It's pretty much an acid-bath of uncertainty at any age. I've decided that it doesn't matter that under normal circumstances, I'm a calm, composed thirty-something with a lot to offer the world. Put me in a dating situation, and it seems that I am instantly reduced to that sixteen year old who spends hours anticipating ... and stressing ... and wondering ... (There's a reason for this; I was born with a certain natural grace that allows me to land cleverly or narrowly extract myself from near miss situations. If I'm really nervous, I am perfectly capable of falling off my own shoes. As I've said, natural grace tends to kick in inches from the ground. Add to that the fact that I'm much better at expressing myself in writing than verbally, and well, there're all kind of possibilities.)
The whole "What do I wear?!?" dilemma only seems to get worse with age. Instead of just trying to find something that helps me look my best, I get to add in the whole "I'm a thirty-something mom. I look like a thirty-something mom. How do I dress in a way that doesn't scream 'THIRTY-SOMETHING MOM!!'?" (How's that for fancy punctuating?)
Then there's the additional clothing aspect that falls along the lines of "How do I dress in a way that says although I don't have my teens & twenties figure, I've still got a decent shape without having my clothes cry 'Hold me; I'm desperate!', 'if you don't, my clothing will -- I hope ... ', or worse yet, 'cough, cough, *floozy*, cough, *state street* sneeze'?" It's a concern that extends to the opposite extreme as well. Avoiding floozihood should not necessarily mean downplaying all visual assets.
Best of all, there's the whole "I think it's a date; it sounds like a date, but does HE think it's a date?" piece of the puzzle. If there's one thing that clear about dating, it's that nothing is very clear. Is it a date-date? Is it a friend-date? Is it a fancy hang-out? How do I tell what he sees it as? Does it matter? What do I call this going out with a member of the opposite sex without my children or any other companions thing?
Sounds fun, doesn't it? Actually, it usually is, but the anticipation's a killer!