Far from our parents' generation, where the average age of marriage was much younger than what we are raking in today, singles today tend to get married later in life. Be it prioritizing self-growth, or career advancement, there are many reasons why singles are settling down later in life.
Today, it is not uncommon to be dating well into your 30s and 40s. However, if you are looking to settle down into a serious relationship in your 40s, understand that the dating landscape has changed and evolved since you were in your 20s and early 30s. Here, we expand on Rachel Greenwald's ideas in her book "Find a Husband after 35 (2003)", along with our experience as Cupids, and share some practical tips on dating in your 40s.
Tip 1: There is no Right person
Dating in your 20s and 30s spoils you with choices. Admittedly, dating in your 40s is much more limited. Majority of your peers will have chosen the path of marriage, which statistically, means lesser choices. In your earlier years, you might have had the luxury to pick, choose, and point out the flaws in the people you were dating at that time. However, with time not on your side, that luxury is something that you will have to forgo. Additionally, you have to understand that there is no one person that is perfect for you. Everyone has their flaws and no matter how hard you look, there is never going to be someone that is flawless. Tweak your mindset to adjust to that reality. Give up the search for the right person, but instead, be the right person yourself.
Tip 2: Drop that checklist
When it comes to dating, mostly everyone has a checklist, or a type. A list of attributes and criterium for your future partner might stand in your way of meeting someone new. As previously mentioned, the dating pool has significantly reduced since your earlier dating years, so chances of finding someone that matches every item on your list is much slimmer. The key to dating in your 40s is to focus on finding someone that accepts and loves you for you. Do away with the frilly expectations and focus on intrinsic values and feelings. To add on, many successful couples can attest to the uselessness of a checklist. Many people fall in love with people that they thought they would never end up with! So keep an open mind and be careful not to write someone off at first glance.
Tip 3: Spread the word
Yes, it can be daunting to share that you are on the lookout for someone, but don't discount it! The majority of new job opportunities are found through networking, so why can't the same apply to the dating scene! Let your friends and family know that you are actively in search of a compatible partner, and instead of 1 pair of eyes looking for that someone, you now have more help. Meeting friends of friends is a good place to start. With the familiarity of friends around you, expanding your social circle is made easier and more relaxed.
Tip 4: Put yourself out there
In conjunction with spreading the word, you have to be willing to put yourself in situations to meet new people. If you have not had success with your current social network, it would only make sense to look outside of your regular circle. Social events and friends' parties are just some examples of situations where you will be exposed to meeting new people. Another great avenue to meet new people would be at interest groups or classes. This would be great for meeting other like-minded individuals and will immediately give you something to talk about and bond over.
Tip 5: Deprograme yourself
Similarly to tip number 2, deprogramming yourself is vital to opening your mindset to include people outside of your usual scope. Pick out people that fit your criteria and are typically considered your 'type'. Now, instead of going towards these people, approach the people who do not fall under your checklist. Make a conscious effort to open up to the people you would normally brush aside. Although this might not guarantee success with finding a partner immediately, it is a handy exercise that helps you to re-program your thinking and mindset that will help you to see new opportunities you might have otherwise missed. We usually have many preconceived notions about other people that prevents us from getting to know them. Once we do away with these prejudices and get to know people for who they actually are, you just might be pleasantly surprised!
Dating in your 40s definitely takes more effort than when you were in your 20s or 30s, however, it is not impossible. Being deliberate in finding love doesn't take away the magic, it just helps you get there faster. The good news is that with society gearing towards self progression and career advancements, dating during your 40s is not at all uncommon. More people are finding themselves single well into their late 30s and 40s, which just means more opportunities to seize!