The Pros and Cons of Dating When You Are Over Forty

Relationships do not last very long these days. Unlike our grandparents’ times, when gold and diamond anniversaries were almost expected, people now tend to drift apart after anything between five and twenty years. The reasons for these splits can be anything from unpleasant or abusive behavior in a partner to a simple incompatibility revealing itself more with every year that passes by. Whatever the reason, all too often we find ourselves, on the wrong side of forty, looking for love. If you find yourself in this position, do not despair or feel that it is too late for you to find happiness – many couples get together in their forties and enter into tender autumn partnerships that can last for many years.


1. Once you have reached the age of forty or more, it is highly unlikely that either of you will have come through life unscarred and unscathed. You will both have emotional baggage that will need to be taken into account by the other. If understanding or tolerance is not forthcoming, any relationship is probably not going to be successful.

2. You may both have families that must be accommodated before any dates, weekend breaks or longer holidays can be planned, especially if one or both of you have younger, school-age children.

3. You will both be set in your own way in some circumstance and this can range from seemingly minor preferences like which way you have the toilet roll hanging in the bathroom, or having a window open a crack at night to quite major lifestyle factors like religion, fanatical exercise or stringent food preferences. (Food preferences might seem like a minor point, but imagine an attraction between a die-hard vegan and an equally resolute meat-lover!)

4. As you are both older, you may be less body confident, especially if wrinkles have appeared and gravity has had its saggy way on bottoms, breasts and manly pectorals! If you have been single for a while, your confidence may be rock bottom.

5. However, it is also more likely that bodily flaws are better tolerated by a new partner than annoying habits, tics and faults of that ilk!


1. With age comes knowledge and you are both more likely to know what you want from a relationship, and equally importantly, what you do not want. Being older, you are probably going to be more willing to tell your new partner what you expect from him or her, which will make the whole relationship easier and more open.

2. Communication improves over time, as you both realize the importance of being able to express yourself, rather than simply expecting your partner to go along with what you want.

3. Once you have established a rapport you relax quickly, and neither of you should feel the need to lie to the other about work, academic success or leisure. It is generally younger people who feel the need to boast about their exploits and exaggerate their accomplishments in order to impress new friends and acquaintances. As you get older, you realize that he truth is the best option, even if it is rather boring!

4. By forty, most people have more or less grown-up children, which gives them a great deal of free time for taking up new pursuits and hobbies. While some may still have school-age children to look after (see cons) this is a fairly rare circumstance. (Although, you may find a new partner who has not yet had a family, having been concentrating on their career in their twenties and thirties!)

5. The final positive point about dating when you are over forty is perhaps the best one. Women reach their sexual prime in their late thirties and forties, while men generally enjoy sex throughout much of their lives. As neither of you are likely to be as athletic or gymnastic as you were in your twenties, physical intimacy in older couples is thought to be rooted more in the emotions rather than in the physical bouncing around and friction. If you do meet someone fantastic and you ‘click’, you are more likely to have a better, feistier sex-life than you did with any previous partners.



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