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5 Essential Truths About Being Single at 40

A woman who knows what it's like being single at 40, laughing and she leans against her boyfriend before they kiss.

Here’s this thing—people in their 40s are still very young. It may be true that the majority of people in their 40s make more money, are most established in their careers, have experienced long-term relationships, and have learned a thing or two about life and love that allows them to approach their relationships with maturity and insight. But not everyone in their 40s has it all together. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of singles in their 40s have more than a few things they’re still figuring out.

And that’s ok. In fact, it’s more than ok, it’s great. Forty is still young, and many people in their 40s don’t know what they want from life and love yet. Sure they have experience with relationships, but that doesn’t always mean they know what’s going to make them happy or how to successfully navigate how they feel about someone.

If you do find yourself single during this amazing decade of your life, there’s plenty to be excited about and plenty to still learn.

Here’s the honest truth about what it’s really like being single at 40:

1. It forces you to take responsibility for your happiness.
So many people place their happiness in the hands of their partner, and believe that a romantic relationship holds the key to their eternal happiness. The truth is, we’re responsible for our own happiness. If you’re not happy on your own, a relationship might mask that for a little while but it won’t change that.

Being single at 40 helps you realize this. And if you’re not practicing it already, it’s a great time to begin creating your own happiness—whatever that means to you.

2. Some singles in their 40s still act like they’re in their 20s.
Maybe they’ve come off of a nasty divorce and just want something casual, maybe they’ve never learned how to approach relationships maturely, maybe they’re trying to relive their 20s, or maybe they’re not looking to settle down—there are a lot of reasons people may revert back to the dating patterns they followed in their 20s. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean you shouldn’t expect everyone to be on the same page as you are, just because you’re the same age.

3. If you’re single again after being in a long-term, serious relationship, it’s going to be a total life change.
The majority of people in their 40s have been in at least one serious relationship before, and those who are re-entering the dating game after being with someone else for a long time may have gotten used to sharing their life with someone. Being single after being with someone for so long is going to be totally different from what they’ve come to know. But the change can be incredibly positive and rewarding. 

4. The sex is amazing.
There are some people who think that by the time you reach 40, you no longer have sex, and passion and intimacy becomes a thing of the past; but this is a complete myth.

Single people of any age can have incredibly exciting and fulfilling love lives if they choose to. At 40, you can flirt, date, and have a great sex life without having to be in a committed relationship if that’s not what you want.

5. It can be the greatest thing ever…
Being single at 40 can actually be a life changing experience (in a good way) if you let it be. The key is to relax, focus on having fun, and embrace this new phase of your life.

Remember: life is not what happens to you, it’s how you choose to react to what happens to you.

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