Dating after 40? Top 7 Crucial Dating Mistakes to Avoid
Going back to the dating scene in your forties? Is that even a valid thought? It is, because dating in your forties means you’ve got years of experience and finesse. You know that, with each partner, there’s a huge possibility it’ll bloom into a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship.
This is an exciting, romantic time and you may not know exactly where to start!
But, despite how much fun dating again can be, keep in mind there are seven factors you’ll want to avoid when going back to the dating scene.
1. Be Absolutely Sure You’re Ready for Dating
Sometimes women in their forties (or even early fifties) feel pressured to date again. This pressure often comes from family members or friends. Often times, they rush back into the dating scene, only to be hurt or disappointed.
The problem is not hurrying back because you want to find love, it’s rushing back into it without thinking it through. Ask yourself questions like:
- Have I healed from my most recent breakup/divorce?
- Do I know what type of person I’m looking for?
- Can I let go of the jaded feelings I have and move on?
These aren’t just to check your psyche, but to ensure that you’re really ready to break out of your shell and move onto a new relationship without emotional baggage or fears hindering you. That way, your dating will be fun and adventurous, instead of disappointing.
2. Keep First Dating Plans Simple
You’ve got your first date! It’s so exciting to plan your entire day and where you’ll go. You want to show your date a fabulous time, be spontaneous, and allow your personality to shine.
While this is a great attitude to have, try to keep your initial dates simpler instead of elaborate. Making dinner reservations at a high-class restaurant for a first date can intimidate your potential partner. Aim to keep things within reason. Save your elaborate dating plans for when the relationship moves into a more “exclusive” phase.
3. Stop Being So Serious
Do even the smallest things bother you? Maybe your date slurps their spaghetti messily or sips coffee too loudly. Or, they yammer on while there’s broccoli stuck in their teeth. Or, maybe, they bail on you in the middle of the date and leave you to pay the tab. Awful!
Remember, not all dates will go perfectly or according to plan. The fun thing about dating is learning about other people and how you interact with them. Try not to take yourself seriously or take anything your dates do personally. You’re here to have fun!
Understand that this goes for your dates, too. If your date can’t relax, then they’re too serious to enjoy. Next!
4. Avoid Bringing Up Old Flames
If you want to keep your dating spree fun, try to avoid talking about your ex and old flames. No bashing or hating here. It doesn’t do anything but give your dates a new (and unflattering) perspective of you. They’ll think you’re jaded or bitter, and that doesn’t help any new relationship flourish.
It’s not only jarring, but it’s a turn off for many new partners. Think of it like this: they’re interested in hearing about YOU. They want to know your thoughts, favorite things, and dislikes. What’s even worse, if you’re bringing up old flames, you’re silently comparing new dates to past lovers – and that's a sign you’re still not quite ready for dating.
Remember: let all that old stuff go, so you can move on.
5. Try Not Fussing About Your Age
Even though age might just be a number, there are times when age tends to get a woman down. You may feel too old to date or uninterested in current, hip events and activities most people enjoy. Or, maybe, you’re worried that your attraction to younger men or women is “wrong.” But, even if you’re particular about your age, try hard not to fuss about it.
The problem is that you can scare off potential dates by complaining or fretting over your age.
Maybe there’s a younger person interested in you! Worrying about the age difference shouldn’t be a factor. In fact, age truly doesn’t make a difference any longer, especially in today’s society.
Moreover, if you’re constantly worrying about other people’s thoughts while you date someone of a different age, you’re not really enjoying yourself.
Take a step back and be honest with yourself. If you’re still worried about age, then date people within your age range. If not, explore and have fun!
6. Not Giving Dates a Chance
Everyone is their own worst critic, and sometimes people tend to drag other people into it, too. You may be quick to judge the first person that contacts you for a date, and immediately turn them down because of many factors:
- Their hair looks strange
- They’re not fully onboard with the latest fashion trends
- They sound boring or nasally
- They have one slightly crooked tooth when they smile
Stop. Just stop right there. The point in dating is to give everyone a try. You don’t want to narrow your chances so much that you’re cheating yourself.
Even if someone sounds boring or they dress too loud, give them a shot anyway. You never know just who may end up being a “match” for you.
7. Remember When to Call It Quits
There are times when a date is just not going to work out. You probably can pick up on this immediately, so, when it comes down to it, just remember that it’s OKAY to call off a date or call it quits completely.
Anything can cause a break up:
- There’s no chemistry
- You have nothing in common
- Disagreements happen more often than not
- He or she stood you up too many times
When these instances occur too often, and you begin to see a pattern, don’t be afraid to end it.
Sometimes, as women, we want to please the other person and give the other person enough of a “chance” to see the real person beneath. But that isn’t always healthy and the only one that could get hurt is you. So, if you find your date going awry, just remember you can end it.
If you just find yourself disappointed in the dating scene, take a break and have some time to yourself. Finding yourself and being happy is more important than remaining unhappy and in a poor or unfulfilling relationship.
This article was originally published on @nidasea