If you’re over 40 and back out in the dating world, it may have been quite a few years since you’ve dipped your foot into the dating pool or maybe you’ve never left the pool and have been submerged for some time. Who can you expect to meet out there when you’re dating after 40? With the growing popularity of dating apps and social media, there have been a lot of changes to dating dynamics and norms. And with that comes a slew of new characters out there on the dating scene, all mixed in with the same old types you’re probably used to.
To help you navigate the diverse set of people you’ll find out there, here’s an overview of the different types of characters you can expect to meet while dating after 40.
There are two types of people dating post-divorce—those who are thrilled to be single and out of a bad marriage, and those who are devastated and forcing themselves to date. The happy divorcees will be upbeat and looking to play the field. However, don’t expect them to be looking for an exclusive partner any time soon. They’re happy to be free and dating and can be loads of fun if you are looking for that type of relationship.
Those who got divorced when it wasn’t their choice and are still struggling with the divorce as they try to date again can be a little difficult. They’re often depressed, and sometimes even bitter, and that attitude can come through into your relationship with them. They may even have some trust issues depending on what happened. However, if you see potential and feel some chemistry with this person, it’s worth giving your relationship time to allow them to get past their negative feelings and be ready for a new romance. But remember, not too much time!
The Compulsive Daters
These singles are obsessed with dating everyone they can. They troll dating apps and social media sites, singles bars, and other places looking for new people to date. They usually date each person only once before they move on to someone new, so don’t expect a call back for a second date. If you’re not interested in anything with permanence, then a single fun date with someone like this might be just what you need to get yourself back in practice. But if you’re looking for a more serious relationship, you won’t find it here.
Non-Committers only care about one thing, and it’s not you. When asked why they won’t consider a monogamous relationship, they’ll list excuses such as their job or family situation or will say that they’re just trying to find themselves. As “Sex in the City” taught us, they’re just not that into you. If someone can’t commit to a relationship when you’re ready, then why should you waste your time and efforts trying to please them? Don’t play their game of “not now, but maybe in the future.” The non-committer doesn’t care if the relationship ends. If you really feel this person is the one, sit down with them and present your case, stating where you are now and where you want the relationship to be. If they’re not on board with the plan, then you might as well move on.
The Forever Texters
It can be so exciting and engaging to text and email with a possible new romance. Every time we hear that ping, we grab our cell phone and feel that false sense of intimacy and trust start to grow. However, there has to be a time when we move forward and speak to these people on the phone or on Facetime and make an actual date to meet in person. If they refuse to go beyond texting and emailing, it’s apparent that they’re not looking for a true relationship. They may even be hiding something. They may be married, already in a committed relationship, live across the country, or could even incarcerated and texting, chatting, and/or emailing is their way of getting a little extra attention and validation. If the endorphin racing text/email phase of the relationship never progresses beyond just that, see the red flags and end it.
The Widower with Children
Widowers can be wonderful people to date. They’ve been married before, presumably in a good relationship, and know what they want in a new partner. Usually, they’ve given themselves time to grieve before they hit the dating scene. However, they often come with children in tow. Being 40+ and single, those kids, whether they’re yours or theirs, are probably teenagers or older. But the problem of a new person in their parent’s lives can be difficult. Nobody can replace their lost parent and they may be negative to anyone who tries to enter into a relationship with their existing parent. There are plenty of good articles and blogs about how relate to children in a newly blended relationship so don’t let this deter you from dating a person with children. Who knows, those children may become the stepchildren you will love and adore.
The Ready-to-Date and Serious-About-Finding Love Singles
This is the holy grail of singles. They’ve figured out what they want from a partner, worked through any issues, and are ready to meet their future spouse. Don’t play games with these people. They are the real deal and will move on if they sense that you’re not as serious about finding love as they are. Slow and steady is always the best course. These relationships are the ones that have the potential for a permanent future.
Dating can be an enjoyable and exciting time in your life as long as you go into it with your eyes wide open and with the knowledge of who you might encounter. Get out there, meet new people, and have some fun!