Dating after 40 is way different than dating in your 20's or even 30's. First, it's much harder to meet people. In my 20's, it was easy to meet single people through friends, in a bar, at the beach, because there are still a lot of single people in their 20's. In your 40's it's much more difficult to meet single people. Of course there's online dating (which wasn't even around in my 20's) and I've met several people who had success going this route, I have not. I have had more success meeting people through friends and most recently, through the studio where I teach (he's a keeper, but more on that at a later date). No matter where or how you meet someone after 40, there are some things you need to know. Ok, really just one thing, after 40, we ALL have baggage! The only thing that varies is the type of baggage we carry.
I like to classify the baggage in 3 different categories.
- Carry-on baggage - these are people who have been divorced for many years and have worked through their issues (for the most part). They may or may not have kids, their divorce was as amicable as it could be and they have a stable career. These people are hard to come by but when you find one, it's like finding a unicorn. You might want to hold on to this one.
- Checked baggage - these people definitely have kids, did not have an amicable divorce and were quick to jump into a relationship as soon as their divorce was final (or sooner). They have done some work on themselves, they have come to terms with their ex-spouse and are able to communicate without too much screaming about the kids. They have gotten their financial house in order or are on the upswing to doing so. They most likely learned from their past mistakes and will take those lessons into a new relationship. Be aware though that old patterns may rear their ugly head...proceed with caution.
- Steamer trunks - these are people who have not worked through any of their issues, and they have ALOT! They bad mouth their ex-spouse constantly, they are quick to start dating as soon as they are separated, but they'll tell you they're 'divorced'. They are either very wounded and need constant reassurance or they're very self-absorbed...and need constant reassurance. I'd avoid anyone with steamer trunks, but I know you won't listen so don't come crying to me when I turn out to be right. You've been warned.
You can definitely have success dating after 40, you just have to decide how much baggage you're willing to deal with in the process.