Whether you’re diving back into the dating pool after divorce or still searching for Mr. Right later in life, there’s no reason to let your age hold you back. Despite misconceptions about being an “old maid,” the truth is that being older can actually be beneficial when it comes to your love life. Instead of lamenting a failed romances (or lack thereof) in your younger days and feeling like you missed your chance, your 40s, 50s, and beyond can really be the best time to find a new partner.
If you’re rolling your eyes thinking that’s just a whole lot of hooey, let us remind you of all the reasons being over 40 can make your dating life so much better than it was in your 20s.
1. You’ve learned from your past.
You might cringe looking back at some of the choices you made with your love life in the past, but they are exactly what makes you an even stronger person today. That said, it can be difficult to really assess and be honest about your own personal pitfalls over the years. Bobbi Palmer, the dating expert behind Date Like a Grownup, claims it’s often women holding themselves back when it comes to finding a “good man.” It’s something she dealt with firsthand before marrying her husband at 47. Learning from the past will make sure no one takes advantage of you — even yourself.
2. You’re more financially stable.
Most people are just starting out in their careers in their 20s, which can make splurging on a date outfit or going dutch when the bill arrives at dinner stressful. For those who have more financial security later in life, it can also mean getting to choose more exciting date venues. No need to wait for the dollar theater to get a movie you’ve been dying to see with your beau! You might even get more adventurous by reconnecting with an old flame or online dating that inspires you to travel across the country to meet your Mr. Right.
3. You know exactly what you want.
And you don’t have to settle for any less! No matter how many times your friends say you’re “too picky” about men, you don’t have to feel so desperate to snag a man that you end up throwing away all of your ideals to get one. However, you should also be wise enough to know when you’re setting your expectations just a tad too high. Bobbi Palmer advises women over 40 to rethink qualities that we define as “dealbreakers” as we get older. For instance, showing up to a date with a wrinkled shirt might not be the best look for your date, but it shouldn’t stop you from giving him a fair shot.
4. Good men get better with age.
Finding a handsome man is nice of course, but after a certain age, finding a partner becomes about so much more than a pretty face. That said, plenty of men actually grow more attractive (and mature) as they get older. Think of it as the “Mark Harmon effect” — the actor was obviously good looking in his younger days too, but the silver fox who graces our screens on NCIS each week is even more swoon-worthy! Although Mr. Harmon is sadly not on the market, the same theory applies to tons of other guys you may meet out there. That’s not to say you should shun any affection from younger fellas, though. There’s absolutely no shame in being a “cougar!”