A lot of people feel being single and 40-plus isn’t cool. Such people are seriously uncool! Age has nothing to do with the desire to seek a relationship. So dating in 40s can be as charming, exciting and fun as dating in 20s or 30s. You know what they say… 40 is the new 20 and all that jazz!
However, there are some differences. The older you get, the more unsolicited advice you receive. There is a wider perception that the chances of finding new relationships in your 40s are rather dim as compared to earlier decades. Even if you find one you suffer from new-relationship anxiety often because you constantly think if what you are doing is right.
You may also encounter some challenges and some amusing reactions when you enter or re-enter the dating ring after a hiatus. But here’s the bottom line: All these limiting statements are just that – age-old beliefs and myths. If you play your cards right, you can find true love in your 40s and beyond, having a rocking, exciting love life!
What Are The Rules Of Dating After 40?
While we believe there should not be rules or regulations when it comes to love, certain guidelines are worth bearing in mind when you are setting dating timelines in your 40s. The first one relates to expectations. You may feel your world begins at 40, but the world may not share your view! It would be best to temper your expectations accordingly.
Secondly, society looks at men and women over 40 in the dating arena rather differently. It is believed that the chances of finding love after 40 are far higher for a man than it is for a woman. It is especially tougher for women who have baggage in terms of a bad divorce or children. But again, these are old notions and the sooner you embrace your emotional baggage, the easier it will be for you.
Most importantly, you should not be too hung up on what you want and how you want it. Agreed, after a certain age it becomes difficult to adjust, compromise and scale down expectations but being amenable to changes and keeping an open mind will increase your chances of finding Mr or Ms Right.
Above all, be positive and never let the age factor enter your thought process. Your friends may all be much married men and women while you are wondering if you should make the first move with a guy/girl you fancy, but do not let others’ journey decide your life.
Normalize the process of dating in 40s, be cool about trying your luck again after a bad marriage or divorce, do not allow others to judge your actions and be patient with your times and efforts.
Dating In 40s – 15 Tips To Do It Right
The key to making dating in 40s a success story lies in how you bring your vast life experience to the relationship arena. In the fourth decade of your life, you would be wiser, more mature, have a unique perspective and have an ability to look at relationships through a different prism.
So if you find yourself suddenly in this situation, do not worry about how to start dating in 40s. Instead, use these qualities to your advantage and make it the best decade of your romantic life.
Related Reading: Second Marriage After 40 – What to Expect
1. Don’t be embarrassed
It doesn’t matter whether you are single or have been married before. A lot of people think it’s embarrassing to be single at 40-plus because it shows their inability to commit. Never let societal judgments determine your needs or behaviour. Own your story, enjoy being single.
Perhaps you were single all along because you were busy living the good life! Or perhaps your previous marriage didn’t work out because you didn’t believe in leading an unhappy life.
Whatever be your situation, don’t be on the defensive if you get raised eyebrows about dating in 40s.
2. Be candid about what you want
This is not the age or time to beat around the bush. You need to be honest about your needs, expectations and desires to your date. Are you looking for just a casual relationship to keep loneliness at bay or are you finally thinking of settling down?
If you have children, would you want to introduce your date to them and vice-versa in the long run? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions; but you definitely need to be clear about what you want as honesty is truly the best policy. It would also avoid confusion and heartache, should your relationship become serious.
3. Do not indulge in one-night stands
If you are dating in your 40s after divorce, especially a painful or bad one, there might be a temptation to get into meaningless one-night stands on the rebound. Resist it. Sure, the idea sounds great and a no-strings attached relationship might be the balm you think you require after a stressful period.
But these hot affairs will not fulfill you in any way. There is no harm in a bit of casual dating but don’t make a habit of it. It is perfectly understandable that you may not fancy yourself getting into a committed relationship but by going on a dating spree you are only preventing yourself from a real, meaningful relationship entering your life.
Related Reading: 12 Things you need to know about one-night stands
4. Try online dating and dating apps
We live in the tech and gizmo era so there is no escaping dating apps. Maybe back in the day, your killer one-liners and charm was enough to floor a man or woman, but now to impress a potential date, you may as well update your social media skills. The best way is to be your true, authentic self and that’s our online dating advice.
Do not try to be ‘younger’ or ‘cooler’ than you are just because you are creating a profile on a dating app. Also, these tools have a language of their own and even if interacting on them may seem like a daunting task initially, online dating in 40s is fun and has a lot of scope for seeking out like-minded men and women. Be open to it.
5. Do not hesitate to make the first move
When you are dating in 40s or above, life blesses you with a certain amount of confidence. Use that to your advantage. If you find someone attractive, do not hesitate to make the first move. Initiate a conversation, ask them out or even take that first step towards a kiss!
But whatever you do, approach him or her with the air of a person who knows what he/she wants. As you age, you can handle rejection and acceptance (or at least you should be able to!) so you have little to lose really. Over and above, be mature about it and do it with a certain flair that only experience and age can bring about.
6. Never badmouth your ex
So you have bagged a date and feel that there is a real chance at the budding friendship turn into a real relationship. Do not blow your chances by venting your sob story even if you try to present it positively, about your single status to her or him.
Top on the list of dating in 40s tips is to not badmouth your ex, especially if you are a divorcee. You are not going to win any sympathy, rather you come across as a whiner. You may reveal these details at a later stage but do not air your dirty laundry and spoil the mood early on.
7. Have an open mind for each date
When you have been single for long and begin dating in 40s, it is natural for a bit of cynicism to creep in. Perhaps you are a veteran of short-term relationships and feel that something long-term or stable is not just meant for you.
Try and shed these negative thoughts and begin each date on a clean slate. Give the new man or woman you meet, the respect he or she deserves. They are not to blame for your past bad experiences if any, so keep a positive mindset when you re-enter the dating arena.
8. Don’t hesitate to experiment
One of the pitfalls of having a long dating history is that you develop a ‘type’. When you are dating in your 40s, it is difficult to go against that ‘type’ and the result is that you may end up making the same mistakes of the past. Treat this decade as one where you go against your set notions.
If you have always fallen for the strong, silent type, try developing a relationship with the gregarious, loud personality. Look for someone who is living outside your city, follows a different faith or lifestyle or pursues a different career. You will be surprised at how many people there are out there who can be a perfect match for you.
9. Make the effort
Unfortunately in this day and age, cupid does not strike at first or even second glance. You have to make the effort to meet people, you need to make the connections and you need to put yourself out there. So take those initial steps. Join a club if you have to.
Spread the word that you are on the lookout for a date and enlist your close friends. Learn online dating if you have to. Unless you make it happen, love won’t strike magically. And resolve to keep looking until you find someone who is just right for you.
10. Learn to be patient
Patience might be a difficult virtue when you begin dating in your 40s as you may feel you have waited for enough for ‘the one’. But just because you have not found true love yet, does not mean you settle for anything less than true love even if you are looking for it at an unconventional age.
There might be a thrill in entering the dating ring after a long break (either due to a past marriage or committed relationship) but don’t rush it because you think you are in a hurry. Treat it like dating at any other age, gauge your compatibility well and develop the relationship step by step.
11. Don’t say ‘Yes’ too often
If you choose the route of online dating, things can get out of hand pretty soon. Be it a dating app or a website, you might be inundated with responses if you put up a good profile. The temptation to swipe right or say yes to every invite might be high but stay away.
Meeting a plethora of prospects might give you an ego boost in the first few weeks but it soon can get exhausting and boring. Instead, choose profiles that match yours, meet those who you genuinely find interesting and skip the random requests.
Related Reading: Top 15 Best Alternatives To Tinder – It’s 2020!!
12. Resolve to have fun
It’s a different matter if you have been active on the dating scene throughout your 30s and 40s but when you suddenly decide to start dating in 40s, you might be filled with self-doubts. The first rule of entering the date pool, especially the online date pool is to not take things seriously.
So if you find yourself swiping left more than right, it’s perfectly okay. If your friend request on FB to a guy/girl you fancy is not reciprocated, it’s totally fine. Do not take it as a ‘rejection’. The idea should be to have fun and not set a timeline or deadline.
13. Be in your best shape
Yes, this might sound shallow but it is not. When we say ‘best shape’ it means you take care of yourself physically and mentally. It is not necessary to be super sexy or compete with the 20 somethings with your ripped body or envious curves but you can certainly invest in looking your best, being well-groomed and pleasant.
Shower yourself with the same importance that you would want to give your date too. Eat well, exercise and visit the spa or salon. It will not only add to your confidence but also make you more attractive to those who you wish to charm. Self-love is the first step to seeking new love.
14. You don’t have to force marriage
Some people may not be cut out for marriage. You may have learnt this lesson the hard away (going through a divorce) or you may have realized this over the years, preferring to choose singledom over commitment.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about your choice provided you are candid about it. Sometimes, there might be indirect pressure from families or friends to commit just because you have started dating in 40s. Be confident in your skin and clear in your communication.
15. Be your true self
Finally it’s the key that is the root of any relationship. In the dating scene when you step in at a slightly older age, the most important quality is authenticity. You can get away with fibbing or putting on a façade when you are young and restless but when you are older and mature, you will be expected to behave in a certain way.
Be your most authentic self and you will never regret it. Take it slow, be honest about your expectations and theirs, and most importantly, be prepared for any eventuality. Just because you have waited long, you may not find Prince or Princess Charming at first go but that’s no reason to give up either.
It is perhaps not fair to put people in an age-bracket and expect things out of them. But what you can and should do after 40, is to acknowledge and accept the situation you are in. It doesn’t matter whether you have been unlucky in love all these years, but remember you are unique just like your age and your experiences. So give it your all and wait for love to find you.
Dating isn’t harder in your 40s but it may certainly be different. This is because your life experiences may bring in different expectations and challenges.
Relationships seem to move faster in your 40s because the age factor often plays on peoples’ minds. Having waited too long for a committed relationship, they may not have the patience to let it develop gradually.
The chances of finding love after 40 are quite good though it’s thought to be otherwise. By this age, you know what you are looking for, would have a settled career and may be more sure of yourself than before.
Absolutely not. It may be difficult to find too many single and available people at 40 but these days with internet dating opening up several avenues, it is not difficult at all to meet someone who is likeminded at 40 or above.