Dating After 40: How and Why Mature Singles Date

by Samantha Baker on December 20, 2012

If you are over 40 and single, don’t fret; you are not alone. Almost a third of the 127 million Americans age 40 and over are divorced, widowed, or have never been married. Many women and men have begun to date after 40; however, it is a whole new ball game. Though the pressure of marriage and children is no longer a factor when dating in your later years, it can still be a very scary experience. You have all the jitters you got in your teens, but without the knowledge of what is acceptable and what isn’t when dating.

But if not for children and marriage, then why go through the stress of entering the dating world again? For starters, dating later in life can improve your self esteem and overall health.  Studies have shown that singles who date usually take better care of themselves; they eat right, work out, and get “dressed up” more often than those who have given up or have been in a long term relationship for most of their life. Also, dating can be a way for mature singles to find healthy companionship. There is not as much stress on the physical aspects of the relationship; instead, mature singles tend to look for someone who has similar interests, goals, and intelligence that they can have a stimulating conversation with.

Dating can be hard for mature women, due to the fact that men of similar age tend to seek younger women. Ironically, many younger men have no issue with dating older women. There are many solutions if you are having a hard time finding a companion; entire industries have been created just for this purpose.

Online Dating

Quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to date, online dating is a good option for those who are just starting to test out the waters. It is much easier to scroll through single’s profiles at your own pace then it is to go out and meet complete strangers. Similarly, it is much easier to decide whether or not to respond to someone when they contact you online, then it is to reject someone’s advances face to face.

Expense is another factor of online dating. It is much cheaper to set up a profile online, than it is to go out to a nice restaurant every night. For most sites, the initial membership is free, which allows the user to test out the site before committing to a membership fee.

Currently, one in three people have met their significant other online.  Despite all the good things about online dating, there are some precautions you should take
when joining a site. People are not always who they say they are, so be very careful about what personal information you give out, on the internet. After getting to know someone online, consider meeting in a public place, do not give out your address, and make sure someone knows where you are going and for how long. These are just some easy tips to help keep you safe when meeting a stranger for the first time.

Matchmaker

If you are not afraid to “break the bank”, a match maker might be a good option for you.  Match making services usually involve an online registration, a detailed questionnaire, and one-on-one consulting. During an interview, you will tell the match maker your likes, dislikes, hobbies, and values. For these services alone, singles could spend $3,000 and up.  Despite the expense, it can be nice to have someone in your corner; to have someone who, quite literally, makes it their job to find your soul mate.

Blind Dates

If neither online dating nor matchmakers sound right for you, consider talking to your friends and coworkers. You never know who may have a friend or relative that is looking for someone just like you. This strategy of dating has many benefits. For example, whoever sets you up, will likely know the person fairly well and can give you an honest opinion of them. Friend’s opinions are likely to be more accurate then someone writing a bias review about themselves, on their own profile.

Speed Dating

If going on a date before seeing someone face to face is uncomfortable, consider speed dating. This form of dating is usually set up by a dating service at a public place. The
principle behind speed dating is that you spend five to ten minutes with each candidate and judge whether or not one of them might be a suitable match. This plan makes sense considering over 90% of human communication is nonverbal and there is an easy escape if you do not click with the person after a few minutes.

Double Dating

Double Dating is probably the safest form of dating. Double dating allows you to take trusted friends with you on your date. Not only is it safer than going somewhere by yourself with a complete stranger, but if the date is bad, you will have friends there to keep you entertained.

Whether it is love or companionship you are looking for, there are many different ways to find someone after 40. Before beginning this journey, it is important to ask yourself: “What am I looking for in a companion?”, “Am I doing this for me or because I think I have to?”, and lastly, “If I do find love, will I be open to it?” If you do decide that dating is the right decision for you, there are many paths in which you can take to make that dream a reality.

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