Mandy Kloppers

What to expect when dating in your forties

Dating can be daunting, especially if you have been in a long term relationship and suddenly find yourself single. Being back on the dating scene certainly has challenges. This post is all about what to expect when dating in your forties and older.

Emotional baggage

Being older means you have more life experience but it also means that you will encounter more emotional baggage. You will meet people who have been divorced, bereaved and who have had their fair share of set backs. They may still be coming to terms with how their life has changed. They may only see their children on certain weekends and step families can bring with it interesting dynamics.

Be sure to find out whether your new partner has emotional baggage that they haven’t come to terms with as this can create an ’emotional hangover’ for your relationship.

Being selfish and more set in their ways

As we get older we tend to become more judgemental and more set in our ways. This can undoubtedly cause friction in a relationship. A behaviour that might have seemed cute when they were younger has now become a full on obsession – such as being a ‘neat freak’. Younger people tend to be more flexible and easy going, this is something I have noticed when comparing dating in my twenties and dating in my forties.

Less idealistic and less romantic

I know many men who say they were more romantic and idealistic when they
were younger. Younger men tend to be more affectionate and open with their
feelings. Older men tend to be more closed and ‘measured’, not always saying
what they are thinking.

Okay, now for the more positive stuff…

More time available

There is more chance of having quality time together when you date in your forties and beyond. Older people tend to have achieved their career goals and can take more time out to enjoy life. Of course, you’ll still get your workaholics but many older people tend to slow down a bit and enjoy life more.


This one is a moot point. On some levels older people can be keen to pair up and find a life partner but there are also those people who have been hurt and are now commitment phobes. They will dip their toe in but don’t like the idea of living together or pooling resources. Younger people may want to play the field more but older people tend to prefer quality over quantity.

Dating when you are older can be tricky. Some people only date to boost their own egos and internet dating really fills this need. It’s unfortunate for those looking for love when they come across someone who only wants to feel desired, then wants to move on.


Ghosting occurs when someone you were ‘talking’ (texting”) to suddenly goes quiet on you. This is very common so don’t take it personally. People who use online dating tend to start out chatting to 4 or 5 people and then whittle it down from there. If you get ghosted you were probably chatting to someone who was also talking to a few others.

Dating in your forties and older can be rewarding. Know yourself well and know what you will and won’t accept in a realtionship. This will help you avoid settling down with someone who isn’t suitable for you. People don’t change so don’t fool yourself thinking that you can change someone else. Focus on yourself, all you can control are your perceptions, thoughts and reactions.



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