Dating at any age is an adventure. There are major differences between dating in your 20s compared to dating in your 40s. In your 20’s you’re quickly diving into relationships, wanting to just be loved. In your 30’s you may be feeling the pressure of settling down. While in your 40’s you’ve most likely already lived with someone at one point and tried all those first-time experiences. You might even be in round two or three of marriage. You may feel like you are more ready than ever for your next relationship because you now know what you want or not want from a partner, or on the other end you find yourself beating yourself up as if something is wrong with you. However, in your 40’s dating can bring about a particular array of understanding when you choose to explore your past experiences. One that can lead to a process of self-discovery. You will find some unique challenges at every age but there is still much to be excited about as you consider dating again and learning about yourself in the process.
In your 40’s you have gained experience and have (hopefully) started identifying some patterns of how you show up in your relationships. Perhaps you’ve taken the time to identify what you value the most, what your triggers might be, and what you may be wanting in order to share a life with another person. Through your likely experience of having dated several partners you have been able to evolve and to understand what you value in an ideal partner and what traits you will no longer tolerate.
Lessons are learned through relationship experiences, breakups, heartbreaks and divorce. These lessons have shifted your perspective. You may have experienced trauma that makes you hesitant to try again. However, there is hope. If you are willing to trust in your journey of self-discovery and choose to get a better understanding of yourself in past relationships.
What You Desire Evolves with Age
There are behaviors you may no longer tolerate in your 40s. Armed with this knowledge, you are often more comfortable declining a date if you know it is not the right match. You likely are not as afraid of hurt feelings and look out for your own best interests.
When you are younger, you may not have considered what you seek in an ideal partner. You may be willing to give many a chance and overlook your own values. Unfortunately, by taking this risk, many end up in a committed relationship with someone whom is not compatible for a life partnership.
In your 40s, you know what you want from a relationship. If it is not a match, whether physical or emotionally, you are more likely to walk away. Often it is easier to do this without a sense of obligation, guilt, or explanation.
The challenge, however, is you may experience more rejection because those you are dating also have a solid understanding of what they want in a relationship.
Nevertheless, when you lean into these relationships with authentic power to understand how you yourself are showing up in your dating life, you are able to create change in your narratives and evolve as a person.