To celebrate Valentines day I have not one but TWO articles for you on the subject of love. This is the first one from me, sharing my learnings and guidance on dating after divorce in your 40s. And then Rebecca Megson Smith shares her guidance, tomorrow on actual Valentine’s day, a story about finding love later in life. You know these are going to be two incredibly honest and entertaining posts, one with a happy ending one without, life really isn’t about those fairy tail ending right?
Single in my 40s
I found myself officially single three days before lockdown March 2020. PERFECT TIMING. I had a house that I now owned all to myself half the week, but we weren’t even allowed to see our friends let alone date new people so there was a bit of a pause to newly single life.
Within a few months I realised that potentially the only way I was going to meet a new man was via dating apps. I had a couple of lessons from fellow single friends Liz and Emma and took the plunge, once covid rules allowed (obviously).
I quickly learnt from my mistakes.
- Do not go on a date unless you have spoken on the phone AND done a video call. Although to be honest I was still caught out by this step. People often do not look like their pictures, or do a video chat in poorly lit room and text chat can be so so different to real life conversation.
- Even if the chat is good on the video/phone call nothing can compare to meeting in person to assess that real life spark. And mostly that spark isn’t there.
- My failed first dates include a triple denim wearing ex criminal, a middle aged cable knit jumper wearing man missing half his front tooth, two failed DJs and a totally lovely Italian guy who I got on with incredibly well, but just no spark of fancy in any way. And all of these happened after an initial precautionary phone call/video call.
Have a Check List and Be Strict
Be clear about what you want from your next relationship and ascertain this in the first few conversations. I am very clear about the fact that I need a relationship with a man who is financially secure. Not rich just someone who is good/responsible/okay with money. I try to pick this one apart in the first date with clever interview type questions!
Again this doesn’t always work, people hide things. And a lack of money is something that can be hidden. I failed with one guy in the summer of 2021. After six dates and never being invited back to his place I came to realisation that he had no money, and possibly a secret partner in tow.
Don’t be too strict about previous physical requirements
In your 40s you’re likely not looking for that perfect specimen to make babies with, the physical attributes therefore change. I always said that I wanted to be with a tall man, but after dating a few shorter men, its not so important. But you really do have to find their face physically attractive, you really do have to fancy them!
Be clear about Kids/No kids
I wasted time on a date with a potentially nice guy, but he had no interest in me as I didn’t want more children.
Watch out for the controlling man
I have had a couple of these men, who I worked out quickly and not so quickly. I dated a guy (positive point he was an incredible chef) who when we were driving told me that I drove too fast and that I played my music too loud. Seriously. I never saw him again after that date.
And Most of all watch out for most of the men who are just after a shag
I can 100% confirm this, dating aps are full of men who are after one thing. Sex. Nothing else. If this is what you are also after, then go for it, Tinder is your friend and give it a couple of matches and you are in. Men are very keen to get your mobile number, so be careful, that could open the flood gates to pictures. Oh so many pictures of body parts that you might not be ready to see.
I’ve had the most success with Hinge
I tried Tinder in 2021, absolutely no success, I do not recommend. I set an account on Hinge in September of 2021 and immediately met a nice guy and had a really good relationship for a few months. People answer questions and give a bit more information on Hinge, you can assess matches better when you know a bit more information about them than just a selfie picture (probably filtered).
I’m still single (ish), but dating and not taking it too seriously.
Two years later and on Valentines day 2022 I go on another date and hope that he will be the man of my dreams for at least the next day;-)
Your dating profile
Please just be honest, share un-filtered pictures of face and body. Tell the truth about what you do and what you are looking for. It cuts out so much of the crap. Men please do the same!