Couple dating at 40, enjoying cocktail and looking out the window together

Dating in your 20s and 30s can be challenging.  You’re not sure what you’re looking for and you’re trying to get your career off the ground. This means you put up with stuff that brings added stress and anxiety. But now you’re dating at 40, the game has changed. 

If you really want to meet someone, it’s time to leave the past drama behind and really focus on meeting your match. You can only do that by not allowing yourself to date like you once did. Here are the big things you shouldn’t put up with anymore in your 40s. 

  1. Wasted time

You have way too much going on in your life to be jerked around by someone who is just playing games.  When you know on date number one that you aren’t clicking, it’s OK not see them again. You’re likely too busy to waste another date when you know you weren’t feeling them. Don’t worry about being mean, it’s fine to kindly tell someone you aren’t interested. You’re saving them a lot of wasted time by letting them know you aren’t.

  1. Emotional roller coasters

The games, the heartache, the anxiety…aren’t you tired of that?  There are too many other things in life—work, family, expenses—to get stressed out over. Your dating life shouldn’t be one of them.  Enough of the drama. The man or woman you choose to date should complement your life, not be a burden.  

  1. Having nothing to talk about 

You have a lot more life experiences, opinions and thoughts to share in your 40s than you did in your 20s.  When you’re young, discussions can be more superficial. They can often be dull if you can’t find common ground or are hesitant to open up.  Come your 40s, you can talk more about life experiences. You have accumulated more knowledge and have plenty of things to share.

  1. Settling for what you really don’t want

Staying with someone because you don’t want to be alone or thinking they’ll change may have been OK in our 20s or 30s. That said, it could be one of the reasons you’re single today.  Settling rarely leads to happiness later on. You didn’t settle in other aspects of your life, so why would you settle when it comes to choosing a life partner?    

  1. Dealing with flakiness

If they cancel on you last minute, take forever to get back to you, show up late, or forget things, they’re not the type of person you should be dating in your 40s. Maybe in the past we would’ve made up excuses for them, but we’re all adults now.  If the person you’re dating can’t keep their life organized enough to respond or show up on time, it could be a sign that other aspects of their life are in disarray.  

  1. Being unsure

In our 20s and 30s, we’re still figuring out what we want.  Because we feel we have so much time, we let relationships drag on and hope to get a clearer idea of whether we want to be with someone.  When you hit your 40s, you don’t have time to hold on to relationships with people you aren’t sure of. It’s OK to go on a date with someone and know right away they’re not for you.  It’s time to be more confident in your choices and don’t second guess them.   

  1. Questioning if they’re into you or not

Remember talking to a person in your teens, 20s and even 30s,  and having that constant internal question about whether the other person really likes you. And just because they continued to talk or hang out every now and then, you still didn’t know if they really did?  You shouldn’t have to deal with that in your 40s anymore. If they don’t tell you or make it obvious that they’re into you after the first couple of dates, then it’s time to send them packing.  

  1. Playing games

Waiting to text back to make them want you more?  Those games are no longer fun nor helpful once you hit your 40s.  Now that you’re older and hopefully know better, you can quit the game playing and replace it with good ole communication.  Keep the dialogue flowing because the more you communicate and get to know about each other and what you both want, the more you’ll know if you want to date this person or not.     

  1. The stigma of meeting someone online

While many people meet a partner online, there is still a stigma attached to some dating sites.  However, if you find love, it shouldn’t matter where you found it. So stop worrying about what people might think if they knew you met on a dating site.  As long as you’re honest in your online profile and feel your matches intentions are genuine, those around you will be happy you found someone regardless of where you met them.  

  1. Competing with others

Many singles, regardless of age, will carry on conversations and even date multiple people at once, to help them determine what and who they want to be with.  While it can be helpful in finding the one, if you don’t want to date a man or woman who is also seeing others at the same time, you don’t have to. Be clear about your expectations in the beginning.  It’s not about exclusivity right off the bat, it is about respect.  

If you bear these points in mind, dating in your 40s can be one of the most rewarding periods of life to be searching for romance in. Remember, don’t settle for less, be confident within yourself, and above all, make sure to enjoy the experience. You’ve got this!

Ashley Papa

Writer and Author

Ashley is a relationship writer and author of her first novel “Vixen Investigations: The Mayoral Affairs“. She writes about it all: sex, love, dating, marriage, and “crimes of the heart”.