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Dating Mistakes Men Make in Their 40s

A couple in their 40s on a date.

So much of the focus on the over-40 dating scene is on what women should or shouldn’t be doing. But men make mistakes too! Here are a few dating mistakes men make in their 40s that could potentially scare off quality partners.

Underestimating Attractiveness

Men who are reentering the dating scene after a long relationship or marriage might experience some stage fright. They aren’t as virile or as fit as they were the last time they were in the dating scene, or perhaps their hair is greying or receding. Many of these men are afraid to put themselves out there because they fear being judged by their appearance.

Fear not. A man who has had a long-lasting relationship, even a failed one, knows how to commit. He also knows what worked and what didn’t in his past partnerships. That’s an attractive quality to women (or men), especially those who’ve been through a similar split. Chances are, your dates are just as scared about their appearance as you are. So go ahead and put yourself out there. And if your appearance is still getting you down, sign up for the gym, develop healthy eating habits, and pick out a fresh new wardrobe. It’s a brave new world out there!

Dating Too Young

Love can be found at any age, but if you limit your dating range to women who are 10–20 years younger than you, you’ll be missing out many quality women who are more likely to share similar experiences and outlooks.

Rushing to the Altar

The truth is yes, there is a stigma attached to men over 40 who have never been married. Some men who previously led unattached lives, who focused on career, or who decided to pursue hobbies over babies (because, hey, their biological clocks were not ticking), suddenly snap at 40 and resolve to be married within a certain time frame. It’s all well and good to have a change of heart and decide that you are ready to commit to someone. But that doesn’t mean arbitrarily committing to the first attractive woman who looks your way because you want to be married. Now that it’s the right time, wait for the right person.


Men over 40 have an idea of what women are looking for: financial stability and commitment. While it’s true that there’s an expectation that a man of a certain age be more “established” (especially if he’s never been married), it’s better to be honest and upfront about your personal wealth, or lack thereof. In addition, it’s even more important to be forthright about your feelings on commitment. If you’re still living with mom and aren’t looking for something serious, then make that clear.

Lying on Your Online Profile

In order to compete against the 20- and 30-something guys while online dating, it’s tempting for a man in his 40s to do a little embellishing on his dating profile. Sure, you want to show yourself in your best light. You can literally do that with nice lighting in your photos and by using friendly euphemisms for less-than-impressive “stats.” But smart women (or men) will see right through that, especially if you lie. Perhaps you’ll score a lot of first dates by making yourself sound like the perfect man on paper, but as soon as she sees you’re not 6 feet tall and 185 lbs, she’ll not only be disappointed, but you will have lost her trust completely before you even have a conversation.

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