Dating after 40: for best results, keep your mind open—not your checklist:

At 41 I got a divorce.  Hmmmmm… My life is over I thought.  No more fun for me…  Actually, just the opposite! Never one to sit around moping, I got busy compiling my pictures and started writing—a profile on an internet dating site. “You know the men are only looking for one thing,” everyone told me.  Oh come on people. Seriously, no matter where you are that’s what men are looking for!  Get over it! We like it too don’t we?
 
Sure enough I started getting hits and going on dates. What was the worst that could happen? I always met them in a public place like Starbucks.  Cliché, but so what?  It works and I like their lattes. Each date was an opportunity to meet someone new, learn something and have a conversation. Each time I dated ‘beyond’ the initial meet & greet my experiences kept getting better. Some relationships lasted a few months, some a little longer, but each time I learned a few more things about dating after 40.  The most important lesson? Good results start with having an open mind.  Many single women have long lists of must haves when it comes to men.  And that’s fine; just let me caution you with some list-writing wisdom I picked up when reading “The Secret”:

Think each point through carefully because you may just get what you wish for! (The first time I got what I wished for, I soon realized my mistake!) Then make true on the old adage “out of sight, out of mind”—put the list away somewhere and forget about it.

"The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne

Seriously.  Meet each new guy without mentally checking all his qualities against your list. I once heard a dating analogy comparing ‘finding a man’ to ‘finding artwork’.  Some people carry around a frame looking for the perfect piece of art to fit inside. Instead, you should approach each new person with fresh eyes looking to find the one you just can’t forget, the one that really speaks to you.  Later you can shop for the frame. In my experience, no part of my search was a waste of time.
 
 I’ll tell you my true story. I was dating a man that really did it for me. BUT (of course there’s a ‘but’, you didn’t think there’d be a happy ending that easily did you?), the one problem was that he didn’t want a commitment… or a real relationship for that matter. Was this good enough for me?  Of course not!  However, I enjoyed his company so much that I persisted for a whole year and a half until I eventually broke up with him.  Let me note that although it didn’t work out in the end, I have no regrets for our time spent together. After ending the relationship, I wished for everything that was great about that boyfriend and more, only this time in someone that wanted a real relationship!  And guess what? I got exactly what I wished for!  Don’t ask me how it worked…but it did.  Read “The Secret”, and maybe it will work for you too.

I’d like to know, what lessons have you learned about dating over 40?

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