– By Gemma Francis
A once-in-a-lifetime holiday, motorbike – and a tattoo are among the things men are most likely to buy during a midlife crisis, a study has found.
A poll of 1,000 men aged 40 and above found 58 per cent reckon they have gone through a midlife crisis, with it hitting around the age of 47.
A third of those went on a spending spree to try and boost their mood during the average two-year-long crisis, with a new gadget, a sports car and even sex toys among the most common purchases.
One man blamed his midlife crisis for his purchase of a £2,000 Armani suit, while another splashed the cash on a £70,000 car.
A 40-something respondent, in the poll by Healthspan Ubiquinol, also admitted to buying a £1,800 albino python while in the grip of his midlife crisis.
It also emerged that half of men felt they lost their spark for life while going through a midlife crisis, with three in 10 saying they had to make a lifestyle change to boost their energy levels once they reached middle age.
Dr Meg Arroll, a psychologist for Healthspan, which commissioned the research, said: “Reaching midlife can act as a significant milestone for many men and is a time when some men become keenly aware of their own mortality.
This can result in a profound sense of turmoil and confusion as life may not have turned out as envisaged (it rarely does).
“For some men, a way to cope with these feelings is to make life-changing decisions regarding relationships and money – as shown in the Healthspan survey a third of men questioned used spending to deal with their ‘crisis’.
“However, this period of introspection doesn’t necessarily have to be negative – for some men, middle age can in fact be positive, leading to more time spent with family, health kicks and getting back to once loved hobbies.”
Researchers found the average bloke will spend £2,106 during their midlife crisis with a holiday the most common purchase.
A new gadget came second followed by a sports car, designer clothes and the stereotypical midlife-buy of a motorbike.
Tickets to a music festive, a new tattoo and a round-the-world trip also feature in the list, with a gym membership and a games console completing the top ten.
Others admitted to buying tickets to a music festival, a musical instrument and an expensive bike as a result of their midlife crisis.
But the study, carried out via OnePoll.com, revealed the spending spree didn’t always go down well with their wife or girlfriend, with 22 per cent admitting their other half didn’t always know what they were spending.
And more than a third went as far as to say their spending caused rows with their partner.
More than half said the disagreements were due to them parting with too much money, while 55 per cent said their partner was annoyed at the unnecessary purchases.
Researchers also found 37 per cent of men felt their relationship had lost its spark during middle age, with 34 per cent feeling like they were more likely to argue with their partner.
One in five even said they struggled to see the good in their relationships and family life during this time.
Forty-eight per cent felt their energy levels were lower than usual after reaching middle age, with three in ten trying to change their lifestyle to improve things.
Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and Healthspan Medical Director said: “Over a quarter of those surveyed had experienced some sort of health scare preceding their midlife spending spree.
“Others admitted they were experiencing niggling problems such as flagging energy levels which made them realise they were no longer invincible but ageing like everyone else.
“As we move from our twenties onwards our cells become less efficient at producing energy due to falling levels of a vital promoter called ubiquinol, which acts like a spark plug for our cellular ‘engines’.
“Reduced production of ubiquinol causes cells to function less efficiently, and I would advise anyone in their early forties to start taking Healthspan Ubiquinol to boost natural energy levels – I wouldn’t be without it.”
Top 20 things to buy during a midlife crisis
1. A holiday
2. A new gadget
3. A sports car
4. Designer clothes
5. A motorbike
6. Tickets to a concert or gig
7. A new tattoo
8. A trip traveling around the world
9. A gym membership
10. An Xbox/PlayStation/Games console
11. A designer watch
12. Tickets to a music festival
13. Major renovations to your home
14. Expensive or vintage alcohol
15. Sex toys
16. A new house/property
17. A new hairstyle/colour
18. A musical instrument
19. A new, expensive bike