The male mid-life crisis is completely misunderstood and needs clarifications since there are some truths but a number of myths. Many have written about it, few really understand it. I will address the ones I believe to be most significant although there are others.
1) The Sports Car – This is unquestionably the most inaccurate description of the male mid-life crisis. A fancy car has nothing whatsoever to do with a crisis. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s about success. Most, if not all men, love beautiful cars. If a man could afford a Corvette, Porshe or any super car when he was in his 20’s or 30’s he would buy it, period, end of story. He shouldn’t have to give up on that dream simply because he has some gray hair and society therefore labels him a man in crisis. Most men buy the best car they can afford. Additionally, even if a man can afford a sports car when he’s younger, it’s difficult to strap a car seat in to a Porshe (ok, so you can in the Panamera) but not in a Corvette. But let’s be clear, not one young male would ever choose to own a mini van. Cars aren’t about a crisis but rather about a passion. That doesn’t change with age. MYTH
2) The Young Girlfriend – When a man reaches a certain age he asks himself, “is this all there is?” In the case of the happily married man, he may say, “my younger years are behind me and young women are great but I know where I belong and who will care for me in my old age.” However, there are those men who may be happily married or unhappily married who say, “this is my last chance.” Those are the mid-life crisis guys. Even though the young woman may only want his wealth he cares not, for he has a young, hot girl by his side and to him, that is all that matters. He is a fool! TRUTH
3)The Bad Hair Piece – Hair is important to most men. Only the most secure among us isn’t defined by his hair or cares about whether he has a full head of hair. But this is one is not so simple. If a man wants to replace his hair he may simply feel better about himself. It may be important for his business. In that case, it may be not tied to a mid-life crisis. But if the only reason he does it is to attract women, then his motives must be questioned. Holding on to his hair is synonymous with holding on to his youth. Either way, if a man decides to have a hair transplant or a toupee, it needs to be well done which is costly because nothing is more unappealing than a foolish aging man with a bad hair piece or transplant. MTYH & TRUTH
4) Partying-There is a very large difference between partying for fun and partying for youth. Again, this is not simple. There are men who are quite settled but who enjoy drinking fine wine or single malts and are simply enjoying the fruits of their many years of hard work. As long as there’s moderation, there’s nothing wrong with that. Life is to be lived and enjoyed. However, there are those men who take it to the extreme and are attempting to hold on to their youth and covering their fear of growing old by partying excessively. Going out, chasing young women, inappropriate behavior at the office. Their demeanor changes. Those are the men in the midst of the mid-life crisis. MYTH & TRUTH
5) Depression-Getting older is scary. Many questions run through your mind. Fear of sickness and death. Until reaching the mid-point of your life, these may be issues never addressed. This can lead to a mid-life crisis or may be a sign that you’re in the midst of one. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that. Although depression is often discussed when examining the male mid-life crisis it’s probably the weakest of the arguments. There are many legitimate reasons for being depressed as you grow older. Your children leave, although that might be a good thing. Your appearance and the way you feel physically, changes. Facing retirement. Do I have enough saved to retire? Legitimate fears. So this is one that should probably be removed from the list because these feelings are perfectly normal and understandable. MYTH
We need to stop labeling everything and everyone. There are truths and myths to every pre-conceived notion. The male mid-life crisis is no exception. If nothing else changes other than the purchase of a Maserati, then the middle-aged man should be congratulated for his success. If he buys the car, purchases a toupee and tight pants, goes out every night, and is trying to re-live his youth, that man is unfortunately caught in the middle of a serious mid-life crisis. Most recover, hopefully before it’s too late.