In our 20s, we approach dating more like a sport. We think of things like, “I know he/she isn’t the one, but we have fun and I’m not looking for anything serious right now, so…” In our 30s, when we’re feeling more stable and have more pressure to find the one, dating is more like a mission with the goal of finding our future husband or wife. But what happens at 40? What are the over 40 dating tips to help you understand what changes and what stays the same?
When the 40s hit, the dating scene takes on a completely different vibe. Well, in some ways. While the rules and goals of dating may change as you age, relationship expert and author of, Everything’s Relative, Jenna McCarthy, says, the feelings usually don’t. “There is always that sense of hopefulness, nervousness and a bit of despair when there’s no connection,” she says.
Dating is always about casting a wide net, knowing we’re unlikely to get a good match every time, says relationship expert, Stav Vaisman when asked to share her over 40 dating tips. “Everyone dates for more or less the same reason: to find that rare someone who clicks with your personality, sexuality, values and goals,” he says.
But, that doesn’t mean dating changes once we reach our 40s. In fact, it can be a lot easier without the added pressure of a biological ticking clock.
“At 40, you’re more confident in who you are. You know what you want in a relationship, so it’s easier to put your feelers out for exactly that,” says sex and relationship expert and author, Wendy Strgar. “Since you’re more mature, it’s easier to tell where the relationship is going and there’s less of a pressure to get married,” she adds.
Dating in your 40s is always more relaxed, fun, and about getting to know someone. A long-term relationship is usually the long-term goal, but many in their 40s aren’t necessarily fixated on something long lasting.
“Most people dating in their 40s have already been married or had a serious long-term relationship. The clock for marriage and children is no longer ticking like it was your 30s,” says Vaisman.
In a way, dating in your 40s is more like dating was in your 20s. And when it comes to finding a date, online is still a good means to an end.
“Nearly half of the public knows someone who’s met a spouse or partner via online dating,” says Strgar. In other words, make sure your online profile is still active because, as Vaisman says, if dating in your 40s is like dating in your 20s, it makes sense that certain apps and websites would be attractive for people in their 40s who are returning to dating after marriage or other long-term relationships.
Once you see what’s out there, you’ll see that you haven’t missed your chance on love. There’s this myth that if you’re dating in your 40s, that ‘all the good ones have been taken’. McCarthy says that it’s important to note that challenges may arise for women as most men tend to date women who are their age or younger.
“When you’re both 25, you stand a pretty good chance with him. But when you’re both 40, you’re now competing with a much larger pool of women,” she explains. That’s why McCarthy advises 40-something daters to not lower their standards, but to open their minds. “Don’t be so quick to write someone off because he’s short, bald, or whatever.”
Of course, there will always be people out there, whether in their 20s, 40s, or 60s, looking for special people in their lives. Strgar says, “As long as you’re taking care of yourself, staying active and staying positive, there’s no reason you won’t meet someone later in life.”