I was having a conversation with my girlfriend over a mint martini and this topic came up  just after our 20 year old bartender quietly slipped me a note which said, "I'm interested, call me".  After I giggled awkwardly, I tossed the note aside inconspicuously because, although flattered... I was a bit shocked at his bold advance.  I thought I had my "unavailable" sign up.  You know, the one you wear when you are in love and do not want the attention of the opposite sex...that one.  The truth is that I am in love with a beautiful, kind hearted man who happens to be 15 years my junior.

My girlfriend was awestruck, as if somehow I carried a golden chalice... "Jesus, another one?" she laughed.  In reality, I never have gone after a younger man. But after my divorce at 40, I noticed a whole new animal pursuing me.

The path to true love with a younger man was not an easy one.  It took time, it took nurturing, but most of all, it took me realizing that at 45, I am still amazing, desirable, and

worthy of this kind of crazy, magic love.

Esquire Magazine ran an article by Tom Junod a few years ago, in which he announced 42 as the most alluring age of 2014. Here is a bit from that article, which caused quite a stir... Junod wrote, "A few generations ago, a woman turning 42 was expected to voluntarily accept the shackles of biology and In the past when women left their 30s, they could break out the funeral pyre for both their looks and their entire sense of womanhood. Let's face it: There used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful 42-year-old woman," Junod writes. "With half her life still ahead of her, she was deemed to be at the end of something - namely, everything society valued in her, other than her success as a mother. "According to Junod, if a woman refused to retire her sexual prowess at age 42, then "she was either predatory or desperate". And if she remained beautiful, her beauty only derived from the fact that it was fleeting. If she were single, "well, then God help her," But now that we've reached the modern era, Junod says it's time to rethink the relationship between age and sexual appeal. Why? Because of science, he says. "In a society in which the median age keeps advancing, we have no choice but to keep redefining youth".

The article was attacked as being sexist.  The question was posed as to why he was generalizing at all. The reality is, things have changed.  Perhaps this article was a siren call -  A loud speaker igniting the flame of the new dawn...the dawn of the mature and empowered woman?  I guess  my next question is..."What the hell took so long"?

Perceptions, observations and lifestyles have changed.  In truth, when I was a little girl, I thought my mother was beautiful, but in the 1970s, a 45 year old woman appeared older then she does today.   There is a shift in consciousness.  To delve deeper into why...I asked the men who are dating or actively pursuing older women, what is the appeal of a woman in her 40s and here is what they had to say:

(2017 Survey of 250 MEN between the ages of 22 and 40 - Top 20 answers)

1) You know what you want

2) You are great in bed

3) You don't push us to have children

4) You don't need to be financially taken care of

5) You are fun loving and playful

6) You are mature

7) You are responsible

8) You have goals and go after them

9) You are independent

10) You are sexy

11) You don't sweat the small stuff

12) You cook great meals

13) You love to travel

14) You have wisdom

15) You have great style

16) You don't need to get married

17) You are maternal

18) You are generous

19) Your turn heads

20) You are powerful

Then... I asked woman what they found appealing about being in their 40s

(2017 Survey of 250 WOMEN between the ages of 40 and 60 - Top 20 answers)

1) We are more relaxed about life.

2) We know how to give and accept love

3) Our kids are nearing college age or entering adulthood by now and we have a renewed sense of freedom

4) We have worked hard in our careers and have come into our success in our 40s.

5) We have worked out all the relationship issues and discovered what we need and desire in someone and ourselves.

6) We crush our goals

7) We have mastered the art of multi-tasking

8) We have learned our bodies intimately and know what makes it tick

9) We are fearless

10) We are carefree

11) We understand the need for a good backrub and know when and how to give one

12) We understand the need for a good backrub and aren't afraid to ask for one

13) We are more relaxed

14) We know how to apply makeup in a way that is miraculous

15) We don't play games

16) We are wise

17) We are independent

18) We are gracious and kind

19) We love ourselves

20) We are an inspirational light for others