When we consider someone who is over the age of 40 who is right now involved in the “dating
scene”, the odds are pretty good that we’re actually talking about someone who is BACK on the dating scene after an unspecified length of time of being absent from it, since I imagine, statistically, the number of people over 40 who are right now active in the dating scene and who have also never been married would be nearly non-existent.
This means that we can assume we are talking about males and females over the age of 40 who are either widows/widowers or divorced. (I will not be addressing that segment of the demographic who are actually married but looking for someone to “fool around with” in a dating scenario — although, there are certainly more than a few of them out there…)
Further, since there are more “Baby Boomers” (born mid-1940s to late-1950s) around at the present time than people who were born either before the 1940s or people who were born from the late 1950s to the early 1970s (someone who is exactly 40 years old in 2012 would have been born in 1972), the bulk of people meeting the criteria of “40+” would be Boomers ranging in age from 53 to 67.
So, the real question becomes: What are the 5 most important things divorced or widowed Baby Boomers should know about dating in today’s world?
1. Impact on Kids
While it’s statistically unlikely that they would have minor children at this point in their lives, Boomers re-entering the dating world at the present time could very well (and probably DO) have grandchildren to consider. Further, due to the present economic climate, many Boomers either have adult children (who, in many cases, in turn also have their children with them) in their household or have assumed guardianship of their grandchildren.
The potential for negative impact upon (especially) minor children when the head of the household enters the dating scene doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out.
Bringing a stranger into the house represents a potential threat to the safety of children living under the same roof.
Boomers, having come of age in the “free love” 1960s, need to be especially aware of this potential for negative impact because they might not have the mindset to consider it as seriously as it needs to be considered.
This situation warrants extreme caution — not only in their choice of companions but also in the consideration of the length of time they should wait before actually physically introducing someone they are dating into the household.
It takes time to come to know someone well — well enough to trust them in close proximity to vulnerable minor children, at any rate…
So #1 on our list of important things to consider is to move cautiously and S-L-O-W-L-Y in developing dating relationships — ESPECIALLY if there are minor children living under one’s roof.
2. What are your goals?
The second thing on our list of important things should be seriously considered and decided upon before even setting foot into the dating scene: What are you hoping to achieve by “dating”?
Are you looking strictly for a sexual partner or are you just looking for companionship?
Do you hope a viable dating relationship will end in marriage or do you not see the point of marrying someone at this late stage of your life?
If you are hoping to eventually marry a viable candidate (or even simply live with him/her) you should also decide well ahead of time how you foresee handling certain aspects of the relationship. For example:
Would you be pooling your financial resources or keeping them separate?
How is the household labor (cleaning, cooking, repairs, etc.) to be divided between you? Do you expect each of you will have “traditional male/female roles”, a completely equitable distribution of chores or ???
What about children? Adoption?
Religious preferences: Do you see yourself only with someone who shares your religion or ???
There could be several similarly important aspects that you should be considering well ahead of time…
3. Looks — How important are they to you?
I think we can all agree that physical attraction is the thing that jump starts most intimate relationships. We STAY in a healthy, compatible relationship for other reasons but the reason why we even look twice at someone “in the crowd” has to do with their physical characteristics and how they stack up to our preferences in that department.
However, at this stage of life, we should have gained a trifle more depth and breadth in our mature thinking processes than to be bowled head over heels because a potential date possesses a “tight 6-pack” or wears a C-cup bra. Hopefully, this type of more mature thinking widens the field of potential candidates and makes us more tolerant of slight aberrations in physical characteristics that differ from our concept of “ideal”.
Middle age brings with it graying temples, a widening waist-line and perhaps even some physical disabilities.
We should decide which physical characteristics we simply MUST have in a potential date — and that list should be minimal at best.
4. Know thyself FIRST.
Many times, people who are in the process of recovering from the grief of losing a partner — either by death or divorce — don’t take sufficient time to explore the full range of the potential of their own individuality.
Feeling as though they are emotionally “incomplete”, many times those who have grown accustomed to having a partner or mate around them who then suddenly find themselves without that person, will rush right out — desperately seeking someone, anyone, to fill the
perceived “gap”. This behavior — in ALL instances — is completely inadvisable.
If you are woman who, let’s say, spent the last 25 years married to the same man with whom you got along extremely well, take the opportunity that his absence now provides to you to get to know yourself — YOUR likes and dislikes, YOUR passion(s), YOUR “Muse(s)”.
Firstly because you deserve to exercise your preferences after caring for and nurturing your mate’s or family’s needs up until now and, secondly, because a person who is secure and sure of themselves in what they like and what they don’t like is also extremely sexy and attractive to a potential mate.
Find out for sure who YOU are so that you can better discern what you are looking for in a companion.
Above all, remember that there is no “rule” that states you have to be involved in a committed relationship with someone else. Much more important is to feel comfortable being YOU, being PROUD to be you and being certain in the knowledge that you don’t need anyone else to make you feel fulfilled as a human being!
5. Don’t underestimate the power or the potential for success of online dating services and background checking services!
We do, after all, live in the “digital age” with the wonderful asset of the “Information Super Highway” at our fingertips! Use these tools to your best advantage!
NOTE: Much of the information contained in this article was obtained through the “over40world.com” blog which can be accessed via the following link: