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.
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.
Have fairy tales given you an unrealistic view of love and relationships?
I recently came across a 2008 university study discussing the way Rom-Coms can help to promote unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. They found that we are influenced by portrayals in the media – more than we realise.
This made me wonder whether love and relationship expectations could stem even further than this? I remembered all the Disney movies I used to watch as a kid, my burning desire to run (or fly) off into the sunset with Aladdin and my dream for thinner, more lady-like feet so I could easily slip them into THAT dainty glass slipper.
Without hesitation, I created a poll and took to Plenty More Fish fans and followers on Twitter and Facebook. As you can see a whopping 62% of you reckon fairy tales do give out an unrealistic view of love and relationships.
Phew, so it’s not just me.
Thanks to my childhood obsession with Disney films I’m adamant I adopted an unrealistic view of love and relationships from a very early age. Prince charming rescuing you and dropping everything to be with you, sure. Being able to date a beauty even though you look like an angry hairy beast, absolutely. Stealing the heart of a handsome prince regardless of being half girl, half fish, of course. Oh and sharing a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise could in fact be the most romantic thing you’ll ever do.
The latter- not true, for sure.
I’m not saying BAN DISNEY…I LOVE Disney and I’m not saying you can’t live happily ever after. I just think perhaps they should’ve come up with a sequel to Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Aladin, The Lady & The Tramp…etc and show that relationships actually need work. When the honeymoon period is over, most relationships have there ups and downs and good communication is absolutely key.
Oh and DON’T get me started on period dramas. 😉
Jen from Plenty More Fish x
PDA. How much is too much?
We’ve probably all indulged in a little PDA (public displays of affection) at some point in our lives but how much is too much? Where does it start to cross the line?
For some, to become completely unaware of your surroundings due to your obsession with each other is somewhat of a fairytale. For others, it’s an uncomfortable and unfair act of shoving your “perfect relationship” down the throat of others.
As romantic as the scene above is, what would you feel if you were a passenger in the taxi behind? Would you glance up lovingly and feel warm fuzzy feelings take over you or would you feel angry, annoyed and slightly repulsed? Is it a case of PDA being acceptable in the movies but just totally uncalled for in “real life?” Or, do you think we should all stop being so prude and let our feelings take over. If we want to grab our partner in a busy street and plant a great bit smacker on their lips then it’s perfectly acceptable.
What do you think? Are you guilty of PDA? Do you mind it? And how much is too much?
Don’t like my dog? You’re barking up the wrong tree!
A recent poll asked 3,000 British dog and cat owners questions about their furry friends to mark the release of the new movie; “Marmaduke.”
Findings suggested that some people are so devoted to their beloved pets that they can get in the way of their love lives!
19% of respondents said that they would rather have a pet than be romantically involved with someone. OK, seriously; having a cat or dog is nice and everything and I am the first to admit my love for my pets but it’s simply not the same as having a partner. They can’t cook for you, they can’t take you out (unless when out for “walkies” your dog spots a rabbit) errm and… they can’t actually talk! You may however, get a kiss occasionally (well, a big slobbery lick on the face!).
What is more interesting is that a HUGE 73% of single owners would never date someone who didn’t like their pet. This was even broken down to a whopping 81% of dog owners and 57% of cat owners never dating anyone who disliked their pet. So, are people less loyal to their cats? Are they more worried about hurting their dogs feelings? Meh. Who knows!!?
If faced with giving up their pet for the sake of love, a huge 79% of people refused to do it. I suppose this isn’t that surprising really, seeing as 88% of people saw their pet(s) as part of their family.
Hmm…interesting study. People really do love their pets eh?!