The best thing about dating is that there’s no age limit—and these days, more middle-aged adults are joining Tinder and Match.com than ever before. Dating over 40 is more or less a breeze. Sure, you’ll be just as nervous as you were back when you were 20, but you’ve built up a lot of confidence and have achieved so much since then.
If you’re over 40 and re-entering the dating scene, here are a few things to look out for that’ll help improve your experience.
Look out for people who want to rush things quickly.
Here’s a big problem with age—sometimes, people assume they’re supposed to hit certain milestones at specific times. At the age of 40 and over, they may assume they’re already behind. That means that if there’s any chemistry, they may be quick to rush things. Sometimes, real love happens in an instant, but most of the time, lifelong connections need some time to form. If they’re talking about moving in with you after the third date, you may want to step on the brakes.
Try not to downplay your experiences.
If it’s been some time since you’ve been out in the dating world, you may be a little negative when it comes to your self-image. And your date may feel the same way. If you’ve been unlucky in love, sometimes you’ll lose the spark and forget the legit selling points of why you’re a great person to be around. Don’t be negative, and don’t let your date fall into the same rut. Ask questions and get to know them, and understand that they may just be feeling a little burned out and overwhelmed by the whole process as well. Regardless of age, meeting someone new can be intimidating.
Look for red flags.
Even though red flags can happen at any age, you’ll really want to be on the lookout if someone seems too good to be true—or, hasn’t had any relationship experience at all by this point, but for no apparent or understandable reason. No matter what, everyone has flaws. Some of them are minor, others are major. If this guy or gal seems intent to fly you out to Paris for your second date and tells you that you’re marriage material within 15 minutes of chatting, there’s something they’re not telling you. Either they’re already taken or trying to scam you.
Try and figure out if your partner matches your energy level.
When you’re 40, you’re still young—but there are different kinds of 40 and it’s important that you’re able to keep up with a potential partner. If your idea of a date is marathoning a bunch of horror movies, but they want to travel and ski the world, you may not be all that compatible.
Try to get the full picture on past relationships.
Have they been married before? Do they have kids? If that’s the case, they need to let you know what their relationship is like with their ex. Reason being, if things get serious, they’ll become someone who’s part of your life as well. If the ex is violent or dangerous in any way, you’ll need to have a heads up. But, don’t worry too much—that’s only a worst case scenario, and chances are much better that the split was due to incompatibility.
Make sure you’re on the same page.
Again, this is true for all relationships, but it’s especially true when you’re over 40. At this point in life, you know exactly what you want. It’s not necessarily too old to have kids, especially if you consider other options in bringing them into your life, but you probably aren’t wobbling on the decision the way you were at the age of 30. By now, both you and your potential partner will be more set in your ways. So, right off the bat, make sure you both want the same things out of your relationship. It’s not weird to be upfront about this stuff early on in the dating stage. It’s smart to be open about what you’re looking for.
The most important thing about dating past 40 is showcasing your confidence. A great personality and positive view on life go a long way. Just make sure that the people you’re dating are legit, and interested in you for you—not for your paycheck, or to hit a life goal.