We’ve all been there, you’re getting ready for a first date or you’re discussing a new match with your friends and you’re going over and over that list in your mind.
There’s no denying that dating after 40 is a different experience. You’re not as young and carefree as you were in your 20s, you may well have gathered some baggage in your 30s and the dating world is a different place than it once was. Not to mention, if you’ve been single for a while you’ll probably be receiving dating advice from every Tom, Dick or Sally that stumbles across your relationship status. But at the end of the day, who knows you better than you?!
And the good news is, you’re not alone! So don’t feel pressured to jump back in just because your mum’s neighbour, Janet, has decided you’re running out of time and the dating pool is getting thin. Janet is wrong. In fact, some people find dating after 40 to be a very rewarding experience and it is at this age that many people meet their soulmate.
So if you’re currently looking for love but you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of dating apps, the complexity of online profiles and the endless dating horror stories you’ve heard from your single friends; don’t give up yet.
That said, there are some common pitfalls that many over 40s fall into when trying to get back into the swing of dating. In this guide, we’ll talk you through some of the most common mistakes you need to avoid when dating after 40, so you can enjoy a better dating experience and find love. Check them out below.
1. Rushing to get back in
Making the decision to start dating again is a big one, but this doesn’t mean you have to throw yourself in headlong and arrange a date within the week. Finding love is not something you want to rush. So take your time, find a dating agency or site that’s going to work for you and ease yourself back in, or you could find yourself becoming over (or even under) whelmed by the dating world.
2. Being unwilling to try new things
Last time you were on the scene, dating might have been more traditional; meeting at a bar before being wined and dined and walked back to your front door. But times have changed and the dating world has changed, so don’t be afraid to try new things. For example, if a potential partner suggests something like Junkyard Golf or a night at the aquarium, don’t turn them down assuming they’re a bit ‘quirky’. Instead, keep an open mind and try new things. These fun and unique dates can be great ice breakers and a perfect way to find out more about someone than simply chatting over dinner.
3. Lying about who you are
If you are going to be creating online profiles, the temptation can be to tell a few white lies. Perhaps use an outdated photo of yourself or leave off some pretty important information from your profile. But this can backfire badly. If you aren’t honest, how can you expect to make a genuine connection with someone and find a partner who has similar ambitions and goals to you? So if you’re going to use sites that require you to build a profile, just make sure you’re always truthful about who you are.
4. Not keeping an open mind
When you’re 21 and your whole life is ahead of you it’s easy to dream up your ideal mate. But over time you come to realise that everyone has their quirks and there’s no sense being with someone if you want to change big parts of their personality. So it’s important to keep an open mind when meeting new people, don’t get stuck on your ‘shopping list’ of what makes a perfect partner, otherwise you set your expectations too high and more often than not, will be left feeling disappointed.
5. Going for someone exactly like your ex
When you’re dating after 40 it’s likely that you’ll have had a serious relationship (or two) in the past. You may have even been married before. But there’s always a reason why your ex is, well, your ex! And you don’t want to fall into the same trap this time around. So if you begin to notice a new love interest is displaying similar behaviour to a previous partner, it might be time to call it off before history repeats itself.
6. Relying on dating apps
Literally millions of people across the globe are using dating apps, which is great for creating a huge dating pool. The problem is, a lot of the people that use these apps aren’t always honest about who they are or what they want. Not only this but with hundreds of suitors at your fingertips, it becomes harder to make any real, meaningful connections. Not to mention they could be speaking with 10 other people at the same time as they’re chatting to you.
So while dating apps do work for some people and couples have been known to fall in love, get married and start families as a result, these apps have also led to a string of unsuccessful dating horror stories. And while these tend to be a favourite amongst the younger generation, if you’re dating after 40 you might want to consider all options before pinning all your hopes on a swipe.
7. Not knowing what you want
Before you begin dating again, it’s important that you know what you want from a partner and your future. This doesn’t have to be set in stone and you should definitely be flexible, but it’s a good place to start. Especially as some things in life can be non-negotiable. For example, have you got children or do you want to find someone who has children? Are you looking for someone who might want to get married someday or are you looking for someone who just wants fun? With this in mind, it’s important that you have some idea of what you’re looking for before you begin the search.
8. Taking it too seriously
We’re not suggesting that you throw all caution to the wind, meet up with a string of potential partners and party like it’s 1999. We understand that after 40 your priorities change. Perhaps you’ve got children, perhaps you’re hoping to find someone who still wants children, perhaps you’re divorced. Whatever the case, we know you’re not the same person you were 20 years ago.
That said, you’ve got to try not to take dating too seriously in the early stages. Otherwise, you could find yourself becoming too attached, feeling disappointed or feeling like there’s no one out there for you. This simply isn’t true, but sometimes it takes a while to find the right person. So as we’ve already said, be open-minded, prepared to try new things and don’t take it too seriously. Remember, dating should be fun!!
At Ignite Dating, we appreciate that age is just a number and that dating after 40 can be just as exciting as in your 20s. Our matchmakers will work closely with you to get a real understanding of what you’re looking for in a partner so we can ensure you meet with like-minded individuals and those you share similar interests and aspirations with. Get in touch with our friendly team today.