How Do I Start Dating Again After 40?
I caught up with a friend the other day who had been on a disastrous date and asked me “Where do you find men after the age of 40?”, a question I have heard many women ask. Being in a long-term relationship myself, I didn’t know, so I began my research, including asking friends.
There were three main answers:
1. The Internet
The first central place to find a date when you are over 40 is on the internet, which is where most people I interviewed discovered their new partner.
2. At Parties
The second place was at parties organised by family and friends. Often the single person met someone they have known for years, and they suddenly hit it off. Because of the changed circumstance for them, and both being single, they looked at each other with new eyes.
3. Set Up By Friends
The third answer was where a friend knew of someone single, and they exchanged phone numbers for the couple, who dated and ended up in a beautiful and loving relationship.
So, these are places you can start, but as a relationship coach I wanted to share with you what I do know about looking for a long-term partner, and that is you need to discover whether you are ready to date again.
Why do you need to know this and not just jump straight in? Because when you commence dating again, you want to be sure you are ready to meet your perfect partner. You need to be happy within yourself and ready to share your growth and accomplishments with others.
There isn’t a unanimous definition of dating – it is different for everyone. Generally, though, dating means a process leading up to a broad and permanent relationship. The problem with the “dating game” is that each time we join in, we are placing the definitive results of our own dating experience onto another person. We have expectations and fears, especially when coming from a relationship that has ended badly, or other dates that were disastrous. Hence the question, “Am I ready to do this again?”
Here are some tips I use with my clients to help them know if they are ready to begin dating again and to bring back the fun of dating.
Before we begin, take a moment and think about what the delight of dating again means to you. I have given some examples but add in your own as well.
Dating again is to me:
- A way to a self-growth process where I am willing to share myself by interacting with others.
- A way to discovering my new sense of self-love, which I can share with others.
- A way to travel on a journey of the unknown.
- A way to discover more about myself and others.
- A way to learn how I can be happy being me and therefore find happiness in love again.
- A way to build your self-esteem.
- A way to removing the mask I have been hiding behind and allowing myself to be as authentic as I can be.
- A way to expanding my beliefs of what is possible for my life, including true love.
Here are some questions for you to answer:
What does dating mean to you?
What does happiness mean to you?
What does the happiness of dating again mean to you?
Think back to the last date you had:
How was it? (Honestly).
Did you enjoy the experience?
Is there anything you could have done to enjoy the experience more? Or were you not ready?
If you answered “yes” to not ready, try the following:
Think of a fantastic date you went on.
What did you do?
How did you feel?
Can you recall what were you thinking or feeling about yourself?
Complete the following sentences:
Going on a date is __________________
Being constantly alone is __________________
Being asked out on a date is __________________
Asking someone out on a date is __________________
Being rejected by someone is __________________
Rejecting someone is __________________
Read your answers and see what they say about your current level of dating and your expectations. Now you can answer the question of if you are ready to date. If still unclear, and you don’t want to be alone anymore, consider speaking to a relationship coach/therapist.
Please remember – everyone deserves to love and be truly loved. I hope this article helps you to find the love of your life.
Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist. Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.
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