There are a lot of pros to dating in your 40s and beyond. You no longer have to worry about the shallowness that is dating in your 20s, where you are constantly worried about getting “ghosted,” and you’re less inclined to play games. On the other hand, you also have different priorities than a 20-something who is looking for a partner. You know what you want, and you’re able to identify red flags quicker thanks to your past mistakes. With that said, let’s take a look at a few ways dating changes as you get older.
While you no longer have to worry about whether or not your parents approve of your partner, you might now have to concern yourself with the idea of your children not approving. Introducing your potential new husband or wife to your children can shake up your relationship.
If your children don’t like your new lover, you have to find ways to ease them into the idea. Encourage them to spend more time together and maybe go for frequent lunches or dinners to acquaint your children to your new partner. If that doesn’t work, just remind yourself that who you choose to date is none of their business—if you really like this new partner, you don’t have to listen to your children.
Just be sure you and your new partner are on the same page. If they also have their own children, finding ways to blend your family’s can be very rewarding.
Sex and body image
As you age, you become less limber. You might not be able to perform as well as you once did, causing issues in the bedroom. Women’s sexuality tends to decline in their 50s, while a men’s desire for sex usually stays pretty high. It’s important to find ways to balance both of your sex drives. If you’re a man and are having trouble keeping your libido up, talk to your doctor about ways to improve it. They may recommend some sort of supplement to boost blood flow to your penis, helping you maintain an erection.
It’s just a myth that older people don’t care about their body image—it’s very much a real concern for everyone. As people age, they undoubtedly begin to feel less attractive than they did in their younger years—skin begins to sag, age spots form, and hair greys. If this is a concern of yours, find ways to improve your body image. Talking to your partner about your insecurities can go a long way in boosting your self-esteem and increasing your comfort around each other. When you feel unattractive, it’s near impossible to have a healthy sex drive.
Therapy is also a good way to reshape the way you think about aging and your body. The stigma around therapy has definitely faded over the last decade, so don’t be ashamed.
You’re now an established adult with a full-time job, a car, maybe a house and a retirement plan. You hopefully don’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay your bills anymore and can enjoy your money. This can make dating very exciting again, as you’re able to go out stress-free and splurge on whatever you like. Take advantage of this and go on exciting date nights.
Be careful, however, especially if you’re going on a lot of first dates. Don’t fall into the trap of always paying!
When dating in your older years, you definitely have a different way of thinking about the whole thing. While once you might have been afraid to commit and were only looking for short-term relationships, you’re not ready to commit and are probably looking for a spouse to marry and move in with (and potentially have children). Be sure that your priorities and intentions are clear when you’re going out on dates, as you don’t want to end up wasting your time only to find out that the new love of your life doesn’t have the same goals as you.
Don’t mind the quirks
When you’re dating as a young person, it’s pretty common to stop seeing someone because they have a simple quirk that annoys you. But now that you’re older, you’re probably more likely to look past someone’s annoying quirk. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just make sure to not sign up for something that you’re going to regret in the long run.
Adjusting to new ways of dating
Nowadays, the easiest and most efficient way to find a date is through an app or a website. A lot of people are reluctant to jump on the online dating bandwagon, but it’s not as scary as you think. If you’re struggling to learn how to use an online dating service like eHarmony, don’t be afraid to ask someone younger you’re related to—they will definitely be able to teach you. You might even want to try a phone app if you’re feeling extra brave, like Tinder, where you’ll be able to find a date almost instantaneously if you really want to.
Dating in your 40s and beyond doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s made out to be. In fact, it might even be easier (and safer). Just make sure you go into it with a game plan: know exactly what you want to get out of it, whether that be a new spouse for life or a hookup. You probably have more disposable income, so you can go on exciting dates that you might not have been able to in your younger years.
Don’t think of this as a unfortunate situation—it might actually turn out to be the time of your life.