Dating after 45 isn’t easy. After a long-term marriage or committed relationship, the thought of dating someone new can be daunting. The rules have changed a bit in the last decade or so. One-night stands have been around for ages. The newly divorced may not realize the new name for it is hook-ups. When looking at responses from online dating sites, some are blatant about seeking a hook-up while for others, you practically need a code to decipher their intentions.
Newly single individuals may be in a rush to find someone new to make themselves feel better (or, in some cases, to make their ex feel worse). Others may be missing the good parts of their marriages and want someone new to fit the bill. Still others may feel pushed into dating by well-meaning friends urging them to start now when they know they haven’t healed from the breakdown of their marriage.
Please know that the timing is up to you – you aren’t on anyone else’s schedule – so wait until you are ready. Do not feel rushed to fill that vacant space in your life.
Here’s What You Need to Know About Dating After 45
When you think about starting to date again in your 40s, expect questions to arise:
- Will I ever find someone else to love (and who loves me)?
- How do I find that special someone?
- How do I know if they are right for me?
- Am I too old to fall in love again?
- How do I avoid making the same relationship mistakes again?
Hold out for the best and do not settle for whoever comes along. He or she is not the only one on the planet. When we feel desperate, we lower our standards, and “okay” may seem the best we can hope for. Make a list of your “must-haves” for a new relationship, and if others do not meet them, move on. Value yourself and others will too.
Dating in Your 40s Has its Own Challenges
Those over 40 may not want to engage in months of chats before the first date, or a year before getting a commitment. The people I interviewed said they want to know sooner rather than later if it is a friendship or a romance. They gave a time frame from several weeks to several months on how long they wait when a new relationship is moving very slowly. It depends on how much they like/love the new dating partner for the time period they give a new relationship to blossom. It can be challenging to go at a slower pace when previous relationships got deeper quickly.
Are there children still at home? They may have mixed feelings about you dating again. My sons are so supportive of my new life – dating, taking acting lessons, karaoke, etc. Younger children may see dating as a replacement for their other parent – or they may be harboring the idea that their parents will get back together at some point. Communication is imperative to clear up any misconceptions. Let others know that dating is a part of moving on with your life.
People come with more baggage than they did in their 20s. This includes ex-spouses.
A way to get dates is to be approachable. Be the person who chats at the community table in the coffee shop. When someone sees how easy it is to talk to you, they will. Go out with friends where it is feasible to mingle. I meet people at venues where there is dancing and live music. Others have joined singles’ groups and met future spouses.
Let friends and co-workers know you are ready to date again. Look at dating after 45 as an adventure rather than a chore.