15 Dos And Don’ts To Consider When Dating In your 40s

Dating in your 40s can be more interesting and fun than most perceive. As you enter your 40s, you gain more confidence and are wiser than you were in your 20s and 30s. This maturity can be a blessing for your dating life and makes for a stable relationship. Dating need not necessarily lead to a committed relationship, but it can be the start of a long-lasting friendship. Read on to know some dating advice tips to try in your 40s and use your learnings to find the perfect companion.

In This Article

15 Dos And Don’ts Of Dating After 40


1. Start with a clean slate 

If you are in your 40s, likely you have already been in a relationship previously. Make sure you and your date have both moved on from previous relationships and heartbreaks and are ready to date. Ensure you enter the dating field with a clean slate.

2. Be clear about what you want

Before you start dating, make sure you know what exactly it is that you are looking for. Do you want to be fancy-free and have fun? Do you want to meet people and expand your social circle? Or are you looking for a soulmate, a long-term relationship, or even marriage? Know your priority and choose the people you will spend time and energy dating.

3. Take initiative

One of the good things about being in your 40s is that you are more confident in a relationship. If you like someone, make the first move to invite them out for a date. The worst that can happen is that you will be refused. That’s not such a bad thing. It’s just a name off your list. But if you make the first move, you just might impress the other person with your frankness.

4. Try new things 

Although some people become rigid in their ways and choices in their 40s, be different. Be open to trying new things with your date. Maybe they will spark your interest in something new, and you may gain a new-found hobby or passion. Also, try to initiate new things you have not done or experienced before. It’s great to enjoy the evening discovering new things together. It could even help you form a great bond.

Maybe you never played golf, and your date would like to take you golfing. Go for it. You could also take a salsa class together or attend a live show. Try things that you wouldn’t do otherwise. Be open to new ideas and adventures.

5. Be honest about family

Make sure you inform your date if you have children or live with your parents. Be honest and clear to your potential partner so that they don’t find out later and think you lied. It also helps the other person figure out where you stand and how far you are looking to go with them.

6. Be patient 

The right one will come along soon. If you are on a dating app and have been on some dates that did not work out for you, don’t lose hope. Analyze what is going wrong, and try to find a way around it. Whether it is you making the wrong choice or the other person walking away, the creases can always be ironed out with some introspection.

7. Understand first-date chemistry

The first date may seem perfect, and you may feel totally drawn towards each other, but lust often plays games with our minds. It may seem so perfect that you wouldm’t think twice inviting them up to the apartment for a nightcap. But remember, people always put on their best hats to create a first impression.

As perfect as it may seem, when you get to know the person for some more time, you might realize they make a good friend but are not someone you would want to have a long-term relationship with. Don’t regret the first night, but next time, be wary before being bowled over on the first date.

8. Look for love 

The 40s are a good time to be sensible about relationships and find love. If you are looking for one-night stands, you may still have some maturing to do. Try to look for long-term relationships, whether it is love, a spouse, or even a lifelong friend. In all probability, jumping from person to person may eventually leave you alone and depressed.


1. Discussing previous relationships 

Talking endlessly about your past relationships can be a real bummer. People dating in their 40s are not looking to be your agony aunt. If you want to be honest, mention if you have been in a previous relationship and stop there – do not go into detail. Focus more on your date and the new beginning and new experiences.

2. Using old photographs as your profile picture

We all want to look young, and so, we often put up old pictures from the good old days to impress people. We love to create a good first impression or receive compliments about how young and fresh we look. But if you are updating your profile, make sure you put a recent photograph, especially if you look slightly different now than you did in your 30s. Have a truthful online dating profile.

3. Dating someone who resembles your ex

We tend to look for our exes in a new partner. Memories of the good times and good qualities of your ex can often cloud your mind. Do not let your ex be the benchmark for the new people you date. Appreciate the new person for who they are.

4. Rushing to jump into bed 

It is wise to take things gradually to the next level. If you find someone on a dating site or someone open to dating, it does not mean they are solely looking for a fling. Do not try to propose a nightcap on the first or even the first few dates. Trust us; this will win you some respect.

5. Going with a checklist 

Of course, you may want to know about a new person, and you might even have certain criteria in mind, but do not go with a questionnaire. Don’t interrogate your date. Keep an open mind and let the conversation flow from both sides. A person will open up automatically if you make them feel casual and comfortable. Remember, a date is not an interview.

6. Sticking to technology 

You may have found someone on a dating app, and you both may have been texting and communicating regularly. Ask the other party out for a date. If they seem to avoid meeting you and communicating openly, you should disengage. You are looking for a companion, a friend, and a partner, not someone to pass your time texting random messages.

7. Getting stuck to your love language 

People express love in various ways. Gifts, words, songs, physical touch are just a few of them. But not everyone’s love language is the same as yours. Don’t get caught up in “They didn’t say they love me” or “They didn’t compliment my new hairstyle.” Understand and accept each other’s love language. They are probably saying more than what you hear.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is it so hard to date in your 40s?

By 40, people attain a lot of good and bad experiences that shape their maturity and thinking perspectives. Judgments are more driven by the brain than the heart. Dating does not seem as easy as during the 20s or even 30s. A complicated divorce, major heartbreaks, or a very successful yet time-consuming work schedule may contribute to the challenges at this age.

2. What is the 3-4 dating rule?

The 3-4 dating rule directs four aspects that people should look for in the first three dates and not keep dating for years without having a fundamental idea about each other. Those four are:

  • Chemistry in the potential relationship in terms of connection, which may be physical or intellectual.
  • Core values with their morals. It includes their career and family goals as well.
  • Emotional maturity regarding their ability to express their feelings.
  • Readiness for commitment.

3. How do you date after divorce in your 40s?

Make sure you do not carry the bitterness from the past relationship but the lessons learned. Wait till you have recovered from the chaos before you venture into dating again. Try meeting more people and communicating well. Focus on yourself and do things that make you happy.

Dating in your 40s may not feel the same as when you were younger. However, you can still have fun while noting some dos and don’ts. Before you begin dating, ensure you are in a good state, be truthful about your family, and be willing to try new things. When on a date, avoid talking about your previous relationships, don’t post old photos on social media, and don’t date someone who looks like your ex. While dating after a long break can be thrilling and romantic, it also brings many changes with it. So give your social life some zing and embrace the things to come.

Key Pointers

  • Always be upfront about discussing your past relationships.
  • Know how to present your limitations.
  • Let the person know what you are expecting out of the relationship.
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Andrea Riley

Andrea Riley CTHF, CLC, CMS

Andrea Riley is a TV talk show host, blogger, podcaster, author, certified life coach, certified trauma healing facilitator, licensed relationship instructor, certified biblical counselor, licensed minister, and keynote speaker. She has an overall experience of 14 years and co-founded the Marriage Service Technicians with her husband, Clifton, in 2008. Their mission is to ‘equip relationships with tools to go the...read full bio