Does the thought of dating in your 40′s and beyond make you want to run and hide? The memories of the insecurity, bad experiences and misfires during your first go-around loom like giant monsters in the closet. The good news is it doesn’t have to be like that during the next phase. Just like sex itself, most of what can make it great is between your ears. Adjust your attitude by remembering a few simple truths and suddenly you’re in control – and it’s awesome.
Where are all the single men? My theory is that generally speaking – many, by no means all - men have a hard time being alone. Marriages and relationships often end because of infidelity and men simply continue on with the other woman. But there are some out there – the key is to find out where they are. Some find online dating services helpful. Taking classes, joining clubs or committees or volunteering are great avenues. Not only do you pursue your own interests and gain skills and knowledge, but you meet like-minded people/potential partners.
Most of us know a lot of fabulous single women in their 40′s and beyond – fit, energetic, and gorgeous. We do yoga, pilates and eat healthy foods. Embrace that about yourself. You’re beautiful, worthy and valuable. So many people don’t realize their life is their’s for making, they waste too much time taking out frustration and bitterness on the very people that should get their best. Offer the best you to your family and friends.
When you do start dating know that with maturity you know yourself a lot better. You know what you find attractive – and not. What you’re willing to put up with or compromise on. Instead of wasting weeks or months you can assess pretty readily whether a potential suitor is a good fit. And you’re not so timid about nipping it in the bud when it’s not working. You and I just aren’t clicking.
Conversely, you might find someone you totally click with but he doesn’t share any of your interests. Wisdom provides that shared values and personality characteristics are more important than shared interests. That’s what girlfriends are for.
Speaking of girlfriends, another truth I’ve come to realize is that ironically, sometimes the support you need may NOT come from the friends you assume it will. Your friends may see your singularity as something to “fix” and proceed to try to set you up or match make you. Just remember, it’s human to seek validation for our own choices by trying to help our friends make the same ones. Conversely, sometimes your married and matched friends are all coupled up. There’s never any singles at their parties and events.
The pressure to procreate has been either eliminated or vastly diminished. You’ve either had your children or decided that it’s not in the cards for you. Same goes for marriage – it’s not for everyone – and that’s OK. These two facts are overwhelmingly liberating. And make for such a wider pool of choice when dating. You can step out of your age group if you like, or not.
By now you also know who to avoid dating and your spidey sense is pretty well developed. A man who is evasive about contacting him at certain times, who never takes you to his place or introduces you to family or friends – ding dong! Then there’s the newly divorced or single. Baggage, bitterness, custody issues. And of course you only hear his side of things, when in fact its unfortunate we don’t have the ability to sit down over coffee (or a glass of wine!) with his ex. She could tell you what life will really be like next month, next year, five years later…could be some very valid reasons she’s bootin’ his butt to the curb. That old adage “beware the rebound” is largely true.