A woman’s guide to surviving dating in your 40s

Let’s be honest for a moment and put it on the table; dating in your 40s is pretty grim (ok, personal experience talking, it is bleaker than a public service station restroom at the side of a deserted motorway).  At 40 the competition is steeper and it becomes a whole lot more confusing and you’ll find the type of men in the over 40s dating pool very different.

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Here are some truths that could help you navigate the tricky path of mature dating.

The men are having a mid-life crisis

Men like younger women. A lot of men in their 30’s and 40’s seem to have an awakening moment and panic that they’re getting old and as a knee jerk reaction go out and find the perkiest 25-year-old they can find in an attempt to settle down.  Even if you are near their own age they will still see you as ‘old’ and dismiss your profile. Harsh.  You may well be witty, successful, outgoing and smart but none of that matters in their heads once you are in the over 40’s club.

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You attract that toy boys

An older, gorgeous, confident and self-assured woman is an absolute lure for a man in his late 20s.  To them, the age gap works in their favour as you’ll be comfortable and well skilled in the bedroom and the perfect teacher for them to learn some tricks.  It may suit you to end up with a 25-year-old toy-boy between the sheets but you’ll struggle to find someone old enough to suit your lifestyle and goals if you go down this path.  Think late night booty calls and the wonders of dick pics…really??

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You love your kids but not everyone else does

Having kids and attempting to get back to dating and relationships is tough. All the time you are mindful of their needs and emotions.  You’re careful not to introduce them to every date, you question when to introduce them to the date and then you’re also trying to juggle a date around organising child care.  For some guys the fact you’re a mother will discount you instantly; remember… that says way more about them than it does about you.  Equally, you don’t need to introduce them to everyone unless you think that person is going to have some level of permanence in your life.  If you enter a relationship be upfront about your kids and whether you realistically want more and you’ll soon find out which guys are serious about sticking around.

You’re set in your ways

Dating in your 40’s means you know what you want – this translates to you’re stubborn and won’t deviate from your ideal situation.  Your list of dating dealbreakers is far more set in stone than it was when you were 25, and if you’re looking to settle down and start a family this is now crunch time and you’re going to be super picky about it.

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There’s too much choice

Your phone is full of dating apps, you have RSI in your thumb from continual swiping and you’ve moved to second base (WhatsApp) with several potentially interested parties. Stop! Too much choice is a bad thing and makes it harder for you to spot the genuine guys who are real relationship material.  If you want a partner with a similar professional mindset and age to your own then it is quite possibly you need to be looking at mature dating websites rather than the usual hookup apps.

You’re flying solo

Chances are that by this point all your other female friends are married, also have kids or are in long term relationships.  This means that you’ve lost your partner in crime who will pull you back to reality on nights out after too many mojitos.  You are flying solo with no wing woman in your corner to guide you.  It can be awkward talking to your friends about your dating exploits when their lives are on a very different path and can leave you feeling a little isolated.  Advice? Confide in one close friend who you really trust with your dating tales and keep it between the two of you – their advice will be invaluable and more genuine if they feel like it is something just between the two of you.

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Dating in your late 30s and early 40s is complexed.  Shapewear becomes your best friend and there’s a whole text acronym sub culture you don’t understand, but on the plus side you don’t have to justify your stream of one night stands to your mother anymore.

Ultimately, don’t lose hope, when you fall in love as cheesy as this sounds it really is something very special and if it was so easy to come by, well all the sense of mystery around it would be gone and it would lose the magic.

Remember at the heart of it you are an amazing woman and anyone will be lucky to have you….just be patient, don’t settle for second best and keep on searching.

 

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