Dating Over 40: What’s New?
Dating over the age of 40 is a new and different experience for many; whether someone has recently come out of a long-term relationship or whether they have not found the person they want to settle down with, post-40 dating is vastly different from the early-20s dating that many fondly remember. There are different expectations, different outcomes and different circumstances that can throw up roadblocks for those trying to get back on the dating scene after 40. Dating methods have changed too; rather than bumping into strangers in clubs or pubs, many men and women are joining exclusive dating agencies to boost their chances of finding their perfect match. These are all elements of dating that are very different in the 21st century.
Hayley Bystram, director of Bowes-Lyon Partnership, one of the UK’s premier introduction agencies for professionals, says, “Dating post-40 is very different to early-20s dating. As people mature, their perspective on life becomes vastly different, and they have very different attitudes regarding the opposite sex. Their ideal relationship criteria changes, and they often have careers and families to juggle a new love around. Embracing over-40’s dating and accepting that things are different this time around is an important step in finding a lasting and committed relationship.”
The change in attitude towards relationships is obviously one of the big differences between the over-40s and the younger generation. The younger generation are more frivolous and unsure of what they want from life; those who are older are infinitely wiser. They are aware of what they want from a relationship, they understand the deal-breaking traits that they will not tolerate and they know what they like most in the opposite sex, be that a sense of humour, a trustworthy nature or a knack for great cooking. Their expectations are more realistic, and they are generally looking for a mature and committed relationship, rather than a fling or a short romance.
Families are one of the key elements that cause expectations to adjust in those dating after their 40th birthday. Many men and women now have children from previous relationships that they must prioritise over their love lives, and letting them adjust to new men and women as part of their family can be a tough transitional process. The bright side is that ‘step-families’ are becoming more prevalent and common in the UK, as men and women marry young and separate later in life. On their search for love again, they end up merging their families, creating new family units and adjusting well.
Regardless of whatever roadblocks life throws up for those dating post-40, the fulfilling relationships that eventually blossom are worth it. Those who look for love later in life are more likely to find true commitment and companionship; men and women have decades to get to know themselves and only at 40 do they finally feel confident and sure of what they are looking for, and how to get it.