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Dating By The Time You're 40+ Part 1 - All The Single Girlfriends

Dating By The Time You’re 40+ Part 1

Five things to consider before you date again

Mar 3, 2011 by

By the time we’re 40, we’ve gone out on a few dates for sure.  Maybe even in the double digits.  Sometimes we’ve come back to dating after a divorce or the end of a live-in relationship, or even an affair.

By the time we’re 40-something/middle-aged/andthensome, we’ve probably read a lot of dating advice books, too. We’ve probably  read “The Rules,”  “He’s Just Not that Into You,” and the “Mars and Venus” series, hoping one of these books has the answers to why we just aren’t slick enough to fathom the male mind, sexy enough to entice the male body, and “perfect” enough to hang on to Mr. Perfect.

Thing is, he’s not perfect, and you’re not perfect either, sister.

Not to mention the all important, and simple reality that what we might want in middle age could be drastically different than what we think we’re supposed to want.  That’s usually based on what we wanted when we were 20-something, or what society tells us we should want, or what our mothers are instructing us on what we want, or even what our girlfriends think is proper for us to want.

So, before you even consider putting yourself out there again—whether that’s by going out to charity functions, putting a profile up on an online dating site, answering a personal ad, or talking to a matchmaker (yes! A matchmaker!)—here are five things you might want to consider:

1. IT’S NOT ALL THEIR FAULT.

If I hear one more woman say that the reason she’s not dating is because of all the broken, messed up men, I’m going to scream.  Or throw a pot at her.  Dating, romance—or whatever it is that you want—is never a one-way street.  And maybe it’s you that’s driving on the wrong side of the road (so to say) or has a “serious issue” or is expecting way too much in way too short a period of time.

You will also have to accept a small fact:  Guys are guys.  They’re never going to be women.  Which means they’re not necessarily going to want to sit and watch every episode of Project Runway, nor are they going to all of a sudden become Mr. Empathy when you have a problem.  Chances are you’re going to have to meet him at least half-way:  learn a few basic football facts (or whatever sport he’s really into) and accept that when you have a problem, he will problem-solve.  The latter doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, or doesn’t have empathy for your situation:  it’s just that men are hard-wired to problem solve.

I know my dating life didn’t perk up again until I stopped blaming my ex-husband for his particular level of mid-life insanity and started liking men for their man-ways of problem solving and sports-watching.  What got me liking men was making friends with, and just hanging out with, men. I had to learn to listen to men without wanting to fix them, correct them, or rip their heads off.   When you actually like men, men can sense it, and will respond accordingly.

2.  GET HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE AND WITH YOURSELF.

I say this not to echo the things our mothers told us—like “Smile!  Nobody likes a sourpuss”—but because if we’re happy with our lives and who we are, we’re just more comfortable in our own skins.  And, to echo what some experts have said, you can’t attract a happy person if you’re not happy.  Seriously.

Think a bit about what it will take to make you happy with your life.  My life isn’t all sunshine and roses, that’s for sure.  Currently, I’m “in between jobs,” and I’ve got my “winter pudge.”  Those two things alone could send some people into paroxysms of self-hatred.  But, I think of the fantastic stuff I have in my life, not of the things that I might consider being shortcomings. I’ve got great friends and most of my clothes still fit me (regardless of the pudge).)  I’m consciously, taking some time out of job searching to deal with feelings related to my Dad’s death in December, which includes doing a small bit of traveling to see New York City and then to see some friends.

So, while life’s not grand, and I’m not a perfect size Whatever, or have a Dream Job, I’ve got a whole lot going for me in the life department.  I’m happy. Subsequently, I attract mostly men who are happy with themselves too.

Yet, always keep this in mind:  there are always miserable people who will want to gum up your happiness.  This can be girlfriends as much as it can be men we meet.  Always remember:  if you encounter someone who’s a chronic complainer, or who’s hyper-critical of you:–whether critical of your lifestyle or your weight or any number of things about you—get away from that person fast.  Whether it’s a man or a woman, the simple fact is that these people are not happy with themselves.   You really don’t need any of that Debbie Downer stuff in your life.

Part 2


About the Author

Tish Grier Has Written 6 Articles For Us!

I am a freelance writer with a focus on the impact of social media on the newspaper industry for Poynter.org. I also am a social media strategist. I have been a professional blogger for a multi-national telecom, a thought-leader blog network and several noteworthy projects, as well as a community developer for Placblogger.com, Assignment Zero, and NewsTrust.
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6 Comments

  1. And some men just refuse to problem solve even if you’re already falling off a plane or about to be eaten alive by sharks. Hehe.

  2. Rebecca Crichton

    Tish, Thanks for the reminder about how people who are critical and complaining are not happy with themselves and probably will be criticial of you. It works the other way as well, When I feel ‘less than’ I tend to not be very accepting of others. I also appreciate your comment that men know – as do most people – when you actually like them instead of seeing them as the enemy. Looking forward to the next part.
    Rebecca

  3. Tish Grier

    Thanks Mary and Serena,! you’re both right. happiness–and even the desire to date again–should both come from within, not from the stuff around us…

    hmmm…maybe I need to apply that philosophy to moneymaking ;)

  4. Tish Grier

    Just want to say there is a Part 2 to this article…where you’ll get the other 3 things to do :)

  5. Indeed – we all have lives and baggage. “Guys are guys.” Absolutely! Otherwise, it’d be awfully boring, wouldn’t it?

    And – if we want to date, then it should be fun – not feel like a society mandate.

  6. Tish, I love how you admitted your happiness, even while you’re in-between jobs, despite the “winter pudge” and while tackling other life challenges. It’s a great reminder that, on the inside, we are all OK and we don’t need all those external trappings to let that happiness radiate. I’ve always believed that there’s no such thing as the “pursuit” of happiness…..like prosperity and abundance, we already have these things inside each of us. – SerenaK

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