Daphne Zuniga: ‘When I turned 40, I kind of felt like a guy for the first time’

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Daphne Zuniga, 56, just got married this summer for the first time. She came on my radar after she did a 25 Things interview with US Magazine and revealed that she eats popcorn or ice cream for dinner, which I do too as those are my favorite foods along with jelly beans. I eat like a preschooler. Daphne did a first person essay for Glamour Magazine about her marriage and her relationship with her new husband, whom she dated for almost ten years before they got married. It’s a fun read about her journey to marriage, and how it came naturally out of an appreciation for how her partner let her be herself.

On feeling more confident at 40
When I turned 40, I felt confident and physically and emotionally strong. Insecurities from my 20s and 30s disappeared. And I still wasn’t looking to get hitched at all, but the funny thing is, I observed that having that attitude made me more attractive to men. I kind of felt like a guy for the first time, having fun but not wanting to commit to anyone.

Guys asked me, “Do you want to have a family? Do you want to have kids?” And my answer was always, “Well, when? When is that going to fit into my schedule if I’m auditioning, or if I’m filming?” And if that’s what you want, that’s fantastic. But I didn’t. This one life is not cookie-cutter for anybody.

I never wanted kids. But I also love children. I love their energy, and I’m pretty sure they love me. But I knew that I didn’t want them. Growing up with a single mother who worked a lot, I knew that if I were to have children, I would have to shift things about myself. And I wasn’t ready to do that…

On getting married now
I knew I was going to be with David forever, but I also wasn’t exactly sold on marriage. I thought we’d be like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It already felt like we were married anyway. But then I started thinking, Why not go for the adventure? Why not see? You love him, and he is the one you’re going to be with forever. And here’s the other thing: There’s nothing wrong with letting go of something that was true for me for all these years. It’s okay to say, “I want to do this now. I want to see if I can get closer to this man I love so much.”

It’s been two and a half years since we got engaged, and at 56, I’m so happy to finally be married to him. It was perfect timing. I don’t think we needed to do it sooner, but I’m glad we didn’t wait any later. There was only something to gain by tying the knot, which was this new shape of us, and this new adventure of love and commitment.

So here’s my advice now: Take action on your own confidence and your own beauty and inner love, because men have a certain confidence just because they’re men. It’s so odd to me! Women tend to think we have to work on that confidence. I just work on trusting the timing of things. Embrace that.

[From Glamour]

I’ve heard that before, that we should try to be more like men and not care too much what people think about us, particularly men we’re dating. It tricky because we’re socialized to make sure everyone is ok before we are, and to put other people first. The older I get the easier it is to do what I want and not be so worried about how everyone else is doing. I think that comes from being a mom too, not that it’s universally true for moms, just that caregiving is a hard habit to shake.

Also many people get married in their 50s for practical reasons too, like saving money on taxes and making sure that a partner can make medical decisions.

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