Easing into Dating—When You’re Over 40 is Like Riding a Bike!
Is it? It sure is! For some of you, the word “dating” may bring back memories of butterflies in your stomach as a teenager or late nights out in the social scene when you are single and in your 20’s. But what do you do when you find yourself ready to date as a mature, grown woman in the modern world? You roll with it! Whether you have been off the market due to a marriage that has now run its course or you’ve chosen to be single and unattached for the last several years, figuring out how to ease back into dating can be both tricky and overwhelming. In part because meeting someone the old fashioned way is becoming more obsolete. But it’s like riding a bike, you get on and it all comes back to you.
Nonetheless, there are those who still rely on the good old-fashioned meet and greet through friends and family. And there is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, friends and family don’t know or understand your needs. Suggestions made, although with the best intention may be far-fetched from what will satisfy your requirements and keep you in that relationship. Family members, please re-read this last part if you are trying to hook a loved one up – Ask them about their needs first!
So as a mature woman, mainly if you are 40+, you should know yourself well, your needs and what should work for you, even if you are just getting back into the dating game. You’ve come a long way baby! Don’t underestimate the wisdom you’ve acquired and don’t forget how to have fun using it. If you are ready to jump back into the dating world, don’t let your age stop you from having the fun, excitement, and thrills of experiencing a connection with another being. Consider these simple tips and strategies for finding your confidence and easing back into the dating scene, whether you have just turned 40 or you’re in the middle of your golden years:
1. Embrace the Differences (and any Potential Baggage)
Unlike a carefree barely-adult youngster delving into the world of dating, re-entering the scene as a mature woman means understanding the history and experiences that life has taught you to this point (here’s that wisdom I referenced earlier). Chances are you’ve been there and done that. You’ve already seen your fair share of relationships, whether they were long-term marriages or fleeting romances over the years. Instead of shying away from the scary process of “starting over” with someone new, embrace everything that has brought you to this point! Your history, both good and bad, has molded you into the complex yet beautiful and unique person that you are today. You now have the gift of knowing precisely what you are looking for and what your deal-breakers are.
2. Understand that You Don’t Have to Settle
Oh my, how often am I stating these words to young and mature alike. But in particular, to you my mature and seasoned Queens, just because you have more years of experience and life under your belt, doesn’t mean that your options are limited. Don’t believe the hype that some would like you to think. Respect the individual journey that’s brought you to this point, and know that you deserve the best in a connection with a future partner. However, that doesn’t mean every relationship is perfect! Dating over 40 has fantastic benefits; one is a deep understanding of mutual respect and compromise, another is holding onto your standards for what is vital in a relationship and what’s necessary to get the most out of what the world of dating has to offer. Remember the right match is looking for his or her equal period! So don’t settle.
3. Start by Doing What You Love to Do
Just because you’re ready to get back into the dating scene doesn’t mean that you have to frequent bars and dance clubs to find men or women that are interesting (unless of course, that is something you enjoy doing)! By 40 or older, you know what experiences bring you joy and understand what you are passionate about in life, and those passions can open the door to unexpected dating opportunities. Whether you join a local hobby club, go back to school, or strike up conversations with strangers at your frequent hang-outs. Opening yourself up to those who share your interests gives you a head-start in finding someone who is compatible with the person that you are. And who doesn’t like hanging with their bestie, homey, lover-friend? Sublime it’ll be for sure!
4. Be open, flexible and resist conforming to what’s comfortable and familiar
Sometimes we as people can block our blessings by not being open to how happiness can present itself to us. We have these expectations for what’s comfortable and familiar when something wonderful may look and present his or herself the complete opposite. Too often, we close ourselves off to love the same way including putting too much emphasis on things that aren’t important. For example:
- Passing someone by because of their height
- Passing someone by because they’re not from your country of origin
- Passing someone by because they don’t make seven figures
- Passing someone by because of their age
- Passing someone by because your sports team rival each other (Really? Smh)
- Passing someone by because they have kids or vice versa
- Passing someone by because they’re a creative and you’re an intellectual (yeah … it happens)
You get the idea. These are real examples that do happen. Re-entering the dating world after being removed from it for a long time can be as exciting as it is nerve-wracking, but don’t allow yourself to be caught up in your age! The old phrase goes, “age is just a number,” and there’s plenty of beautiful, single people out there in the same boat you are, looking for their ideal mate.
Embrace the experience, allow yourself to stay in the moment, and enjoy the freedom (let me repeat that word FREEDOM), fun, and excitement that comes with connecting to someone new in your life.
When it comes down to it, the world of dating may always change, but some things remain the same—no matter what your age! [bctt tweet=”It’s the same old game, just different players. Now player, play to win!” username=””]
If you want to take it further and make sure you are emotionally ready to “be in it to win it”, then subscribe to be the first one to know when my Love for Life 360: Ultimate Relationship Readiness program starts in Spring 2018!