Let’s face it, dating in your 40s is nothing like dating in your 20s and even your 30s. The older you get the more difficult dating can be. But, despite what some may lead you to believe, it’s far from impossible to find someone who’s perfect for you if you happen to be dating after 40.
Here are 10 other lies women dating in their 40s need to stop telling themselves:
Lie #1: There are no single men where I live.
Truth: Maybe where you live the ratio of men to women is low, but statistics show that 50% of Americans are single so there are definitely men out there to meet, says Lori Bizzoco, relationship expert and executive editor of Cupidspulse.com. “Maybe you just aren’t looking in the right place. If you feel that there are no men in your surrounding area, go outside of your community or town. You could also join activities that single people enjoy or put your profile on a dating site,” she says.
Lie #2: Women dating after 40 aren’t as desirable as younger women.
Truth: Men (younger and older) are definitely attracted to women over 40. “We live in a judgmental society that reveres youth and frowns on women who don’t live traditional lives. The truth is women over 40 are sexy,” says Shannon Lee, a relationship expert and columnist. “We don’t have to compete with our younger counterparts. Life experience (children, careers, previous marriages, etc.) does not negate attractiveness for women, any more than it does for men.”
Lie #3: Men aren’t interested in dating someone who’s a mom.
Truth: People with children tend to be responsible, caring, and selfless—probably more so than their footloose and fancy free counterparts, says professional matchmaker, April Davis. “All of these thoughts about unwanted baggage, etc., that blooms in our minds when this subject comes up are usually misplaced. Men are actually DRAWN to nurturing and caring personality types, and being a mother may be what the opposite sex is looking for.”
Lie #4: Men will think older women have too much relationship baggage.
Truth: The time between the ending of an old relationship and the beginning of a new relationship is ripe for self-reflection and growth, says Dr. Alexandra Solomon, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of Loving Bravely: 20 Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want. “The degree to which you can take responsibility for the baggage you carried from your last romantic relationship is the degree to which you can enter into a new relationship with health and integrity.”
Lie #5: Men are intimidated by an established woman in her 40s.
Truth: A man in his 40s or older is ready to have a team mate and an experienced woman at this point in their lives. “They want a partner they can have fun with and who can meet their needs, without worrying about the relationship being one-sided and having to teach someone about life. They know you’re not going to be dependent on them, since you have your own career and money,” says Sarah Mandel, a relationship expert and licensed psychotherapist. Basically you’ve got your life together and that makes you a much more attractive package.
Lie #6: I’m too old to have kids and start a family.
Truth: Although having kids may be harder after you turn 35, this lie women tell themselves couldn’t be farther from the truth. “Nowadays, women can and do have kids in their early to mid 40s. I am living proof. I had a child at 42. My sister had a child at 43. And, my sister-in-law had a child at 48! You have plenty of options, so stop thinking that you’ll never have kids. The probability that you will is greater than the probability that you won’t,” says Bizzoco.
Lie #7: Women over 40 don’t need anyone else.
Truth: This may be true for some, but it is also a cop-out for women that desire a relationship and are too afraid to seek it. “There are many women who want companionship and don’t give themselves permission to acknowledge their true desires. It’s seen as brave to stay single. Some women are guilted into staying single by their friends or family and some are just intimidated by the dating scene. Whatever the reason you will not attract a suitable partner until you’re open to the possibility,” says Lee.
Lie #8: Men want women who look like they’re in their 20s.
Truth: Men want you to be yourself. Many women who believe that men only want women who look young will compensate by dressing out of the wrong section of the store. Then, instead of wearing things that complement their age, their wardrobes draw more attention to their insecurity. “Dress in a way that highlights your best features, and don’t worry about being trendy or provocative with your clothing choices. You are the most attractive when you feel confident and self-assured, and wearing clothes that you feel this way in goes a long way,” says Davis.
Lie #9: Men don’t want to date women with older bodies.
Truth: Men like a woman without hang-ups about her body. “A woman in her 40s has learned to embrace her body without the hang-ups. Many women in their 40s are body confident because they’re eating well, working out, and feeling better about themselves then when they were younger. A man is turned on by a women who’s confident and not afraid to ask for what she wants,” says Mandel.
Lie #10: Women over 40 aren’t capable of having successful relationships.
Truth: With failed past relationships we often learn life lessons and insight about our own relationship patterns. Afterwards, people are often more mature and clear about what they want in a relationship moving forward. “When we give ourselves time for introspection, we put ourselves in a better position to have a successful, long-lasting relationship the next time around. We have learned how to communicate and have the tools to work through conflict better than we did when we were younger,” says Lee.