Yes, it’s happened. You’ve gotten married, had a few children, and ended as a divorced and single mom in your 40’s. You are now officially part of the “over 40 dating scene”. Congratulations! And welcome to a great and new part of your life. It could be difficult, but it could also be an amazing time! There are many moms in your position, you are not alone, and you could actually be having a really good time right now. Let me begin by giving you a bit of history:
In a world where divorce rates have skyrocketed, marriage has lost it’s spark, and commitments are hard to come by, dating over 40 is the new norm. In the previous history of mankind, couples sealed the deal in their 20’s, immediately began having their family rituals of buying a house, having children, and pursuing their careers. Rarely did we see divorce, as it was taboo and forbidden. Mom’s stayed put for better or for worse. Maybe a good thing, maybe bad. In those not so far ago days, couples worked through their problems for the family, despite all odds. For richer or poorer, they were in this life’s journey together. However, at some pivotal point in time, this mentality changed.
Divorce became a solution people turned to quit easily. But that’s not all, staying single in general and playing the dating scene became more and more prevalent . They have both now become common lifestyles. The dynamics of dating have changed, and if you’ve been married for a while, lost in motherhood, you may have a lot to catch up on. It seems the goal went from finding a good partner that would make a wonderful father or mother, and lifelong friend, to seeking companionship and finding someone to hang out with for a good time. With the pressure off, you might actually be able to find someone in which you truly can find friendship and shared interests. Will it lead to marriage? No one knows for sure. But, you sure as hell deserve a happy life, despite any divorce grievances. So let’s begin!
With the new over 40 dating scene that has erupted due either to a lack of interest in marriage or a divorce, there are some things Moms need to know and must take into consideration before jumping into things:
1. How will you go about the dating scene?
Will you proactively search at bars and clubs, check for wedding bands at local school events or possibly join an over 40 dating site? (the latter is probably the best and safest alternative, although going out dancing can be fun after all the years of motherhood)
2. Decide your goals.
Are you looking for a new life partner, or just a friend? Be clear to yourself and the people that you meet to avoid that uncomfortable “gray” area.
3. For your children’s sake, set guidelines for their protection.
Be sure to allow an adequate amount of time before introducing them to your new “friend”. Children get attached and easily confused and if you are going thru the dating scene, it may be a good idea not to set them up for hurt and disappointment. It also may be an even better idea to date a man who has had children already. Men over 40 who have never had kids often times have a hard time adjusting to a child friendly lifestyle that does not revolve around them and their relationships. Truth be told, just don’t do it. It’s a difficult path.
4. Don’t be too eager or indifferent.
Play the middle woman. One of two things begins to develop during the dating scene in your 40’s. We either start to feel a bit of desperation, or we start to develop that “I don’t need anyone” theme. The desperate over 40 daters may come on a bit too strong with their desire to get married, and the overly laid back “if it happens it happens” approach put almost no effort into a possible relationship. Try to be that person in the middle.
5. A difficult term to cover for the Moms.
You may be in desperate need of that passionate love making night, but real intimacy requires a trust that is not built in one night over dinner and drinks. Often lust makes us forget about the important stuff like personal feelings and real connections. Yes, we are all adults and capable of our own decisions, but try not to succumb to your primal instincts just yet. Try to get to know each other a bit. A least a bit…Oh, and for the love of God, practice safe sex for many reasons!
6. Keep it away from the ex’s, how you’ve been hurt, and also topics on your children.
Yes, undoubtedly, the children are the most important thing in your life, but use this quality time to build adult relationships, and understand each other as individuals. Many moms are used to hiding in motherhood and behind their children. You can really use this time to be who you really are outside of your role as a parent.
7. Dress appropriately.
Okay, Moms. You’ve scored your first date. It does NOT mean driving to the nearest Forever 21 and buying some new teeny bopper, hoochy mama outfit. A little short dress and cleavage are fine, but do not over do it. Be yourself, it’s the best you can be. Go for the middle ground again. Not too sexy, but also not too “motherly”.
8. Be proactive, but not on a manhunt.
Yes, joining an over 40 dating site is a great idea! But do not make it your life’s goal. You can use this time to truly search into your soul and find new hobbies and new talents you never knew even existed because you were so busy being a wife and a mother. You will come across as such a strong and secure person.
9. Do not fall for the first man you come across.
This is so easy for the newly divorced mother looking for companionship. We want to find that dreamy romance or our own personal Christian Grey. The saying “You’re one in a million?” Well, there’s a possibility your city has close to that amount in its population alone. Imagine who else is out there to be discovered? Be patient, stay open minded, explore and learn.
10. Don’t overthink the dating process.
Yes, it’s true, as an over 40 dating scene participant, we have quite a few years of reference points to think back to and a lot more knowledge to fall back upon than when we were in our 20’s. But it’s still all based on personal relationships and compatibility. That’s what we’re looking for and that is what life is about in general. Relationships with one another.
So, relax. You’ve fallen into your 40’s as a single mom, but it’s going to be better than okay. You will find time for yourself, time for relationships, and time for growth in many areas. It will be a change, but with the right mindset, it can all be for the good.