By Katie Bingham Smith
Let's be completely honest here; dating in your 40s can be intimidating whether you have ended a marriage, long-term relationship or not. It's easy to disregard yourself and start to believe the people who are younger than you, and are trying to find love, have a better chance at finding it. It’s not true and I am living proof.
After being married for almost two decades, then going through a divorce while trying to raise three teens, I got back out there and found a man I’m very much in love with on a dating app. Yes, it was scary and not dating for over twenty years was enough to make me want to stay at home and not try at all but, it was so worth it.
Please realize there’s someone out there looking for exactly what you have to offer. Here are 5 reasons to stop listening to those negative voices in your head and give your dating life the boost it needs:
1. Stop putting it off
If you are ready to start dating again, make time for it-- even if it's one night every two weeks. Life is busy with work and kids and it's easier to think we are busier than everyone else. But the truth is, we all have tight schedules. One day I realized the time was going to go by anyway, whether I was dating or alone, and my kids would one day leave the nest, that was a game changer for me. It was then I decided to invest more time in my dating life.
It’s not selfish and while you might have some frustrating dates, this will only get you closer to finding what you want.
2. Don't focus so much on your age.
It's easy to not put yourself out there because you don't think you have as much to offer as someone younger, but you do. People fall in love with a person, not a number. When you meet your match, age won't matter in the least. Same goes for a potential partner. How old you are does not take away from your amazing personality traits or experience.
3. You know what you want now more than ever.
This isn't your first rodeo. And while what you looked for two decades ago has changed because you and your life have changed, you know what you will and won't tolerate. You know who you are comparable with. You can use this valuable tool while deciding who is right for you. Our past experiences help guide us through future choices.
You are able to trust your gut more than ever and have the confidence to speak up, or leave, when something doesn’t feel right.
4. You've had lots of practice.
You know yourself better than ever and have gotten good at being upfront, knowing what you are comfortable with, what clothes look best on you and how you like to wear your hair. You've had more practice figuring this out than someone younger than you. You've gotten through some tough things. After 4 decades on this earth. You know what settling feels like and it's not an option any longer.
5. You've learned to love yourself.
You've had time to learn to be easier on yourself, accept what you can and can't change and embrace who you are. When you are whole as a person and love yourself, you make a fantastic, empathetic, and understanding partner. Not to mention how attractive it is to own what you were given and not focus on the things you don't like about yourself. Confidence is always sexy.
Remember, you are going out there to see if someone is going to be good enough for you. It’s not about getting another person to like you as much as it is about finding a good match for you. It’s easy to get caught up in that game but remind yourself you need to be happy just as much as you want to make someone else happy.
Don't let how many birthdays you've had keep you from finding the one. They are out there, they don't care how old you are, and you deserve to find love again.