Dating in midlife can have some unique challenges for women. Plainly said: it can suck. As a Dating and Relationship Coach for women over 40, and a gal who became a first-time bride at age 47, I can vouch for the seemingly suckiness of it.
But here's what I now know: after 40 can be the very BEST time to be looking for companionship and love. My personal experience, as well as that of the many women I coach, has convinced me that the direction this takes… depends solely on YOU. Here's my checklist for success:
10 Dating Do's and Don'ts for Dating Over 40
1. Know and love thyself. Take a thorough and honest look at yourself – inside and out. Articulate how fabulous you are and what makes you a good partner. Reacquaint yourself with the grownup you; I bet you're going to like her!
2. Let your grownup girl do the picking. Don't look for the same guy you wanted when you were 25. He won't make you happy and probably doesn't exist anyway. After you get to know yourself today, update the vision of your ideal partner for this stage in your life. Dump the chemistry crap and look for a man who will be a great partner; not just a great date.
3. Clear the cobwebs. Get clarity on what old stuff may be getting in your way. Your new guy should not have to pay for all the jerks, mistakes and bad relationships you’ve had in your past. Also, define and then dump those voices that have been hanging around since you were a teenager. They've been holding you back and getting in your way of finding love. Only then can you bring your best self to this stage of your dating life.
4. Be a real lady. Embrace your femininity. Always show kindness and compassion to yourself and the men you meet. Remember, too, that the good guys – the relationship minded "alpha guys" – want their woman to receive graciously… so be that woman. Bring your softness to your dating experience along with all of your accomplishments and successes. (Your softness is your strength, sister.)
Related: 6 Things Women Do to Push Men Away
5. Play easy-to-get for the right man. That story about guys loving to chase is about boys and their egos; it's not about mature and accomplished men. These guys don't stick around for games or manipulation. Let a man know when you enjoy him and he makes you happy. Don't make him guess too long or you'll be waiting for a phone that will never ring.
1. See only in black or white. Not only are your hair roots gray…. you now hopefully know that most of life falls into some gray zone. That is especially true of interactions and relationships with men. There doesn't have to be a good and bad or yes or no. Bring your rich life experience and a rational perspective into your dating. Be open to people's stories and differences and see how many wonderful men are really out there!
2. Think you can do the same things and get different results. Going after the same guys in the same way will not get you any further than where you are right now. Keep learning about yourself and about men, and see how your dating experience vastly improves.
Related: Dictionary of Men: Guys Defined!
3. Rely on intuition. Staying in touch with your femininity doesn’t mean relying on intuition. This is so often an excuse for making rash decisions based on silly stuff. Take your time and use your head. This is what grownup dating is all about: balancing your head and heart so you make good decisions. Try it-- you'll like it.
4. Wait to run into him. You're reading this so I know he hasn't shown up on your doorstep. Part of your challenge at this age is that men no longer appear in your life; you actually have to create opportunities to meet them. Get out of the house, get online and tell everyone you know you're looking for a good man. Make your wish come true.
5. Give up! I became a first time bride at 47 and I'm living a magnificent life with the man of my dreams. If I had a dime for every time I wanted to give up I'd be rich and single. If you want the love of a good man, do everything you can to make it happen. I can tell you from experience, every boring date, lonely Friday night and insecure moment is worth it. Being in love and being loved is really cool.
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