It’s no secret that the dating game has changed since I was in my prime. Call me an old romantic, but traditional values and thoughtful gestures seem to have gone down the plughole…along with most of my hair.
Nevertheless, after twenty something years of marriage I’ve found myself back in the dating game and, amazingly, it doesn’t feel like the end of the world. In fact, I feel like someone’s finally taken off my blinkers. Everyday I’m realising more and more about myself and the weird yet wonderful world of online dating, collecting little pearls of wisdom and I feel like finally; everything is falling into place.
Here’s some of the differences I’ve found in mature dating compared to dating in my twenties:
- My priorities have changed – As a younger man, the way my partner looked was paramount to me. I’m ashamed to say it now, but a woman’s appearance would make it or break it for me, and I probably threw away some wonderful chances by acting that way. Time has taught me that looks fade, but a deep, emotional connection lasts. Whereas a woman with wrinkles once made me shudder, I now find laughter lines very endearing. I appreciate a lady who wears her age with pride, not hiding behind a mask of make-up or Botox but most of all, a real woman who is comfortable in her own skin.
- I am clear about what I want, and so are the mature single women I meet – During my younger dating days, life was full of drama and game playing – but now I’m dating in my mid-life, I have learnt what is important; realistic goals, my future plans and what I can (and cannot) compromise on. Being confident about who I am, what I stand for and what I believe in is very liberating and really attracts the type of person I want to spend my time with; not just any random woman to pass the time. It’s a change I’ve seen reflected in all of the women I’ve met through older dating, too. It’s just something that happens as we get older.
- I’m independent and quite content on my own – I don’t need a woman to make me happy, but yes, I’d like one to join me in my happiness. After being married for so long and then relearning how to be on my own, I appreciate what’s important in my life; me. I value my own time, my hobbies, my life and no longer feel pressurised to settle for the first lady who shows interest. I’m completely confident that Mrs. Right is out there, but in the meantime, I’m happy to focus on me. I am also learning that for a healthy relationship to blossom we need to love each other for who we are now; not what we were when we were younger, and not what we could be if we were skinnier/more assertive/less lazy. At our age, we aren’t afforded the luxury of changing who we are. We’re the sum of our experiences, thoughts and actions, and the key to successful mature online dating is to accept one another for exactly how we are.
If you’d have told the younger me that I would be back on the dating scene at over 40 I would’ve been horrified, but in actual fact I feel far more equipped (and confident) than that full headed 20 year old with boyish good looks and a six-pack to die for. Life has taught me to appreciate others for who they are, but mostly to appreciate myself.
I do not need a relationship to justify my life, my life is great! I have a job that I love, a home, family, friends, hobbies; I’m a very lucky man. Having a woman to share my life with would be the cherry on the cake however I now know that settling for less is not worth it. I’m happy being single until I meet someone who enhances my life, not hinders it.