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What’s on your Mind: Dating in your 40s
Written By: Catherine Muss
By forty you’ve hit your stride. You’ve experienced heartbreak, joy, failure, and triumph. You’re comfortable with who you are, how you look, what you do, where you go, what you read, and if you’re ready for a change you’re confident that you will succeed and look forward to the challenge. You’re a pro at this life thing.
Which is why dating in your forties feels much like you do – relaxed, comfortable, and fun!
Women in their 40s have often made their peace with their ticking biological clock. Choices about children have been made one way or another, and the search for your soulmate is without the pressure of planned parenthood. The ability to share the remote is now on your list of Soulmate Qualities.
When you’re attracted to a man, toss away the eyelash-batting. Men in their 40s want the same things you do. Someone to talk to, go on vacation with, watch TV with, and lean on. He wants a partner who has a life of her own and won’t make the relationship more than it is – by your forties you understand that romance isn’t all heart-shaped pupils and fireworks, but an intimate friendship.
I keep referring to the tranquility of your 40s and it’s in moving out of your routines that you will encounter your greatest challenge. Human beings are hardwired to be leery of change. He’s not interested in making the same mistakes from his romantic past, and neither are you. You’re both single for any number of personal, heartfelt reasons and if he’s content with his routine it may be tricky to entice him to venture out of his comfort zone and back into dating.
Instead of going out for a drink or meal, go out to the batting cages, concerts, bowling, to a poetry reading. Get out there and do something to find out, not that your interests match necessarily, but that your personalities and values do. When you click, his heart, and his schedule, will open.
And take advantage of your baggage. You read that right! Consider the elements of your past relationships, where they went wrong and why. Was it really all him? Do you consistently become attracted to someone for all the wrong reasons? Maybe you’ve fallen for a man who is unlike any man you’ve ever been attracted to before. Explore that and open your mind to what could be! Love is about more than a mutual appreciation for murder mysteries and hiking; you already know that love isn’t about that at all. Learn from the past to enjoy the future.
Statistically it’s likely that at least one of you is divorced, has children, is widowed, cares for an ailing parent, etc. Lay that baggage out together and decide whether you as a couple can stand together with those realities. The newly divorced may be carrying around a lot of hurt and anger. The widowed may believe they’ve already had their one true love. And none of those feelings should be brushed aside. Remember, he’s looking for someone to talk to! Aren’t you, too?
Catherine Muss is a freelance writer based in Waterloo Region. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University, and she would have minored in psychology if she’d taken the “right” psych classes, but she took the fun ones instead.