It is the stereotypical image, a middle aged man sells his car and buys a motorbike. He must be having a midlife crisis.
Firstly I’d like to point out that not everyone who buys a Harley in middle age is having a crisis. Some people have saved long and hard to afford the bike of their dreams and that is a sign of a dream fulfilled not a personal crisis that requires help and support. If someone sells their car, buys a bike, uses it to cruise around in an attempt to pick up younger women, and does this without telling their wife, then yes, this may be a sign of a midlife crisis.
Going back to the question, buying a bike, or a sports car, or any expensive toy, is not going to cure a midlife crisis. From a medical perspective a midlife crisis is not a recognized condition, therefore there can be no cure, but back in the real world where midlife crisis does affect thousands of people there are some things can help make it easier. I wouldn’t go as far as to say there is a cure but there are definite steps that can be taken to find a path through to the other side.
Despite the cheesy example given above, buying expensive ‘man toys’ is something that people do when they are experiencing a midlife crisis. People struggling with emotions that they cannot explain, or who feel unfulfilled with their life sometimes make rash decisions. Such decisions are made in the often mistaken thought that it will help them recapture a lost youth, or to experience an idealistic youth that they never had.
Sometimes the purchase of a new toy, be-it a boat, motorbike, sports car, jet ski or even a professional camera does lead to a new lease of life. The benefits that come with the change, being outdoors, fresh air, meeting new people, can help a person overcome the true, deeper reasons for the impulse purchase. In these cases we are pleased that the decision, however impulsive, worked out for the best. For the rest of us we must deal with the consequences from the purchase; loss of savings, marital disharmony caused by impulsive behavior (and financial burden of new boat) and the fact that the true issue at the heart of our midlife crisis has not been addressed.
The most effective way to get through a midlife crisis is to identify the root cause and address those issues. I am not saying this is easy, in fact it was the hardest part of my own personal struggle, but having made it through the dark period of my life I can look back and see how the decision to buy that bike was one made in poor judgment.
It was fun to ride for a while though :o)