With dating over 40, there’s a lot to juggle. A job. Maybe kids. An active social life. The gym. And whether you’ve been single since forever, divorced, or the perpetual bridesmaid, jumping into the dating scene is scary. And what if you’re not like most guys online? Posing shirtless in the bathroom? Never. Or how about us ladies? We’ve all been on a date where the guy rants about all the crazies he’s taken out. And the rub? There’s plenty to pick from with 50% of the current US population being single. So why are we left feeling like we have to go haystack to haystack looking for that one special needle?
Well, there are some secrets to dating successfully over 40. It’s a blend of working on yourself and putting yourself in the right situation. Most of the work you’ll need to do is internal. And as middle age rears its ugly head our way, we should at least be able to reflect on our lives. If you haven’t had a moment to catch your breath and reflect on your own life, now may be the time. Dating only makes things more complex. But if it’s what you want, you need to set yourself up for success.
Where To Start
First; why do you want to be in a relationship? Would something casual work better? Maybe you should take a break from dating? It all depends on what you’re looking for. GET SPECIFIC about your relationship goals. The great part about dating over 40 is that you make the rules. You don’t have to get married, and you don’t have to have kids. You are the creator of your own life.
Why do you want to date? Get specific about what you’re looking for. Then ask yourself why you’re looking for that.
Love Takes Effort. Do You Want to Put the Work In?
Once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, you need to look in the mirror. What makes you great and what makes you stink? Your own idiosyncrasies that you’ve acquired over the years are yours; they’re not going away. And one thing dating coaches do better than anyone else is tell you what you stink at; in a loving way of course. The more honest you are with yourself, the faster you’ll find success while dating. Being able to see your shortcomings prepares you for how others will interpret and react to you.
And your strengths? You NEED to play to your strengths. And if you don’t think you have any, call me. Everyone does, and it’s critical you know what’s in your toolbelt before you start dating in the real world. If you’re a confident, outgoing powerhouse – BRAVO! But if you end up sitting across from a more timid introvert, better cool off…if you like her. You are not the best thing since sliced bread. Everybody has a ton of options now, and you don’t want to blow it!
The third and most critical aspect of your single secret sauce is strategy. You need to have a strategy.
No; TINDER is NOT a strategy.
It will take work. And we already heard the “I’m really busy” speech. We’re all really busy. You can’t use that as an excuse. Plus, you’ve already identified that you want a relationship and feel pretty comfortable that you fall into the database category, so how do you get out there? One swipe at a time? Hmmm, that has its place, but not everyone feels comfortable putting themselves on the line like that. Many of my clients did not like online dating. Or they’ve had bad experiences while trying it. Any tool helps, and I recommending using any you have. But swiping will have its limitations. A supposed limitless dating pool? Have you seen Tinder?
Strategy comes down to learning your strengths, and knowing what you want then making a plan to get there. I know it can seem overwhelming, but that’s one of the things dating coaches can work with you on.
Here are a few rules to keep in mind while crafting your dating strategy:
- If you have a busy schedule, you’ll have to carve out time to date. You just will. End of subject.
- If you don’t live a healthy lifestyle and try to eat healthily and exercise, you need to start. Yesterday.
- If you have kids, you will have to juggle a babysitter, schedules, sports, and sniffly noses that lead to canceled dates. Accept this, because it’s totally normal.
- If you are painfully shy, you will need to get outside your comfort zone.
- If your “must-have” list is a mile long, with no exceptions, you will have a very hard time dating.
- If you think online dating has a limitless pool of incredible, professional people, you’d be incorrect.
- If you think matchmakers are an old fashion service that no one uses, you’d be dead wrong.
Get Started Brewing Your Own Dating Secret Sauce with LunchDates
This is just a start, but I hope this helps. Always remember that it starts with you! We’re headed into warmer weather, bathing suit season (yikes!), and even wedding season (double yikes!!). And if showing up stag is getting kind of old, well… LunchDates is here for you.
Aimee Burke has over a decade of experience as a relationship coaching professional. She is an avid writer and researcher for the Boston dating scene. She’s also the main contributor to LunchDates’ dating advice blog.
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