Dating After 40
“I’m single again and I don’t remember how to go on a date!”
“We spent the whole dinner talking about my ex-husband and his late wife. Needless to say, we didn’t exactly spark.”
“What do women want these days? I haven’t dated since 1985!”
Sound familiar? If you are over 40 and find yourself in the dating pool again, it might feel like you can’t remember even how to dog paddle in the shallow end. Baggage, history, exes, kids….how can you wade through all this to find a connection with a new love interest? Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you navigate unfamiliar waters:
- Show an interest in your date. Ask about her work, or about his hobbies. Movies, books, music, travel, food – all are great icebreaker topics and a way to get to know the person you are spending time with.
- Give your undivided attention. Put the iPhone on vibrate, resist the temptation to update your Facebook status while waiting for the appetizer to arrive (“Having a great first date!”), make eye contact, and listen.
- Put your expectations aside and enjoy yourself. Even if there is no love connection right away, look at the date as a chance to get to know someone new and have fun.
- Leave your baggage at the door. A date is a fresh chance to meet someone, get to know them, and spend a pleasant time together. We all have baggage, but there is no need to bring it along to weigh down your time together.
- Spend the date talking about your ex. Whether you are sharing the scoop on why the relationship fell apart and all the ways you were done wrong, or describing your ex in glowing terms, this time is about you and your date.
- Expect a love connection on the first date. Expectations create static in your thoughts that can distract you from having a good time. Be in the moment and see how things unfold.
- Feel pressured to move any faster than you feel comfortable with. Even a first kiss may feel like you are rushing things. When the moment is right to move things along, you’ll know. Remember when you were young and holding hands for the first time made you feel giddy with excitement? There is something to be said for taking it slow.
- Feel like damaged goods because you are divorced, older, or have experienced pain or sadness. Your life experiences have made you who you are today.
The most important thing to remember is – if you feel good about yourself, it will come across to everyone you meet. Dating is a fun way to explore new relationships, but it is not the ultimate goal in your newly single life.