Putting yourself back out into the dating world can be very difficult for many women over 40. If you are one of said women, do not feel alone. About a third to the 127 million Americans over 40 are either divorced, have never been married, or widowed. It is a scary thing to reenter the dating scene because all the nerves are still there but the social protocol has changed. Uncertainty surrounding what is acceptable and what isn’t creates uneasiness for those who have been out of the game for awhile.
Reasons for dating have also changed. Mature women are not as concerned with finding “the one”, getting married, and having children, as they were in their 20’s. So why date again at all, if it is so stressful? For many women over 40, finding a companion that is your equal is a huge reward for taking a gamble on dating. Finding men with similar interests, hobbies, and goals can be a very worthwhile endeavor and lead to a more fulfilled life. Health is another benefit of dating. Studies have shown that women who are dating eat better, work out, and “dress up” more often than those who have been in long term relationships or simply given up. These actions improve women’s self esteem and overall health.
If you are a woman over 40, don’t fall into the belief that men are only looking for women in their 20’s. While that may be true for some men, there are still plenty of “fish in the sea”. In fact, several surveys of shown that many younger men have to problem with dating women their senior. If the whole prospect of dating again seems daunting, don’t fret; there are entire industries whose job it is to find you a suitable man.
Online dating has become one of the most common ways for singles to meet each other; currently, one in three people have found their significant other online. If you are unsure where to begin finding men, online dating is definitely a good place to start. After choosing one of the many dating sites available, you can create a free profile to get a feel for the website. It’s very similar to the first day in class when the teacher would ask you to write down your name, favorite color, hobbies, etc. By placing a computer in between you and the single men you are “interviewing”, online dating gives a sense of detachment and security. You can preview the other profiles at your own speed and decide whether you want to respond to someone’s advances, without the awkwardness of a face to face rejection.
The cost is also a nice way to ease singles into dating. Just like you wouldn’t go out and buy $2000 dollars worth of ski gear after just deciding to give it a try, you similarly don’t want to go pay a match maker $3,000 when you are only curious about the possibility of dating again. If you do decide to commit to an online dating site, the membership fee per month will likely cost less than one night out.
With online dating; however, there are some risks. There is no fact checker when you create a profile and the 46 year old, single, doctor you met online could turn out to be a 70 year old, sonic car hop, who practices polygamy. So it is important that you take safety into consideration and be very weary of what personal information you put on the internet. Also, it is advisable to go to a public place when you meet face to face for the first time.
Though much more expensive, match makers might be a good option for single women who don’t have time to do the leg work themselves. An online registration, detailed questionnaire, one-on-one consulting, and $3,000 later, you can pay someone to find your “soul mate” for you. Because they know the proper channels to go through, usually have some kind of screening process, and make it their life work to find the right companions, you will likely spend far less time on dates with bores, workaholics, and men whose personalities lead you to question what mental institution they just escaped from.
If you are looking for something a little more personal and adventurous, blind dates might be a good option. You would be amazed at what opportunities arise by simply asking around your close circle of friends or colleagues. There are several benefits to this strategy. For example, those who know you well will likely be able to gage whether you would be a good fit with someone. Also, they can give you a less bias review; as opposed to someone writing about themselves on their own profile.
Whether you choose online dating, hiring a match maker, going on blind dates, or another form of dating: speed dating, double dates, etc, the important thing to remember is to put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to try something new, even if it is a little scary. Also, remember to go at a pace you are comfortable with; you call the shots in your own life and that includes entering the dating world again. If you remember these few tips and keep an open mind, there is no telling who you might meet; so sit back and enjoy the ride.