7 No-Bullshit Dating Tips for the 40 and Single Crowd

A couple who's 40 and single, smiling as they cut through the bullshit and get to know each other.

Let’s be blunt: dating at 40 isn’t the same as dating at 20. But not for the reasons you might think. It’s not because you’re older, pickier, or that the dating pool has shrunk. The dating pool is the same; and as for your age, well, you’re just a bit older and way more impatient. Nobody blames you for that. At 40, the trick to having a bullshit-free dating experiences is simple: change your mindset, attitude, and approach.

Read these straight-up tips about dating when you’re 40 and single to approach things the right way: 

1. Stop caring so much.
Easier said than done, obviously. But there’s truth to this whole not-caring thing. Good things come to those who have even better things to care about. Now you might be thinking, “What’s more important than finding love?” That’s where your thinking is wrong.

If your biggest care in life is finding love, that means your biggest priority isn’t YOU. People who have active, satisfying lives are the most inspiring and attractive people. But if you’re always in self-pity mode, sulking around and hating your singleness, you’re not going to attract positive people.

People you’ve just met don’t like feeling responsible to renew your faith in dating. You’re not an empty vessel who needs to be rescued; so take care of yourself first! When you’re 40 and single, focus on being fabulously 40 and single. This mindset will empower you to date with more confidence.

2. Create and attract positive energy.
Positive people attract each other—and yes, The Law of Attraction is real. Newsflash to any skeptics or anti-spiritualists out there, the Law of Attraction really is a LAW—like actually, it’s quantum physics!

But let’s not bore you with the nerdy details and keep it simple: Brain imaging studies prove that when we feel someone’s amazing energy, our brain mirrors those feelings, “as though you are actually doing these things,” says Award-winning Neuroscientist, Srinivasan Pillay in Huffington Post.

No wonder we’re naturally drawn to positive people. We all want to feel that positive energy, especially from others. So ditch any sourness or pessimism you may have about dating at 40. It’ll only turn people away. 

3. Avoid one night stands.
Sure, one night stands can be hot. But are they hot enough to sacrifice a meaningful relationship? Some singles believe that they can have it all: relish the thrills of one-nighters and still keep their hopes open for something deeper. There’s only one problem with this logic…

Again, we’ll revisit The Law of Attraction. You get what you put out. So if you’re indulging in meaningless sex, you shut down your relationship-attracting energy. You’re not genuinely practicing the lifestyle of someone who values love, making you more unlikely to find it.

4. Believe actions, not words.
Age-old and foolproof, the rule of seeking actions over words never gets stale. Just because you’re 40, the singles don’t magically get designated with a maturity badge or a diploma in honesty.

So stay sharp when you date and don’t take people’s words so seriously. They might claim to want a serious, meaningful relationship, but how do you know? They might even dazzle you with tales of their noble integrity or sob stories about how their ex hurt them. Maybe they seem super sincere when they say they’re looking for the one. Take it with a grain of salt, and wait and see if their actions match up to their words.

5. Don’t air your dirty dating laundry.
Everyone has dating problems. Don’t advertise yours. When you’re dating, set the negativity aside and put your best self forward.

No matter how bad the baggage may be, don’t talk about it. Or imagine how you’d feel, listening to someone air their dirty laundry. Do you want to hear about how their dad’s in jail or that their landlord is a psycho? These stories don’t make your life seem more interesting; they make you seem unstable.

Even minor stuff, like why you hate your ex, should be off limits. These stories suck the energy out of the date. 

6. Avoid Mr. or Miss player on dating apps.
Sifting through the nonsense is easy. You just need to turn up your jerk radar and make better choices. Tons of people, both men and women, complain about using dating apps at 40. But usually, it’s not the apps— it’s your judgement that needs a little work. You’re just not seeing the signs.

The clearest signs that someone may be a player are revealed in the first five minutes of chatting. Here’s a big one: if they say they’re only casually looking to date, believe them. You won’t magically change their mind. Here’s another sign: if they’re overly flirty or worse, ask for sexy pics. Just delete these people. Unless they’re  asking you thoughtful questions about your career, values and interests, forget them.

Stop cutting people so much slack. Don’t ever think that you need to dole out more chances because you might regret losing out on potential. There’s no potential with these clowns and you’re not desperate enough to flush away your time finding out. Instead, look at the truth right in front of you. It’ll bring you closer to finding what you desire. 

7. Make your dating goals clear.
Always make sure the person you’re dating knows your dating goals. There’s a myth that it’s more attractive to act cool and pretend you’re not looking for anything serious. Apparently, admitting to wanting something more could be a turnoff. What the heck?

That’s like walking into a clinic and not telling your doctor what you’re feeling because you’re worried he’ll feel too much pressure to cure you. It’s the same twisted logic. If someone is truly interested in something special, they won’t get turned off from knowing you want the same. Anyone who does has commitment issues. You don’t need to these dysfunctional narcissists in your life. Let their therapist deal with them. 

Dating at 40 isn’t that different from dating at any other age. The only difference is that you’ve got more experience, better taste and hopefully, a lower tolerance for bullshit. You already know what you deserve. Act on it.

Rachel Esco

Freelance Writer

Rachel is a lifestyle blogger, based in Toronto, who specializes in dating and relationships. Her articles have been featured in publications, including “Huffington Post”, “Life Hacker” and “Women’s Post”.

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