Being single at forty is often portrayed in the wider media with humor or pity, and rarely reflects the reality that single men and women have found: Dating is still (or even more) fun, there are more options in terms of partners than there were in the world without dating apps, and, well—there’s nothing more humorous or pitiable about dating in your forties than dating in your twenties.
Life advisor and relationship expert Cat Llewellyn works with many single women in their forties (and above); her work centers around refocusing clients’ perceptions to help them realize their actual desires, allow themselves to enjoy the pleasure of dating, and attract people who bring them more joy. Below, her refreshing perspective and advice for all ages on figuring out what it is you’re really looking for when you’re dating
Dating should be fun: The thrill of waking up next to a new lover—feeling their soft breath against your body—is fantastic at any age. But dating at forty-plus is too often cast in a sad light by the media, so for some, the thought of being single and forty (or older) brings to mind what one doesn’t have, or is losing, as opposed to what you do have—or are even gaining.
But what I’ve found with my clients is that being single “later in life” can be really glamorous in some ways: For many, there’s a freedom that hits at some point in your forties. Whereas more women in their twenties and thirties are looking for a partner to have children with, this becomes less the case as we get older. What many of my clients are looking for in their forties and beyond is love and/or simply fun, often less-freighted by needs surrounding building a family, financial stability, etc.
Another benefit of dating at forty is that you have the confidence that comes with experience. I see a difference in how women in their forties walk into a room, the way they can make heads turn and pulses race. It’s a radiance, a power from within. Call it a sexual glow, or just plain sex appeal. Whatever it is, it’s alluring.
Still, you might think, the on-again, off-again dating game is overwhelming—which is true, it can be, at any age. For many of my single clients, examining and re-setting their fears and intentions around dating helps them to find enjoyment in it that they might not have felt before. What we project and how we attract others has everything to with what’s buried beneath, whether curiosity or fear. Dating can be both perplexing and hair-raising. But it can be wildly exciting, too.
The biggest problem with dating in your forties and fifties is the reliance on dating apps - endlessly swiping left and right and judging a person from a photo alone. How do you take the perfect picture? What to write on your profile - all daunting questions.
The biggest problem with this is that you cannot possible get a feel for a person just on one picture. Sure, you can judge if there is an immediate attraction to the person, but you don't get a sense of who they are, how they dress, their mannerisms, sense of humor, how they smell, how they present themselves, do they have a quirky (AKA Brummie) accent? Will they laugh at your terrible Christmas cracker jokes?
These are all questions we ask ourselves when we meet people - questions you can't tell from an app. The other issue is the amount of time taken to date people. This is where speed dating comes into its own. You date up to 15 people in one night - thus greatly increasing your chances of meeting a potential match in one night. You date each person for 4 or 5 minutes before moving onto the next date. You are not wasting an entire evening talking to a dud, but by making an initial connection and leaving the person wanting more, you are opening your social circle up to a wider choice of dating opportunities.
It may take a few goes at speed dating to really feel comfortable, to fine tune those questions you want to ask in 4 minutes and to hone your rusty dating skills, but once you have the hang of it you will build your dating confidence in next to no time.
You also get to meet new friends (male and female) and enjoy a fun night out over a few glasses of wine. What do you have to lose?
Happy dating x