How To Tell That You’re Middle Aged

Middle aged woman reading a good book

It used to be that getting to middle-age was pretty much what happened when you hit 50. However, in the current climate, where the generational overlap is far more evident than it used to be, you may be shocked to find that you’ve reached this landmark well before your half century.

Below are 10 pretty good indicators that you are in fact middle-aged – and before you start to deny such an accusation, just ask yourself what you prefer: a good night out or an evening curled up with a good book? Hmmm, the clues are all there – it’s just up to you to embrace them and move on.


You don’t have to have kids to be middle-aged but you will have undoubtedly allowed the idea of the patter of tiny feet to have crept across your mind at some point or another. Biological clocks have an annoying ticking sound the older we get and if you have, are considering, or would love to adopt some children – and know that you need to do it soon – then you my friend are most likely middle-aged.


The fact of the matter is that people are getting married way into their thirties these days; and from playing the field to just being far too busy, if you’ve met your ideal mate then the chances are that popping that all-important question may not be too far away. Marriage means much more than a great knees up with friends and family – it’s the end of the road for your youth and definitely the onset of MA.


Not married, no kids, happily single – you may consider yourself way off being middle-aged, but the moment you step foot into that bank or allow that mortgage adviser into your front room is signalling responsibility to sweep you off your feet quicker than an autumn breeze. The more keys you have the more middle-aged you are; and the keys of a mortgage are the heaviest of the lot.

National Trust Membership

This is one of the absolute binding factors that announces your arrival upon the middle-age stage; and no matter where you live in Britain, even entertaining the thought of becoming a National Trust Member is akin to having middle-aged stamped across your Barber coat-covered back. Gardens, stately homes, and all those opportunities for afternoon tea – this is middle-aged heaven.


If you think of yourself as still young and active and nothing proves this more than your holiday destination, then ask yourself what would you prefer: lying on a beach all day after clubbing all night, or trekking across America through pine-scented forests before retiring to the warmth of a log cabin? If you answered the latter then don’t despair, you are not alone, however, you are probably more middle-aged than you’d care to admit.


There’s just something about getting older that encourages productivity and if you think that lying on the couch all day is best left to dossers then welcome to the club. Allotments, gardens and indoor plants; if you’re starting to grow things in any way shape or form then you’re probably closer to Monty Don than you may have envisaged.

Listen to this

There’s obviously nothing wrong with listening to the radio in the car but the moment you switch it on without thinking in your own home then this is yet another sign that middle-age has let itself in and put its feet up on your sofa. Even Radio 6 is pretty much a bastion of the middle-aged and if you’ve plumped for Radio 2 and Radio 4 then you won’t need me to tell you that your younger years are way behind you.

Read all about it

In the bath, on the couch or in bed are all perfect locations to enjoy a good book and if you shudder at the thought of a night out when you have the option to curl up with a chapter or two from your latest read then good for you. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of mental stimulation and if you hate the thought of mindless Saturday-night telly then goodnight, sleep tight and don’t let the Simon Cowells bite.

Charity shopping

Long gone are the days that you though that charity shops were the realm of old ladies and the mentally unstable, as all good middle-agers know – charity begins at home and if you can’t walk past a Red Cross or Oxfam without popping in to see what books are on offer then you know what you’ve become.

What you wear

On the subject of charity shopping, if you’re quite happy to get your clothes from a charity shop then don’t kid yourself – you’re no longer a hipster – you’re middle-aged and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Worse still – if your partner buys your clothes or you only shop at the army surplus store because the clothes are ‘built-to-last’ then that just about wraps things up for you – as it does for me, too.

Author Chris is a UK writer who knows the ins and outs of being middle-aged as he can pretty much tick every one of the items above with a proud beam spread across his slightly wrinkled face.

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    • Barbara
    • November 14, 2013

    Flat shoes only please! Elastic waistbands, a not-to-tight bra and an easy hairdo! Comfort is much more important than looks in middle-age. At least for me it is!

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