A Guide for Dating After 40

1) *Take Time to Heal.

It's important to take the time necessary to deal with the loss of a Marriage/Relationship, especially if it was a lengthly marriage/relationship. You can't share life with someone for 10 years, get divorced and be over it in 2 weeks and be ready to be back on the market. Take time to heal from the hurt. If you don't, you are only bringing baggage into the new relationship and that isn't good for anyone.

The unwritten rule is 1 year for every 10 years married. So if you were married or in a serious relationship for 15 years, that means you should wait 1 year 6 months before hitting the dating world. But this rule isn't a hard and fast rule, it's more of a guide.

* This applies to those who have been divorced, or have had a longterm relationship go bad.

2) Learn from Your Mistakes.

Let's face it, typically in any break up 2 people are at fault, maybe it was 70% him, and only 30% you, but both should take some ownership in why it fell a part. So, learn what was your part of the mess, and grow and become better for the next relationship. For example, if in your previous relationship you would run and hide from conflict, therefore nothing was ever getting resolved, learn not to do that the next time,  because it doesn't work! 

3) Know What You Want and Don't Want.

Don't settle for someone you know down deep isn't a fit for you. It's not worth the heartache for either of you. Be patience. Write down the things that are non-negotiable, the things that are important to you, the things that you prefer, and finally the things that are negotiable. I am surprised at how important Religion, for example, is to people and then they throw it all away because their in-love! In my counseling practice that never works out very well.

I teach that you should FIND yourself in a relationship, NOT LOSE yourself! 

4) Get Out There.

I meet so many older singles who just work all the time and never have any fun or give themselves free time to meet people. If they don't want to be with anyone ever, that is totally fine! But if you are wanting to meet someone at some point then it is important to get yourself out there. Let people know you are available, in a tactful way of course! Don't be weird or creepy about it.

This might mean signing up for an online dating service, taking fitness classes, joining an athletic team, take some classes, being an active member of a local church community, etc. 

5) Don't Be Desperate.

Nothing is more attractive then a confident person, and nothing is more unattractive than a desperate needy person. Ha ha! We've all see those types! Be cool, and just be you! 

Too many times when I counseling someone who is over 30 and dating they are consumed with the whole idea of "finding Mr. or Miss Right" and that is the wrong focus,I teach you should work more on "being Mr. or Miss Right" rather than looking for Mr. or Miss Right. Make sense? Be you, be happy ... then when the right person meets you he/she is meeting the real you and when they like you, it's good because it is the real you they like, not the person you were trying to make them believe you were.

6) Pray for God's Guidance and Wisdom

Even as a Christian, who would say they believe in prayer, forget this very important "dating" component. Ya know, it makes sense to get God's thoughts on a perspective partner I would think. We all need God's wisdom in dealing with life, and dating is something I believe God is very interested in helping us with.

Your Life Matters!