Over 40s Dating Guide: Single & 40 – Everything You Need to Know

serious relationship dating apps

Why date after 40?

For many males and females, the idea of dating after 40 can seem like a real challenge. However, there are many benefits to enjoying the art of dating as you age. 

Relationship expert Dr. Juliana Morris says love connections at an older age can be even more profound. “When you own where you are in your life, who you are, and are confident in your values and personality, you are more likely to find someone who is better suited for you,” she says.

As you can imagine, then, being much more experienced at the age of 40 can lead to a much happier experience. You are far more comfortable with who you are, meaning that you can be much more comfortable letting someone get to know the “real” you.

What are the realities of dating over 40?

why to date after 40

You have more responsibilities & distractions

Of course, it’s very important to remember that dating after the age of 40 does have some big differences from dating before 40. For example, you’ll likely have more things to consider, from your career to your home through to your kids.

“Dating is going to have a different landscape after 40 because people are more likely to have been through a divorce or have kids,” relationship expert Jennifer Seiter told me. “It will be more challenging because you will have more external distractions from your relationship. For example, if you have kids, your new partner may feel neglected if you pay more attention to them, than her or him.”

That’s something you need to accept, though, if you intend on being in a happy relationship. This isn’t like dating before you had a long-term career, a home to pay for, and/or children from a previous relationship. It’s important to take these important factors into consideration, and understand how that could impact on the success of your dating.

You have life experience

However, that’s not to say that you will be too busy to have some fun. After all, after 40 you know far more about who you are. What you like, and what you dislike. With the help of some added life experience, you’ll be far less likely to “go with the flow” or settle.

Relationship expert Audrey Hope says, “Not only have you grown in time, but you have also grown in your self-worth and experience, and can therefore magnetise a better love match through the law of attraction. You lived through and survived the bad boys (or bad girls), the ones who broke your heart, and so now after 40, you are ready for mature and lasting love.”

She continued, “You have probably deepened from experiences and are now looking more at the soul, the heart, and the inside of the person, rather than their hair and pant size. The superficialness has faded.”

“You generally have a much better idea of what a good relationship looks like. No? Well, here it is. You see yourself in good, pleasant conversation with this person for 20 years or more,” Roger Ziegler, relationship coach said. “Every other good thing flows from that.

Put simply, your priorities are in a far better place when you are dating after 40. You aren’t looking so much for the lust we seek when we are younger; you want something less superficial and far more likely to satisfy you emotionally as much as physically.

places to meet singles over 40

You may have to deal with a former spouse

The most common issue that you are likely to have to deal with, though, is the approach of a former spouse – on your end or on the end of your partner. At this time in your life, though, you should be far more likely to be able to handle the distraction and the strain that this could place on things.

“You or your new mate may have an ex that is trying to sabotage the new relationship,” Seiter said. “The disruption can manifest in subtle or passive aggressive ways, such as verbal barbs or dropping in under the guise of seeing the kids.”

Family life, children and chances of conceiving

Of course, it’s quite important to be honest with yourself at this stage in the relationship. Do you already have children? Then introducing a new partner into your life could be tricky. You also need to understand that, after 40, the chances of having children with your new partner will have decreased considerably.

The chances of conception are likely to be lower, so you have to consider just what that means. How much of an impact would that likely have on any new relationship you are about to enter?

Your body is less forgiving

After 40, it’s safe to say that our bodies are less likely to be able to withstand the same physical pressure we once put on them. From nights out to romantic nights in, remember that dating at 40+ means dating without the iron invincibility that often meant you could out for several nights out in a row – or enjoy several nights in! 

You need to be ready to pace things and live responsibly.

Physical intimacy is different

physical intimacy in 40s

However, that does not mean that you cannot enjoy intimacy – arguably, your intimacy after 40 is better than ver. You are far more experience, and you will be much more likely to be in a relationship for the emotional impact as much as the physical enjoyment. As such, those moments of intimacy that you do enjoy are deeper, stronger, and far more satisfying.

That should be kept in mind, as it will play a major role in how much/little you can enjoy dating after 40. Once you form that connection, intimacy can feel like it’s become transformative.

Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT in Malibu says,

“After 40, people are usually able to connect more and experience authentic relationships because they are willing to give it more of a chance. Therefore, the physical intimacy can be a lot more fulfilling than the shallow, less intimate sex people tend to have in their 20s, when dating.”

Conversations are different

“Young people dating tend to stay away from complicated topics like marriage, kids, and finances until their relationship progresses,” Daniels said. “As a 40-year-old in the dating world, such conversation points are always on your mind. However, you need to be careful how and when you bring up these more serious topics while you are dating.”

Keep the above in mind. Many people aren’t aware of just how much their conversation has changed from age 20 to age 40. The things you enjoy are far more refined, and you know much more about what you like/dislike than you could when dating at a younger age.

You can find that having more serious and enjoyable conversations becomes quite simple if you are dating after 40; ‘scary’ subjects are far less off-putting when dating at this point in your life. 

Attitudes towards relationships have changed

As Roger Ziegler, a 15-year certified life and relationship coach, says, “Hopefully, by now, you are looking for a connection that goes beyond the surface appearance of things. Kindness and good conversation are more important than looks or wealth.”

“Sex might not be number one on the list. Maybe now it has moved to the number two slot. Commitment might take the top slot,” according to relationship expert Audrey Hope.

This is one of the most important things to consider at this stage in your dating life. You will be able to far more realistically prioritise what actually matters. You won’t be looking for short-term thrills, and your relationship should feel outstanding even after the ‘honeymoon period’ has ended.

40s dating relationship attitudes

Expectations change significantly

Of course, this has a natural impact on the expectation that both parties will have. There is an expectation, a demand even, that both parties can fulfil each other emotionally and intellectually. You aren’t so much looking for something new or something exciting; you are looking for stability that can ensure your life after 40 can feel as secure and as fulfilling as possible.

Things get serious faster

That desire to have something more powerful in your life has a major impact on the speed that things develop. When you get to that stage when dating after 40 that it feels just right to be with someone, it makes sense that the speed of the relationship will change.

You both want something more serious, and you aren’t in your 20s and thus running away from being committed any longer. That’s why you shouldn’t expect a slow-burner moving forward in your dating relationships. 

According to Bash, “Because of the wisdom age brings, and life experience, relationships can experience deeper levels of emotional intimacy sooner than in those of younger people who do not know themselves, or feel truly comfortable being themselves. Therefore, people tend to get more serious quicker after 40. They realise how precious and rare true connections are, and probably are very sick of being alone.”

The love connection is deeper in your 40s

This is another reason why the connection you can have in your 40s is far less confused than earlier on in life. You might say that you ‘love’ someone; but do you just love the newness of the experience?

At 40+, you are far less likely to make overarching commitments and statements of love to someone without being 100% sure this is what you feel. When you know, you know; at earlier stages in life, love is a far less certain emotion. 

“The love couples experience after 40 is usually deeper,” Bash said. “Since it’s not a first love, and not their first rodeo, they have to accept each other with their baggage, and usually grow in their own self-acceptance as well. Seeing themselves through fresh eyes — through the eyes of another, after 40 — can give them a new perspective and change their entire understanding of life.”

Am I too old to date at 40?

Absolutely not! This is a common fallacy that we often see, but it’s not the case whatsoever. In truth, you are never too old to date. Even in your golden years, finding companionship and friendship with someone is a truly excellent place to be. At 40, you are still more than young enough to find someone to spend the rest of your life with.

40 is often seen as a prohibitive age for many things. Yes, you’ll find it harder to make time for the frivolous romance of your earlier years. That, though, is replaced by a desire to find something that makes you truly happy – and we are never too old for true happiness. 

am i too old to date at 40 again

Is it really that hard to find a date after 40?

Only if you allow it to be. After 40, we can start convincing ourselves that we are on the route to the scrapheap. Finding a date in the conventional sense of meeting someone once and never meet them again after a wild evening is less likely, that is obvious. The challenging with trying to learn how to date after the age of 40 is finding the right platform to find a day. And that leads us to our next question…

Is Tinder good for over 40?

We would have to say no. Tinder is built for those who are looking for short-term relationships, flings, and other such issues. We cannot possibly recommend getting involved with that; at 40, you probably want something far more effective and enjoyable. You want something that won’t feel so dull and short-term. What you do want instead is something that can feel fun and legitimate to the kind of person that you are.

Tinder is not good for those over 40 as the dating expectations are more suited to those in early adulthood. Unless all you are looking for is a quick fling and something to reminisce about, then Tinder is not really a good idea – you aren’t likely to find love on such a platform. Lust, yes! Love? Doubtful.

Learning how to date at 40

Be the single you want to meet

The first piece of advice that we have about dating at 40 is to be the person you would look out for on your own. Try and be far more open-minded, as the last thing that anyone wants to be at 40 is stuck in their own ways!

“Be the single you want to meet,” says Tammy Shaklee, relationship expert and founder of H4M Matchmakers. One way to do that is to constantly explore new hobbies and interests. That way, she says, “you’ll have exciting things to discuss on a date, whether it’s travel plans, the latest restaurant, or even new places and activities going on in your city.”

This is excellent advice, as it is going to make it much more likely for you to be diverse and open to what you can discuss when you meet up with your potential date. That will ensure a far more natural and enjoyable dating experience overall. 

Your date outfit says a lot

Of course, dressing for a date in your 40s is going to be much different for dressing for one when you were 21. You want to show a happy blend of self-confidence and sex appeal. You don’t want to appear as if you are here for one night only, though; bring out the best in yourself with an outfit that says you are available, but only for those interested in the long-term.

In short, avoid anything too skimpy whilst avoiding needless informality. Set a standard for how you like to appear, and keep to that standard whether it’s your first date or your fiftieth. 

Daniels says, “You want to appear classic and put-together…The proper outfit will emphasise the fact that you have your life together and are not looking to play the field any longer. By putting together an attractive, presentable outfit, you communicate to your date that you are serious about pursuing a long term relationship and are not interested in short-term hookups.”

Starting over after divorce at 40

Naturally, getting back in the dating game after a divorce at 40 can feel tough. In your worst moments, you probably feel like you have little to offer to someone. The main thing to do here is to remember that a broken marriage is a two-way street; there were likely mistakes on both sides. The best thing that you can do then is to remind yourself that your happiness is more important than anything, and that if you feel happier out of your marriage then you are in a good place.

Remember, too, that many people get into dating after splitting up and divorcing from their partner. If you think that you are the odd one out, think again. Being divorced does not make you unattractive or damaged goods; it just means that a previous relationship didn’t work out. Why should that preclude you from being with someone else, though? Starting over is only as daunting as you allow it to be in your mind.

How to date again at 40

how learn to date again at 40

Think positively

First off, you need to keep a positive and optimistic mind-set as you move forward in the dating game. The biggest obstacle to your success will be your own perception. If you see yourself as someone who is going to be ‘hard to love’ or anything of the sort, you will project that onto your next date.

Try and maintain a positive mind-set. Think about why someone would want to be with you, and why you would make someone happy. The best thing that you can do is come into this with a positive and optimistic outlook; that will make it much more likely that you can go towards your dates feeling good, upbeat, and confident.

Sunny Joy McMillan, relationship expert and author of Unhitched, recommends replacing your doubts with optimism. For example, she suggests changing your mindset from “dating is scary and difficult” to “dating is fun and easy.”

Trust your instincts

dating in your 40s woman

At 40, you are far more experienced than you were a decade ago. You should feel far more confident in trusting your gut feeling at this junction. If you are going to be with someone, it has to feel right. If your loins scream yes but your heart and head say no, listen to the latter.

“Most relationship mistakes happen because a person does not trust their instincts early on and sticks around thinking it will change,” says clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula.

Jones says. “Don’t be afraid to end a date or stop dating someone if you sense a ‘red flag.’ Beware of the person who blames their ex for everything.”

If you keep spot things about the person in mind who you are going to be with, and you don’t like what you see, you don’t need to wait for them to change. Keep that in mind – many women make the mistake of waiting for far longer than is realistic.

Make the first move

Again, though, your instincts should know when you are in a relationship that makes you feel good, so keep that in mind. Be sure to make that first move, as if your instincts are telling you that he/she is good for you, then they are. If you can’t think of many ‘red flag’ issues, then waiting too long could be a mistake.

“One of the freedoms of being older is knowing what you want and being able to ask for it,” says relationship expert Dr. Juliana Morris.

Be present

Instead of jumping ahead and wondering how your kids will get along, take dating one step at a time. “We are the most powerful in the present moment,” says McMillan, “So use that power to your advantage when dating, and keep your attention on what is immediately in front of you.”

Embrace your baggage

The best thing that you can do at 40 is accept that you will have baggage – and so will anyone who you meet who is being genuine. Don’t treat baggage as an off-putting experience; use it as a sign of a person who has actually lived. Erika Ettin, dating coach and author of Love at First Site says, one of her clients didn’t want to date a man because he took care of his grandson. But Ettin helped reframe it as a positive. “It showed that he was dedicated to his family,” says Ettin, who encouraged her client to give it a shot.

Be open to change

Be open to change recommends Hanna Betts from Telegraph Dating. As Einstein probably didn’t say: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

The worst thing that you can do is remain stuck in your own thoughts and ideas when dating. You are dating as a whole new person as to who you were before, so keep that in mind. Be open to new experiences, as they might just be what was missing from previous unsuccessful dating experiences.

be open to change 40s dating

Have single allies

Betts also recommends cultivating a wide and brilliant circle of single allies. You’ll have the time of your life, but you’ll also encounter more romantic opportunities. 

Consider hiring a dating coach

“Coaching offers services and products that are designed to improve our clients’ success,” says Keren Eldad, who created the program Date With Enthusiasm. Eldad recommends searching Linkedin for a dating coach that melds with your personality, is ICF certified (that stands for International Coaching Federation), and has a proven track record.

Explore the world of online dating

“Do not modify who you are in your online profile, do not copy someone else’s profile, and for goodness sake,” says Keren Eldad, “stay away from trite quotes.” To attract the kind of person you want to be with, it’s most important that your profile reflects your authentic self. 

Samantha Daniels, Relationship Expert and Founder of The Dating Lounge App, noted that someone in their 40s would craft a dating profile that is more seasoned. “Anyone dating past 40 looking for a serious, substantial relationship and does not have time to waste on cutesy descriptions. Build an appealing profile with an attractive photo and an interesting, honest description, since this is your first chance to make a strong first impression.”

It’s a good idea to have a plan when dating online according to Laurel House, author and Celebrity Dating Coach on E!’s Famously Single. “Make sure that you have a strategy and you are smart about it. Ask questions, assert your needs, and have a confident ‘Here I am’ mentality,” she told me.

Don’t rely on dating apps

“Don’t discount referrals or meeting by chance, just because everyone else seems to be using apps,” says Nikki Novo. 

Too many people are caught up in the concept of meeting on an app, like the Tinder app we mentioned earlier. While it might work for some over 40s, the majority are simply not going to be in a good frame of mind when it comes to this. Don’t rely on using a dating app, as it can lead to the wrong kind of dating – if you are looking for something with substance, you would do well to find it on an online dating app.

The majority are made for quick set-and-forget, one-night-stand relationships. Keep that in mind, as relying purely on dating apps could soon sour your experience of dating after 40. 

Mistakes to avoid

Don’t get stuck on what you think you want.

“Dating in our 40s typically means we know what we want, and we feel pressed to find it quick!” says intuitive dating coach Nikki Novo. “But eliminating fast is often the strategy that prolongs our single status.” She warns that there is a thin line between “going with your gut” and being judgemental.

It’s better to get out there and explore the many personalities and people who you come across when dating. This lets you know what you truly want. Often, what we think we want is the polar opposite to what we actually want. Keep that in mind, as even at 40 it can be easy to let short-term emotions cloud our long-term desires.

Resist dating someone who reminds you of your ex

“It can be tempting to go out with a person who reminds you of someone you’ve already had a relationship with,” says Lane Moore, author of How to Be Alone. “Healing is the only way to date a person who isn’t similar to someone who is unhealthy for you,” she says.

This is going to make it hard to move on from the relationship, and it will also play a crucial role in stopping you from finding out what you really like. You split up with your ex for a good reason – trying to find a ‘better’ version of them is folly. Most of the time, it will simply lead to you going over the same issues that you thought you had escaped. 

What are the chances of finding love after 40?

Be aware that love is far more likely to happen now: you know who you are, you’ve been around the block, and you’re 4,000 times more fascinating than you were at 25, says Hannah Betts from Telegraph Dating.

Stop seeing yourself as being unlovable just because you never got married in your ‘youth’. You are still more than young and able enough to find a lifelong partner at 40. In fact, you are less likely to waste time in the wrong relationship now because you know what you like and dislike. So, use that wisdom to your advantage and don’t let it hold you back.

How to meet someone new in your 40s

how to meet someone new in your 40s

“Singles over 40 often have an Amazon Prime mentality when it comes to dating,” says relationship expert and founder of Smart Dating Academy, Bela Gandhi. “They want to check off a few boxes and have the perfect candidate arrive at their mailbox in 48 hours.” It’s important to be patient and to stay positive, she says.

Just like meeting someone back in the pre-internet days is about chance as much as anything, so too is meeting the right person. This isn’t like hiring a service; a first-come-first-serve approach to dating after 40 is not a good idea at all. Be patient, be ready to avoid settling, and accept that meeting a human you are compatible with is the most organic of all feelings. Once you do that, finding someone new is much easier. 

How to find a date at 40

Don’t want the relationship more than the person concerned recommends Hannah Betts from Telegraph Dating. This is not only needy, it is doomed to fail. On the other hand, ask yourself whether you want a relationship at all. Single life may suit you.

It’s important to accept that you might not find exactly what you are looking for to begin with. If you aren’t ready to keep looking, though, accept that. Again, you might think you want a relationship – but do you really? The only way to find out is to go out and try!

Places to meet singles over 40

You have so many options to meet people over 40. You have many offline options, from community college classes to skill events. From yoga classes to art classes, the gym and even hobby classes could be a good way to meet someone. You could meet them the old fashioned way, too; go to a bar and see who you meet. 

The best places to meet singles over 40, though, are typically specifically made over-40s dating websites. They are great for finding someone who you can connect with and who is going to be looking for a meaningful, genuine, adult relationship.

How to be attractive at 40

This is a very abstract question, and it all comes down to ‘what do you believe to be attractive’?

We are all at our most powerful when we feel comfortable in our own skin. If you wish to be attractive at 40, aside from caring for your body with a good diet and regular exercise, you need to go out feeling like you aren’t trying to look like anyone but yourself. Avoid trying to follow style guides or trying to look ten years younger; be yourself, and you will notice just how easy it is to look attractive at 40!

Self-satisfaction is a tremendous attractive attribute, so use it.

Dating in your 40s as a man

dating in your 40s man

How to meet a woman after 40

As a man, dating after 40 is all about two things – patience and being genuine. Women who are dating men in their 40s are looking for someone who has a secure future, who has a mature way of thinking, and who has their eye on the long-term prize. Many guys in their 40s make a mistake, though, and start trying to dress and act younger than they are.

Authenticity is your most powerful attribute at 40, though. Women who meet you at this stage want to meet a guy with stories to tell, advice to give, and an idea of what the next half of your life will involve. Whether you meet women online or in any other way that we mentioned above, the most important thing you can do is be 100% true to who you are – nobody else. Don’t try and hide your age; act it.

Dating in your 40s as a woman

How to meet a man after 40

Finding a man after the age of 40 can feel like a challenge for any woman. However, the one thing to remember is that while beauty is still obviously important, men at 40+ are far less shallow and naive. They’ll be far happier to trade any kind of physical attribute for an open personality, a mature mind, and experience.

If you want to date men as a 40+ woman, your best place to look is to avoid clubs and bars. You’ll only meet boys masquerading as men most of the time. Instead, look for things like we mentioned above; hobby classes, even restaurants and theatres. You know what you like both as a person and in other people, so head to venues that support that.

If you love art, then go to an art museum. You never know who you will strike up a conversation with. Since you don’t need to worry about trying too hard, you can simply be yourself and enjoy what you are passionate about. Most men who are meeting women aged 40+ are looking for someone with a mature approach to life. If you can show your male partner that maturity, then you are going to benefit from doing so. So, if you want to know how to meet a man after 40, the best thing that you can do is forget about all of the dating tricks you would have tried out before 40!

Authenticity always wins at this age. Men will be far more enamoured by your experience and your stories than they ever would even five, six years ago. So long as you use your age as a positive instead of an inhibitor, you should find that dating men after 40 is so much easier to prepare yourself for.

Finding love after 40 – success stories

finding love after 40 success stories

Got together with dp when I was 49, he was toyboy of 43. Getting married this year. Xdh met his new fiancée at 57, also getting married this year. Romance is brilliant this time round – we are all so much wiser and better at everything (including s.e.x.)
My aunt finally dumped her loser boyfriend of 20 years when she was 40 and was convinced she’d missed the boat. A year later she had hooked up with a bloke she met down the local was pregnant and getting married. Her son is 4 now and has a two year old brother. They’re all happy as pigs.
I got divorced aged 40, ten years ago now (yikes!). Since then have had two 3 year relationships, which were fun but didn’t work out in the end. Then spent a year having a ball OD, until I met my now DP 2 years ago. He moved in earlier this year, and it looks like it’s for keeps.

We both have kids – I have 3 teenagers, his two are older and don’t live with us. All easy and relaxed – the most stress free relationship I have ever known.

Age is totally irrelevant, I reckon. Plenty of men out there who are not just interested in 20 year old bimbos. I made some good friends along the way.

Go for it and have fun!

Here’s another story to cheer you up, but both have grown up kids and neither wants more, I’m afraid.

My friend met her DP when she was 52, and he 56. Six years on they adore each other and are the most compatible couple I know: they have so much in common they are like two peas in a pod except that she is tidy and he is messy. I think, given the kind of issues that could possibly rear their ugly head, a messy fella is a godsend!

As for me, I’m now 48, had a few flings from 40-41, then a 2 year relationship, then a four year one, and happily single!

Met DP 8 months ago OL, im 45 hes 46. We both went into the relationship knowing what we did and didn’t want, but also what matters and what really doesn’t. I was married for 19 years and DP understands me more than exh ever did-i told him recently that ive finally become the me i always should have been. He was worth the wait!

Stories from Mumsnet

Find 40s love today

Finding love can be tough, but with the help of senior dating websites you can be far more likely to find that love. Many people, as we have discussed, see love as something that they can only achieve in their 20s. That is not the case at all, though; our search for love does not have to stop at any age. With the help of after 40s dating, you no longer need to feel like you have to settle for singularity. 

In fact, you are arguably more equipped than ever to enjoy the time of someone else. If you were to meet someone now, think about the life experiences and the stories that you have to share. Keep that in mind, and you should be far, far more likely to find a happy future long-term. So, why should you have to be single after 40? The simple answer is: you don’t!

Take a look at over 40s dating today, and you should find all the solutions that you need.


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Amy Pritchett

Amy Pritchett

Amy is a relationship science expert, writer and dating coach. She understands that human connection is the motive and result of a meaningful life. She believes the purpose of relationships is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness.

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