A midlife crisis is pretty much inevitable. There’s a reason it’s a thing, and it’s just because of the way life pans out. We’re always told how different we are from one another, but really we’re quite similar. The average person gets to their middle years with somewhat shared experiences. You don’t do exactly the same things, but you all kind of follow similar paths – especially people in their 40s right now.
You grew up in an era where your life path was almost set in stone. You went to school, possibly went to university, got a job, started a family, and here you are. As such, you’re in a position where a midlife crisis can very quickly rush up on you. It’s usually because you feel unfulfilled or like you should be doing more with your life. Guys (and girls) in our generation all tend to feel this way when you hit your late 30s/40s.
Realistically, you shouldn’t be too worried about a midlife crisis. It should pass, especially when you’re aware that you’re going through one. Self-awareness is critical as you can go: hang on, I’m going through a crisis here, let me sort it out. With that in mind, here are the telltale signs you’re definitely hitting the midlife crisis years:
Getting up for work is more of a struggle than it’s ever been
A bit of a long title for this point, but you get the gist. Getting up for work will always be quite hard, but has it suddenly got harder and harder? Are you staying in bed later or feeling down in the dumps as you drive to the office? It’s a significant sign that you’re not happy with your life. This goes back to the idea of feeling unfulfilled. Ask yourself: why is it hard to get up for work?
Now, you will soon see the root of your problem. You’ll realize that you don’t like your job and feel like you should be achieving more. In which case, what’s stopping you from pursuing something else? That’s the good thing about a midlife crisis; it can be the spark that lights the fuse and sets you on a new path.
You have an undying urge to buy a fast car
This is such a typical ‘guy thing’ to do when you have a midlife crisis. For whatever reason, we get the urge to buy a really fast car. I don’t know the psychology behind this, but perhaps it’s down to a need to rediscover your youth? You think that a fast sports car will make you look and feel young again, so you don’t have to think about being on the other side of 40!
An even bigger sign is when you get a car that’s just not practical at all. It’s all kitted out with big alloy wheels, a spoiler, and a sporty paint job. You look like an extra from the Fast and Furious franchise, but there’s only room for two people, and there’s no space in the trunk. Your wife’s staring at you like you’re an idiot, and she’s probably not wrong. If you get the urge to make a stupid purchase like this, ask yourself why you’re doing it. If you’re passionate about cars and have saved for years, then fair enough. It actually means something to you and is a passion project you’ve dreamed of.
However, if you can’t think of a legitimate reason, it’s most likely your midlife crisis kicking into action. Try to avoid the urge as you will regret it in a few years.
You’re starting to feel more sexual temptations
Basically, you’re starting to look at prospects outside of your marriage. You haven’t cheated, but you’re spending an awfully long time talking to Linda from work on your lunch break. What’s that? You’ve been on her Instagram profile for half an hour and are looking at pictures from 2016?! Things like this happen all the time, and the important thing is to avoid giving in to those temptations.
Realistically, you feel like you’re at a point where you need more fun. You’ve been with the same person for years, so it’s normal to have temptations. To be honest, they exist all the time – and they always will. You’ve definitely stolen a glance at a woman walking down the street or slowly scrolled past someone’s selfie. It’s normal to be distracted by beauty, but you’re happily married and know how to set your boundaries.
The difference with a midlife crisis is that your boundaries are harder to build. The temptations are burning, but you can’t give in. Usually, it can all be solved by adding more spice into your marriage. Do something different, go on a couples retreat – get a little adventurous. Again, this is why midlife crises are useful because they make you realize that some aspects of your life aren’t making you as happy as they should. So, you can address them and see improvements.
You’ve suddenly decided to try a new hairstyle
This falls into the same category as the sports car: the need to feel young again. Let’s be honest, most of us have a similar hairstyle all throughout our adult lives. You may experiment a bit when you’re younger, but you soon settle into your go-to style. Every time you go to the barber’s, you ask for ‘the usual,’ and they know what you mean.
Therefore, it’s a bit of a shock when you come home one day with a completely new style. Perhaps you’ve gone full-on Bruce Willis and shaved your hair off? Or, God forbid, you’ve dyed your hair bright blonde. There’s nothing wrong with changing your style, but a drastic change at your age? It screams ‘I’m having a midlife crisis and need help!’
To be honest, you can extend this to other aspects of your appearance as well. Do you suddenly care more about your skin? Are you buying loads of anti-ageing products? Again, there’s nothing wrong with this – and it’s probably a good thing to do. But, if it’s a sudden reaction to your age, then a midlife crisis might be afoot.
You feel like giving up
The last sign is a serious one; you feel like giving up. You can’t be bothered to go out with your friends, and you spend most of your weekend on the sofa with a pack of beers. You eat terribly, you’re inactive, and you just generally don’t seem to care any more.
This is awful as it can drive a wedge between you and your partner. They don’t want to be with someone that doesn’t try and doesn’t care about anything. It’s unattractive, and it’s also bad for the kids to see their father like this. Sadly, you’re exhibiting some early signs of depression. This happens a lot during a midlife crisis, and you should get treatment for it. Being aware of the problem and talking about it with your spouse is the best way to move forward. It gets it out in the open, and the realization can actually help a lot.
Why do you feel this way? Well, it’s linked to the feeling of being unfulfilled. You almost feel like your life is a failure, and you’re not where you hoped you would be at this age. Remember, ‘midlife’ means you still have many more years left in the tank to achieve your dreams!
To conclude, you should watch for these tell-tale signs as you need to be aware of a midlife crisis. As alluded to a few times, it can be turned into a positive thing. Once you’re aware of it, you can identify the parts of your life that aren’t satisfying. From here, change them and become your best self!