Byline: LF
Story by LF

Tell Tale Signs of Middle Age – According to New Study

Checking your face (and body) for wrinkles and grey hairs, considering cruise holidays and not listening to ‘new bands’ on the radio are some of the top signs of middle age according to a new study.

The ‘top 50’ characteristics of midlife were identified by 2000 adults surveyed, including upgrading furnishings to improve their home environment but also booking more holidays after realising that ‘life is too short’.

The list also reveals other positive signs such as joining a gym or taking up cycling or crossfit to get fit, eating more healthily and studying or retraining for something new to prove that you’re never too old to learn.

Just over half of those polled (52 per cent) said that being middle aged means someone is likely to know what they want out of life, while the researchers pinpointed 47 as the definitive year that someone reaches middle age.

A spokesperson for Robert Welch, the homeware company that commissioned the study, said: “It seems that middle age today is all about investment – investing time in things we really like to do, investing in nice things for the house and investing in ways to enrich our lives.”

See the full list below. How many do you recognise?!


1. You start to notice people at work aren’t ‘your age’, and could potentially be your children
2. You suffer fools less than you did previously
3. You start checking your face and body for grey hairs and wrinkles
4. You visit the opticians after realising you perhaps do need glasses after all
5. You realise you’re older than most of the authors, actors and musicians you like
6. You start considering a cruise holiday
7. Being happy to spend big money on things you know will last, like a garden fence or new flooring in your home
8. You accept you’re now a dress size bigger and there is nothing you can do about it
9. You love scouring the home and garden stores
10. You feel you know more about politics than ever before
11. You know exactly what you like to listen to on the radio, and won’t tolerate ‘new bands’
12. You book more holidays a year than ever before after realising life is too short
13. You’d rather spend money on home décor than anything else
14. Joining a gym to fight middle-aged spread
15. Spending money on changing your home's carpets becomes more important than spending money on clothes
16. At work you care less about speaking your mind and exerting your authority
17. When you leave the house you are super prepared for every eventuality
18. You take a vested interest in plants names and growing your own vegetables
19. You spend more on good food than opting for cheaper own-brands
20. You store all your energy for a big night out on the weekend, because you can’t handle it in the week
21. Being conflicted about whether to try and dress to match modern trends, or in what just feels comfortable
22. You ask for homewares for your Birthday / Christmas
23. Accepting that the ‘speed awareness course’ is better than three points on your licence
24. You know exactly what takeaway/restaurant dishes you like and order the same thing every time
25. You convince yourself the finer things in life are worth the investment
26. You start planning major renovations to the home
27. Your fridge is packed with good healthy vegetables
28. You suddenly change your hair colour / get a new cut to create a ‘new you’
29. You know what wine accompanies which foods
30. You try to get on with your children’s friends and ‘be cool’ in front of them
31. You are obsessed with matching soft furnishings such as cushions
32. You start getting hangovers all over again
33. You invest in better quality pots and pans to upgrade your cooking experience
34. You invest in a new motor - sports car or some impressive motor home
35. You’d only go to a festival if you were ‘glamping’
36. You take up cycling / crossfit in a bid to get fit all over again
37. You suddenly start shopping in the butchers and green grocers
38. You start getting advice on what to wear from younger colleagues
39. You start investing in Botox or eyelash extensions to detract attention from the lines on your face
40. You decide to go back to school / train in something new to prove you're not too old to 'learn'
41. You know the names of different crockery ranges
42. You suddenly start hosting loads of dinner parties
43. You revisit your old haunts such as nightclubs and late night bars
44. You start drinking smoothies and cutting out bread, pizza and cakes
45. You start living your life on Facebook, documenting every event
46. You decide it’s time to get rid of all your IKEA furniture
47. You won’t eat with a knife and fork set that don’t match
48. You buy expensive cutlery or dinnerware in a bid to one-up your peers
49. You enter a sportive / race / event you would have entered some 20 years ago, to show you still can
50. Making more of an effort to go out clubbing before you properly get ‘too old’

We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect please contact us at