17 votes

How to date when you're pushing forty?

Semi-throwaway cause you'll see.

I used to know my way around dating. I felt some control over my projected image. Witty yet humble, respectful yet naughty, interesting yet safe. Just the right amount. I made no promises, but relationships were never of the table — and I had quite a few. I was frank, true and kind. Telling the truth about my intentions was both liberating and effective. Ladies liked it.

Maybe that's a consequence of age, but the shtick is not working anymore. Most women my age (and in my location) seem to expect someone more "mature", someone to marry with, or at least someone that is willing to become a father figure for their children. IDK. But I'm not that guy. Going after younger women is a double-edged sword since I'll have to deal with growing pains I have long left behind. And it's not like they're too interested in me anyway. I refuse to believe that marriage and fatherhood are necessary steps for maturity, but sometimes this seems like an inevitability. And it's not like I blame women for wanting that: it's within their right to want whatever suits them. And I want their company. I just don't want to participate in the big project.

I do not believe in marriage, the same way I do not invest in any large project with such a slim chance of success (and for me divorce is only one of many ways a marriage can fail). I absolutely do not judge anyone who chooses to become married, but it's not for me.

So hence the question: how to date when you're pushing forty?

16 comments

  1. [5]
    MimicSquid
    (edited )
    Link
    The same way you always have. There will be fewer women who want what you want, but being honest about your intentions is as valuable as it always has been. It's true that many women have children...

    The same way you always have. There will be fewer women who want what you want, but being honest about your intentions is as valuable as it always has been. It's true that many women have children and are looking for a life partner, but before it was basically that way and they just didn't have the kids to show for it.

    Don't change yourself just to find more partners, but do recognize that as life goes on what you have to offer might be less interesting to some people. On the other hand, for the women who definitely don't want that grand experiment you are quite the catch. I know that those women are still out there, and being up front with what you want is definitely the way to find them.

    Edit: Also, don't automatically disregard women because they have children. They might want a life partner, but they also might really enjoy having a less serious and committed part of their lives. A night out every week or so with a passionate friend where they can set aside their normal life could be very appealing to some people.

    20 votes
    1. [4]
      corleone
      Link Parent
      Thanks, my friend! Do you also happen to know where they're hiding? :D

      Thanks, my friend!

      I know that those women are still out there, and being up front with what you want is definitely the way to find them

      Do you also happen to know where they're hiding? :D

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        These days? Online. I've personally had luck with OkCupid for the kind of relationship you've described yourself as wanting. You haven't mentioned whether you're kinky, but if you are and there is...

        These days? Online. I've personally had luck with OkCupid for the kind of relationship you've described yourself as wanting. You haven't mentioned whether you're kinky, but if you are and there is a local scene that's also a good place to meet people, primarily because it's an arena where people are open about their relationship and sexual priorities.

        10 votes
        1. [2]
          corleone
          Link Parent
          I'm certain every spot in the world has a kinky scene, with the possible exception of North-Korea. But I'm pretty non-kinky myself. I think :P I'm actually quite traditional when it comes to...

          I'm certain every spot in the world has a kinky scene, with the possible exception of North-Korea.

          But I'm pretty non-kinky myself. I think :P

          I'm actually quite traditional when it comes to relationships, I just don't want to get married or be a father.

          But I'm not entirely opposed to investigating that area...

          4 votes
          1. MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            Yeah, I recommend it as much for the aspects of open communication as anything else. It's hard to find people who want what you want in a relationship if you don't discuss it until you're already...

            Yeah, I recommend it as much for the aspects of open communication as anything else. It's hard to find people who want what you want in a relationship if you don't discuss it until you're already getting close to something serious. This is shared with online dating, but interacting in person is a lot nicer, really.

            6 votes
  2. jprich
    Link
    Your best bet is going to be child free dating sites or meet up groups. Anyone subbed there will automatically tick one of your mandatory boxes and likely believe in the more personal freedom of...

    Your best bet is going to be child free dating sites or meet up groups. Anyone subbed there will automatically tick one of your mandatory boxes and likely believe in the more personal freedom of not being married.

    7 votes
  3. HoolaBoola
    Link
    I think (don't know!) the same could be said if the genders were swapped. Most men that age seem to want to be father figures, so I guess you're in the minority there. Just as well a woman not...

    I think (don't know!) the same could be said if the genders were swapped. Most men that age seem to want to be father figures, so I guess you're in the minority there. Just as well a woman not wanting marriage and children is in the minority, but they still exist! (Sorry if this is that too happy encouragement comment)

    3 votes
  4. Dobbie03
    Link
    I wish I could answer this, I have been with my wife since I was 20, I'm coming up on 41. If for some reason I was in the position where I was wanting to date, well shit, I think I'd have no idea.

    I wish I could answer this, I have been with my wife since I was 20, I'm coming up on 41. If for some reason I was in the position where I was wanting to date, well shit, I think I'd have no idea.

    2 votes
  5. [8]
    envy
    Link
    You want both a marriage free and a child free relationship?

    someone to marry with

    You want both a marriage free and a child free relationship?

    1 vote
    1. [6]
      corleone
      Link Parent
      Actually not literally child-free. I like children, and I'm open to date women with children. But I'm not willing to become a father figure to them. It's tricky, I know.

      Actually not literally child-free. I like children, and I'm open to date women with children. But I'm not willing to become a father figure to them.

      It's tricky, I know.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        0lpbm
        Link Parent
        I think becoming a "father figure" is not something you can avoid if you are dating a single mom. Would it help if you'd think about it as being a "positive male role model" instead?

        I think becoming a "father figure" is not something you can avoid if you are dating a single mom. Would it help if you'd think about it as being a "positive male role model" instead?

        5 votes
      2. [3]
        envy
        Link Parent
        How do you feel about commitment to a life partner outside the holy bounds of matrimony?

        How do you feel about commitment to a life partner outside the holy bounds of matrimony?

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          corleone
          Link Parent
          That is something I want very much.

          That is something I want very much.

          1. envy
            Link Parent
            I know many women in your age range who ended up with a life partner sans the kids. All but one ended up married. You are seriously limiting your dating pool by rejecting marriage out of hand. I'm...

            I know many women in your age range who ended up with a life partner sans the kids. All but one ended up married.

            You are seriously limiting your dating pool by rejecting marriage out of hand.

            I'm not a big fan of marriage, but it's something I was flexible on.

            What, in particular, do you object to with marriage?