. If you love a man who is nearing 40, don’t think you’re in the clear of weird behavior for another decade. He may start acting out, right now. It may be subtle and seem random, but you’ll see it.
Taking their health into their own hands
As a rejection of the fact that his body is aging and requires a bit more maintenance, your partner may completely refuse to see doctors. He may skip his physical, and deny that he needs to get that weird symptom looked into. As if it isn’t already tough enough when you’re the only one looking after your man’s health.
Wanting to leave their job
Your man may get it in his head that he must leave his good job with benefits and finally go into hand-making designer squatty potties (or whatever his idea is). Strongly encourage him to keep his regular job, slowly get the creative gig going on nights and weekends, and just see where he lands.
Hating everything twenty-somethings do
A man in his early thirties can still relate to the twenty-somethings. But a man pushing 40 will make a point to hate every single thing that is trending with men in their twenties. He’ll despise nitro brew coffee and say, “What’s wrong with a regular hot cup of joe?” and he’ll refuse to wear those t-shirts that sort of scoop down around the chest area.
Loving that old man life
Your nearly-40 man will start to live as if he is 70. It’s his way of flipping the bird at age concerns and just skipping ahead to proudly being a senior citizen. He may buy himself a La-Z-Boy chair and a few Tommy Bahama shirts. Oh—and he’ll drag you to the early bird dinner specials, insisting, “Those prices aren’t just for the elderly. We can get down too.”
Going on some sort of pilgrimage
Whether it’s to visit all of his childhood friends, or simply to rent an RV and take it across America with no plan at all, he may have some extreme pilgrimage in mind. He’s reaching an age of feeling anxious with regular, day-to-day life. He wants to break free of routine and prove to himself that he’s still adventurous.
Eliminating certain friends
A man around this age will start to take stock of his friends, too. Maybe in his younger years he’d keep friends who were total train wrecks, all because they made good drinking buddies and were entertaining. Now, he may weed some of them out in favor of more grownup friends.
Dressing a bit weird
Your fella might become nostalgic for his youth—like his young youth. I’m talking about his teen years. He may suddenly buy some vintage clothing circa the early 90s. It is this odd time in his life when he’s connecting with both the old man inside of him, and the young boy. Either way, he does not want to dress the way twenty-somethings are dressing.
Renewing their sex drive
Get some good lube and eat your protein: your man may want to do it a lot right now. One part of his youth he’ll hold onto with every fiber of his being is his libido. When he realized you two have been doing it as much (or as little) as a couple he knows in their sixties, he may plan a sextravaganza, just to prove to himself you aren’t becoming that couple.
Become too hands-on in your career
Some of his panic over where he is in life may bleed over into where you are in life and he may take a renewed and enthusiastic interest in your career. He might start checking in on your progress on certain goals and giving you advice you didn’t ask for.
Obsessing over investment accounts
This is around the time men realize that, if they don’t want to work forever, they better start putting aside some nuts for the winter. He may begin feverishly researching investment accounts and planning meetings with financial advisors. At every dinner party, he may ask others how they invest their money.
Picking every battle with the landlord
I believe near 40 is when a man really starts to feel like a man. He starts to feel that he can and should be more of an authoritative figure and can assert himself more. It may come out in odd ways, like your partner picking every little battle with your landlord. If he feels the line for his parking spot makes his spot three inches smaller than the neighbor’s, he may pester your landlord until it’s fixed.
Putting passive aggressive notes on cars
If someone’s bumper intrudes on your driveway even half a foot, or someone takes up two parking spots, you’d better believe your partner is going to put a note on their car. He may get into putting notes all over the place, whenever he thinks someone is misbehaving. Those neighbors who don’t contain the smoke from their BBQ? They’re getting a note. And he’ll put a lot of time into that note.
Obsess over perceived slights
Does he feel that barista at the coffee shop misspells his name on purpose? Or that that woman he opened a door for didn’t thank him? He may fixate on these tiny, perceived slights for days. Men around this age can get into a phase of saying, “People today! Can you believe them?” a lot.
Staring down bad drivers
This is just a time in life when men decide not to let things go. Maybe it’s something about realizing life isn’t eternal and they should spread their ideas and beliefs, and take a stand when they still have the time. So your man might make a point, when someone cuts him off in traffic, to pull up right next to that person and just stare at him with disdain.
Take up spirituality
One very good change I see happen in men around this age is that they get into spirituality. My boyfriend and many of his friends all at the same time, without talking to each other about it, got into meditation. They all said something about wanting to refocus on their goals and what matters. On a side note, that meditation doesn’t seem to be doing much when it comes to fixating on bad parking jobs and rude baristas. Oh well.