When you were in your 20’s, dating may have seemed like a daunting task, but we never knew how good we had it!
As life becomes more complex and we mature, it is only natural that dating follows suit. Throw in a whirlwind of new technology and terminology to relearn every year and overcomplicate things, and it is easy to see why women over forty become frustrated with the dating scene. We lead full, demanding lives with or without romantic partners.
Sometimes, when we’re struggling with our profiles on the hottest new dating app or wondering why we’ve given this dud of a date a third chance, it’s easy to write the whole venture off. But you can find love as a single woman in your forties without compromising your dignity or, almost as importantly, your precious time. The first step towards revamping a waning love life is to look inward. Here are a few things you might be doing to sabotage your journey towards love.
You’re confusing your anxiety for instinct
Going with your gut is essential. When it comes to love, however, even the most mature women have a tendency to self-sabotage and weaponize their anxieties masquerading as instinct to write someone off. Maybe the fireworks weren’t there from the second you locked eyes, but what is to say that snap and crackle of romance can’t or won’t develop over the course of a date or two?
Snap judgments can be helpful when you’re discerning the safety of a person or situation. They can also be ruinous if you allow them to dictate the course of your relationships with people you’ve only just met. While it’s true that women have a tendency on the whole to say yes much more often than men, more mature women have a stronger grasp on their boundaries and can sometimes tip the scale too far the other way when it comes to dating. If your safety isn’t an issue and your only concern is that you just don’t “see” a future with someone after a cool thirty minutes, try to relax and stop putting so much pressure on this first impression. It’s just one date!
You’re making lists
Womens magazines and advice columns targeting those unlucky in love have drilled it into our heads that we need to write down what we want in the ideal partner and work off that list in dating. But it’s a waste of time. As a mature woman, you likely know what a healthy relationship looks like. It’s the specifics of the partner making up the other end of that relationship you’re going to be nailing down in lists—and that’s dangerous! It seriously narrows your scope, and there is a world of people out there you may never consider if you have something as particular as “stylish” or “likes British police procedurals” down as a disqualifying factor.
When you make lists of what your imaginary, ideal partner should or shouldn’t have, what you’re actually doing is arbitrarily narrowing down the field of eligible, real people. Instead of finding reasons to say no, you ought to be finding reasons to say yes!
You’re not outsourcing
Online dating: it’s the looming nuisance we all have to grapple with in our romantic lives at some point or another. Dating site algorithms aren’t always reliable, so it’s easy to burn out after your fifth go at an app in vain, but they give you access to a pool of potential matches you would never have been exposed to before the digital era.
Fortunately, there are so many worthwhile apps and matchmaking services flying just under the radar that can help you pinpoint a match who shares your values and goals. For instance, those following the stoicism tradition might consider enlisting the services of a matchmaking company who shares their worldview, such as Stoic Matchmaker. If hookup apps leave a bad taste in your mouth or you’ve exhausted all of your options on the big name dating sites, there are innumerable alternatives…should you put in the effort to find them.
Your dates are outdated
Dinner and a movie was cute in the early aughts. Now, it’s uninspired, and, even worse, an ineffective way of getting to know someone. Nowadays, dinner and a movie as a first date is basically begging for the whole enterprise to be a failure. With the internet at your fingertips, there is just no excuse not to find something fun to do in your town. If it’s sunny in your area and you both claim outdoorsiness, go for a hike! If you like books, go to an author’s Q&A session! If there is an experience you’ve been eyeing for yourself, try sharing it with a promising date.
You might be surprised at what you find. And if what was supposed to be an awesome experience turns into a dud, you have a good story and hey—at least you didn’t waste your time on boring dates.