The 10 Key Pieces of Advice for Dating in Your 40s
When you were in your 20s, the last thing you probably would have thought is "I'll be dating in my 40s", right? Have no fear, it's OK. You're now in a prime position to find a partner with loads of life experience you can share and offer with them.
Your goals and wishes will now also be very different from the ones you had in your 20s. Plus, you are likely to understand yourself much better now than two decades ago. So let's run through 10 beneficial pieces of advice for dating in my 40s.
1. Be Both Independent and Interdependent
For most people, when they reach their 40s, they've developed a good level of independence in their lives. You're more likely to be comfortable in your own skin, know your likes and dislikes, and ultimately understand what you want in a partner. This means it's good to find a partner at the same level of independence as you. If they are on your level, they may appreciate your need for freedom as you do for them. And then, you can slowly work on developing interdependence between each other to form a stronger bond in your relationship. It's also a good idea to explore how to show love and attention in relationships.
2. Consider Gender Stereotypes
Times and thoughts have moved on since you were 20 years old, and gender stereotypes aren't such a strong point anymore. That being said, there will be many people out there who are a sucker to masculine charm and chivalry, such as opening a door or allowing or pulling out a seat at a restaurant.
Gender is a hotly discussed topic at the moment, and gender stereotypes encompassed in this. We mention it in terms of dating because past 40, with such a strong level of independence, it sometimes can become confusing knowing whether you should be the one to open a door for the other or the opposite way around. One good way to deal with this issue is to just bring it up if you're chatting online or even at the start of your date. It can actually be a great conversation opener.
3. Go with Your Gut
Trusting your gut instincts when your over 40 is a solid piece of advice because you had so many experiences in life already. Your instincts should be more honed in and accurate than they were in your 20s, for example. And the thing is, many relationships fail because a person didn't trust their instincts to get out at the start. Anyhow, if you trust your instincts, you won't have to wholly go by "types" that you think you like. Instead, you can judge a person based on your interactions and how you feel with them.
4. Have a Clear Agenda
Let's not beat around the bush; it's better to find dates that match your agenda rather than multiple wrong ones that maybe look nice - especially in your 40s.
Most of us in our 40s have loads of responsibilities, usually kids too, so it's important to know what you want in a partner. Also, it's just as essential to move on from a potential partner if you find they don't really fit into your agenda. Then again, it all depends on what type of relationship you are searching for. People in their 40s can be just looking for fun in casual hookups, right through to a full-blown lifelong, serious relationship.
Whatever it is you want, make it clear, and try not to cross the boundaries, or you'll end up getting all mixed up like a Bridget Jones - wouldn't that be fun!
5. Be Realistic with Social Media
In your 20s, there were no social media platforms, or it could have just been emerging. And now you're in your 40s, you might not use it that often if at all. It really is a mixed bag for people in their 40s using social media as a part of everyday life.
The advice here when it comes to dating is simple. Don't post anything too early in your relationship. We're talking about things like a Facebook profile picture of you both. Also, when you write sweet lovelies under each other's photos, everyone can see that - not just you.
6. Don't Apologize for Who You Are
The message here is to be confident with yourself. After all, you've known yourself now for a good four decades, so if someone criticizes you on something you think is unfair, don't stand for it. You should sooner recognize that you disagree with someone on things as this way you'll more quickly find out how compatible you may be.
7. Chill Out on Your First Dates
Many people have a temptation to spill out their life story on their first date and don't really consider that the reception can be varied. Some people you date might seem really open from the outset, but then you realize they've only been listening to you and haven't really said anything about themselves. Also, it can definitely scare someone away if you are over enthusiastic on a first date. It can come across as desperate, and you can be perceived as being a little strange and "one to avoid."
The best advice here is to stay cool, calm and collected as they say. Even if you fancy the pants off the person that's staring you across the table, keep it together and progress slowly.
8. Don't Jump Straight into Bed with Someone
Having sex too early in a relationship can make things really awkward later on. You've reached an intimacy level that's higher than your level of knowledge and comfort between each other in everyday life.
So what happens is you have this weird need to be emotionally intimate with someone you don't really know. Later down the line, you may find that you don't like a lot of things about this person, but it's too late as you've developed a strong sexual attachment.
9. Introducing the Kids
Clearly, for the children's sake, it's better to hold off introducing a new love interest until things seem to be more stable and serious. Ultimately, whoever your future partner maybe, they'll have to come to terms and get along with your kids and family. Also, imagine you bring your new partner home, and they really get along with your kids, but you want to break off the relationship - that's a tough one!
10. Be Wise - When Dating in My 40s
Utilize all that pent-up wisdom you've accumulated over the years and really think carefully about the criteria you're setting out for a partner. You're not getting any younger, and ideally, you want a partner that will bring you love, happiness, and fun times for the next 20 years and more in your life.
The Bottom Line
Dating in your 40s doesn't have to be complicated or stressful. Just make sure that you're on top of your game and don't set yourself up for predictable shocks, like you may have done in the past.
Be realistic, have fun, and don't go in with stereotypes of people just because they've listed a particular interest or work a certain job. With an open mind and an open heart, you might surprise yourself with someone you never thought you'd match with.
Why not check out our meaning of dating article to really understand what it's all about? It may give you more answers about "dating in my 40s."