Having Fun While Dating After Age 40
So you are over 40 and single, due to the death of a partner, divorce, or just by choice. Being happily alone doesn’t have to be lonely, as there are many people in your age demographic looking to meet others for friendship, dating, or a possible serious relationship.
Dating over 40 requires a socially warm attitude and a bit of common sense. The first step is to get out and meet eligible people. Going out with a group of trusted friends will help you relax and feel good about being “out there”. Flirt, talk, and laugh; however, stick close to your group and don’t let anyone that you don’t know well hand you a drink. Times may have changed since you were last out at a nightclub or large party, so be aware of your surroundings and have a plan of how you will get home if your companions are “overserved” at the bar.
If you know other over 40 dating singles, try a practice date with a friend. Using the buddy system will help you do a dry run of going out on a date. If you are a female, don’t be afraid to take the lead in making the date arrangements and picking up your share of the tab. If you are male, don’t be surprised if your “practice” date, who may have more experience than you, reaches for the check or hails the taxi on your outing.
Over 40 dating is different than when you were a teenager, as now your own teenage children, your career, and/or aging parents may take up a good chunk of your schedule. You want to have fun, but you also want to maintain your boundaries and priorities. The great thing about dating someone in your own demographic group is that they have the same types of commitments, or at least they understand them. Sure, it may be an ego boost to walk into a room with a twenty-something on your arm, but the moments of truth will come when he or she stops at every location to take a selfie, and tells you with a straight face that One Direction is the best musical group ever!
In the past 20 years, online dating has been helping people connect with others who share their interests and goals. Dating websites are not just for the under 30 crowd, and many dating websites now specialize in mature matches. Over 40 dating sites are among the fastest growing social meeting venues.
Doing your homework is imperative when researching an over 40 dating site. Be sure the site your viewing is a legitimate dating site and not an escort service or sex hookup site (unless that sort of thing appeals to you). Check with friends for recommendations, and investigate the sites reputation online.
When you get matched for a date, be sure to tell a trusted friend where you are going and with whom. Don’t have the date pick you up at your door, and don’t ever invite him or her into your home until you know them better. This is not only a smart safety tip, it also helps you make a graceful exit from the date and will avoid an awkward goodbye scene on your doorstep. Have a plan, tell a friend, and stick to it. Notify your friend if your plans change, and make the first date is in a public place such as dinner, or better yet a lunch out. Avoid intimate settings that will put too much pressure on you and your date.
Trust your gut. You haven’t lived over 40 plus years without gaining some sense of people. If warning bells go off about the person you are out with, no matter who set you up, feel free to politely extract yourself from the situation. Just because you are 40 plus and dating, it does not mean you should put up with any type of rude or idiotic behavior. There will be other people to date, and you are worthy of good treatment.
If the date went well, do not pin too many dreams on a relationship right away. It’s nice to hope for a phone call, or make a quick follow up call to say you had fun, but keep in mind that your over 40 date partner probably has a life as busy as you do. Keep it light and simple to start, and enjoy the dating experience. Keep an open mind and a friendly heart, but don’t go overboard with romantic expectations.
Your first over 40 dating experience may not turn out to be all you hoped for; however, you should just consider it an opportunity to flex your social muscles and stay in the game. The person who is right for you may be contacting you soon!