How Do I Date In My 40s & Beyond?

Dating in your 40s may seem daunting, and honestly scary! You don’t know what’s out there for you, and the playing field has narrowed enormously. All your peers are probably married with kids, divorced, or even widowed. Dating might not be what it was 10 or 20 years ago, and you’re out of your groove. But you’ve stumbled here for a reason, and I hope you’ll be able to pick up your boots and get ready to start dating because 40 is the new 20!  
  1. Dating at 40 and beyond is advantageous. And you should own this! At this stage in your life, you know what you want, and you won’t waste time running around the bush, right? You’ve gone through enough in your life to understand that it isn’t perfect, and you’ve experienced enough to really know what you’re after. There’s no more time for stupid games at this point, and you’ll probably stumble upon a guy who’s on the same page: someone who wants to take things more seriously, and who’s done playing games.
  1. Don’t be afraid to meet someone online. Really! Online dating is totally in now, and so many people are on dating apps already. Don’t be afraid — it won’t make you look like a desperate old maid (unless your profile gives that away). It might be a bit overwhelming at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. Plus, you’ll be able to widen your circle by meeting guys who are on the same boat you’re in. It also cuts the small talk by a lot, with the information that’s already available. Try and give it a shot.
  1. Spruce up your dating profile. If you’ve finally taken the plunge, picked up your phone, and installed a dating app, make sure your profile is worth a second look! Upload a photo you feel confident in (but don’t show too much! You’ll want to keep things sane!), and write down things that you love to do and that will pique a viewer’s’ interest. Let’s veer away from cliches like “walking in the beach during sunset”, and try to be true to yourself.
  1. Really know what you want. Before jumping into the world of dating again, ask yourself, “Do I really know what I want?” Knowing yourself, and knowing where you want your life to go will make dating much easier for you. This is the time for you to take charge! At this point in your life, when you spot something you want, go after it. Make the first move, ask him out. Again, there’s no more time for games. Just be straightforward and be real.
  1. Give your date a chance. Knowing what you want and what you don’t want, especially in a date can be liberating to say the least! But sometimes, when we’re so sure, we can fall into the mistake of judging the person seated in front of you by being uber critical of everything he does and says. Sometimes, dates like these can be nerve-wracking for both parties involved, so give your date a chance to let the nerves settle down. When that happens, you’ll be surprised at the chemistry you might share.
  1. Don’t rush into the dating world if you’re going through something serious, like a serious breakup or a divorce. I hate to break it to you, but at 40, ‘rebounds’ still exist — your eagerness to jump into another relationship after a devastating one might just be a step in the wrong direction. You could seriously mess things up with a potential life mate if you end up using him as a way to alleviate the pain you’re going through. Instead, take some time to evaluate that relationship and see why it ended in the first place. That way, you’ll grow to be a better person, and you’ll be more prepared to love another person even better.
  1. Finally, be YOU. Sometimes, it can be tempting to mask you you really are with someone who you THINK your date will like. You end up lying about your preferences, your life experiences, your hobbies and your interests. But at this stage, your date is probably just like you — tired of games, of casual hookups, of relationships with no direction. So just be yourself. You’ll be surprised at how freeing it is, especially when you find out that your date will like you for who you are.
  Lastly, don’t worry about dating in your 40s or beyond — see it as a new experience and a new adventure. More and more people are dating at 40: it’s no longer something you hide in the thicket! Enjoy this new ride, sister!