Is Dating Different in Your 40’s?

I get SO many questions from women in their 40’s and 50’s who ask me whether my advice would work for them.

And I always wonder: why not?

Of course I understand that ageing is an anxiety that all of us secretly face and worry about, especially when it comes to dating. But does that really mean that the same rules no longer apply once we hit 40?

What is it about turning 40 that makes life so different? Is it that a 40 year-old wouldn’t flirt and go on dates? Is it that you can’t find good men once you’re 40? Is it that 40 year-olds live in some alternate universe where the rules that apply to 20 and 30-year olds no longer work?

Maybe I’m being dumb and naiive here, but I don’t believe any of those things. But I’d like to hear from you women on this issue.

If you have an opinion, ANY opinion at all about dating in your 40’s and beyond, please make sure you watch this episode of LOVELife and share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

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48 Responses to Is Dating Different in Your 40’s?

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  1. carol says:

    I was told by a 50 year old man only women in their 20s play games like exclusive relationship before sex.

  2. Jennifer Piaskowy says:

    Hi Matthew~
    I am 41 and divorced, I also was in a long term relationship which involved my children, and living together etc. now I am single and do believe it is different dating at this age vs. when I was in my thirties only because life in general is an eye opener, “time” is not to be taken for granted and by now you are not only looking for what you want but have learned exactly what you do not want. I know personally I am not only thinking about myself and how a guy would fit with me but also my daily life with my kids and activities… can he keep up, will he accept it, etc. Also, I know at any age with dating there are steps to take but when we are younger we feel the luxury of time… to go out and have fun, to just get to know a person however long that takes, or maybe just being able to focus on that guy and the potential. As you get older you don’t want to “waste time” so to speak, knowing exactly what you want and having a guy know that is refreshing, it’s almost as if you skip some steps, is the chemistry there? is it ok having kids? do you want to be re-married or just looking to have the girlfriend? do they live on their own? All things that seem to be first or second date material sometimes even before you actually meet. So even though all ages of people have pasts and issues it is not so much that but how much time you are willing to go before “jumping in” together and the thought process of it just being about yourself & the other person to it being about children yours and theirs if they have them. At the end of the day happiness is key and we were not meant to be going through life alone. I do believe in the term soul mate and having that one special person you can call “home.” Btw love your advice… but going to flip the script on you, and was wondering what do you do to get the girl? Are you in a relationship and how would you feel about dating someone who had kids & had been married before? Assuming you don’t have kids and have not been married… would you take a chance or not?
    Thank you for your time,
    Jennifer

    • Sabine says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      I’m 46, been separated for 3 years from the husband, 1 kid and I agree with everything you say. Or in 4 simple words: I feel’ya sister! :-)
      All the best,
      Sabine

  3. East Bay Blonde says:

    I have been single for years since my divorce 13 years ago and my last boyfriend dying 4 years ago. I have not had a relationship since and want to have one. Your tips on how to attract a man to marry and have children doesn’t apply much to me now that I’m 60, so the tips on how to lure a man by talking about making babies is ridiculous. I want a longterm relationship but I don’t want to live with the man. I am very busy but not too busy for a relationship. People seem to assume I just want sex or a hookup when that isn’t it at all. Also there seem to be men who want a wife, or a mother for their children, or want to play the field. How can I get through what I want? What words can I put on a dating site to describe the kind of relationship I’m looking for? Does the word companionship apply living together? What about the not very discussed topic of erectile dysfunction in men my age? Is this why men don’t want to have intimacy? I’ve run into it with both men I dated, and they won’t discuss it at all — one acts like all intimacy is off, the other didn’t seem to care if he gave pleasure. I want to please these men but they are not open. So I am moving on but what can one convey that indicates closeness without it sounding like sex or no sex?

  4. VL says:

    There are certain “land mines” in dating in your 40s that aren’t really an issue in 20s/30s.

    I’ve never been married, so I have dated in all 3 decades (in my 20s, 30s, and 40s).

    In my 40s I’ve noticed there are a lot of men with multiple divorces (3 or 4 times divorced). Do I want to be ex-wife number 4 or 5? No. Next.

    Also, there are a lot of recently divorced men trying to rush into a new relationship. It’s very hard to keep first dates light and fun with this type of man. It feels like a lot of pressure to commit to him before I even know him. Next.

    There are fewer available men in my age group, in part because Generation X has a lower divorce rate than the Baby Boomers. There are many empty-nester divorced Boomers, and there is a huge population of never married Millennials, but Gen X is a much smaller population, especially in the college town where I live.

    As a Christian, I prefer not to date divorced men. It just makes me very uncomfortable. But… the never married population is generally much younger than I am, which isn’t morally a problem, but culturally there’s a lot of push-back. People *will* gossip and say cruel things (often the same people who are very tolerant toward gay couples will absolutely crucify a straight couple with an age gap where the woman is older – it’s the last bastion of hypocrisy).

    So, those are some issues that are different when dating in your 40s.

    • VL says:

      And I should add, one important communication tip for dating in your 40s is: right after you ask him if he has been married before, and he answers “yes”, be sure to ask him “how many times?”

      My last bf (from over 5 years ago – I haven’t dated much since) was perfect for me – on paper. He was a year older than I was, he was smart, educated, decent looking, well traveled, kids were grown, he made a good living, etc etc. But… when I asked him how many times he’d been married he said 3, but technically the second marriage didn’t count because it had been annulled – the reason being he was still recovering from being shot in the head (in combat) and didn’t know what he was doing.

      I should never have agreed to another date after that, but oh well… Everything else seemed perfect! He was just nuts, and you can’t fix someone who is nuts, no matter how good they look on paper.

      I think I cut him a lot of slack for being a wounded veteran of Mogadishu, and I should have cut bait instead.

  5. Fi says:

    I am fiftyfabulous and use your dating techniques and they do work.

    If you want to find someone you definitely have to make the effort to go out and talk to everyone and any one it is a lot of fun and you meet some great people and some very special people along the way as finding someone is also a numbers game.

    I have several friends my age who have just given up trying to find anyone. I find this incredibly sad as there are a lot of great men out there wanting someone special too. We all have to fight the fear of not doing stuff or life isn’t worth living. I am not perfect neither do i expect the person I am dating to be either.

    Its been fun meeting the dickpic guys (well for 30 seconds , especially when he’s wrapped them in tinsel and baubles , well it was Christmas !!), the ones that are 50 plus never married and now want to get married and have babies (I really hope it happens), the ones that believe you are too old but they aren’t, the ones that say “you ‘re prettier than I thought you would be” (internet dating), the 32 year old (i am no Mrs Robinson), and the most special one of all …….the ones that think porn film sex is the way to go (it never ever is !!!).

    And then a man you’ve been friends with phones (not texts ) you and asks you to go out on a date…hurrah ! Exciting ….who knows what will happen, you just got to enjoy the day you are in.

  6. Deirdre says:

    Hello Matt,
    I’ve just discovered you, why it’s taken this long… I don’t know but I am thrilled. I am also excited and have learned a great deal since watching your videos.
    With regards to “Is Dating Different in Your 40’s”, my opinion is no. The dating advice you provide to all women is no different for women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or even 50’s. I am 52, turning 53 the beginning of next year. I’ve never felt your advice was geared towards a certain age group. In fact I’ve used your techniques and lessons and have had great success. I feel your coaching is for women of all ages. Thank you so much for YOU! You’re amazing and such a delight! I find myself smiling after each video. You’re insightful, funny, down to earth and true pleasure! Much luv
    Deirdre

  7. Jitita Dias says:

    Hi Matt,
    I loved this video so much that I had to leave you a comment, although I’m not in my 40’s so I apologize because I don’t have a particularly relevant answer to your question. But I just think that this video clearly proves how evolved you are as a coaching person. You just didn’t give the obvious answer like “Come on, age is just a number, embrace it!” which we all know would probably not help much and instead you give your genuine opinion, admit you just might not be aware of the challenges that people face in their 40’s and then encourage your audience that is right now experiencing this situation to advise you on why they feel things are like this. So you basically give them a space to speak up so that you can learn from them and then you will react to it using all your knowledge and senses that you have developed over the years of your coaching career. This is an extremely powerful tool of how we all can learn from each other and I really want to thank you for being so brave to sometimes show your weaknesses because in the next step you manage to multiply your strenghts and provide people with a really great advice.
    Best regards from Berlin
    J.

  8. karen says:

    Yes Matt Dating over 40 is different in many ways. I want to be in a relationship with someone my own age. But what I have found is that many older men want a young woman, James Woods, the actor, said it was the same thing as getting a puppy. These guys want to date young girls because they believe that it will make them feel young again. Not true , they will just suck the life-force out of her like a vampire. These older guys are rude to women like me and then fall all over themselves trying to get young women. Well the jokes on them. Young women want young guys, they want to start families, they want to have fun with other young people.
    I don’t attract the older gents but I do attract the 18- 34 crowd. Guys just like you Matt and Jameson of course! I meet them everywhere. They say things like, “you’re so easy to talk to, I think we could have a relationship.” My feet are on the ground so I know the guy wants to have sex for a few months and then it will be time to move on. So I never go out with them, but I get invited 2 times a month on average.
    I do find it frustrating to meet guys my own age.
    But your advice is the greatest, it just won’t work on a guy that thinks you’re an old cow ready for the knackers

  9. Mitra says:

    Hi, Mattew
    Thank you for all you do and will do for us “women” You are such a great guy and that’s true .Never saw so intelligent and sensetive and true guy and wise as you specially at your age ,…to keep it short ,
    I’m 52 and never married but got 15 years daughter .I think after certain age a lot of men don’t want to marry again(often got divorsed and..)so very difficult to make them commit .Most of them want to have a maybe strong and even serious relation ship but not as us women to get commited or so . I don’t know maybe i’m wrong but i got this feeling what do you think? I thank you and wish you the best .Mitra

  10. Kyra says:

    It’s definitely different. I turned 40 this year. I’m “melanin gifted” so I look young (I’ve been told I look between 33 – 35), but I have noticed a difference when I do online dating. Being a woman of color it’s always been quiet, but since turning 40, my inbox is almost like crickets. I’m pretty sure men have up to an not past 39 years of age in their search filter.

    Other than that it can be frustrating when men approach you to “hang out” or “kick it” or “chill” and you’re in your 40s and 50s. I’ve never been married. I haven’t even had a boyfriend in ten years. So, I am looking for something of substance. And, it can be frustrating when you’re only asked or approached to “hang out” and have sexual relationships. I know, for me, I had serious medical decisions to make and a major surgery a couple of years ago. I’ll have to go through those same decisions in a couple of years and decide if I want to keep the ability to have children. So, I have more of an urgency for something serious in dating. Men my age and older — who have been married and are divorced or are life long avoidant men who don’t really want relationships — are rampant in the dating field and it can be disappointing to know you’re going to meet mostly and/or only these type of men.

  11. TJ says:

    The difference is that, when you are in your 20s and 30s, you are most often dating with the intention to start a family with someone. When you are a woman in your 40s, you are more than likely not dating with that goal. Men, who have that goal (or want to keep the option for it open) date younger. And it is nice to have someone younger want you when you see and feel your age catching up with you. I think guys can get on board more readily with that scenario than blending two families, so why not go down that path if you can? Also, many of them are recently divorced and still reeling emotionally and financially. I just started dating in the last year after a five-year break. I haven’t dated a lot (yet) but it is picking up because I am putting myself out there. But goodness, a majority of the guys who I have met are still angry with their exes, have addiction issues that they hide well, are in a mid-life crisis of sorts, back in a party mode – those kinds of things. I think that if they already have all of the kids that they want, that they do not see a need to commit to any one woman. They can have a variety of women, because lots of women in their 40s will have sex readily because they like it and see it (mistakenly) as a way to build a committed relationship (that strategy actually kinda worked in our teens and early 20s for most of us). As a recently-divorced man, or woman for that matter, it only makes sense to keep your freedom/independence, control of your money and home, use your friends and family to meet your deeper emotional needs and help you, while you have “fun” with the opposite sex and keep that part casual. So, dating is different in your 40s in these ways:

    1. The end game is vastly different. You aren’t typically looking for a mother/father for your future children. You are looking for someone who can fit into your already-existing family, which can be drama filled and messy. How can you demonstrate your compatibility to each other on all of these different levels without providing all of the benefits of commitment without actually having it? It kind of feels like a Catch-22.

    2. There seems to be an element of having to soothe past wrongs that exes have committed. There is this huge hurdle of trust to overcome. How can you earn someone’s trust when there were ugly court/custody battles that involved friends and families, huge financial losses, and emotional pain? How can I get him to open up? That stuff lingers, I suspect longer and on a deeper level than people admit to themselves, I’m finding. That’s assuming the woman has taken care of her past, too.

    3. I find that momentum is often lost during the initial getting-to-know-you/pre-dating texting (meeting on-line) or during the first couple of dates. I’m a professional, and so are many of the men I date. We travel for work, have kids, homes to keep, etc. And you know what? I think that motivation is low, because we are so comfortable with our work and family lives that it is easier to get distracted, or fade out of an interaction – because let’s face it, it takes time and effort to build good rapport and they can be challenging at first. And we are tired. Anyway, how can I build rapport more quickly and keep these interactions going when competing with such a full life? (I’m talking texting, which has little to do with time management that you mention). Maybe I just haven’t hit someone compatible enough yet? I’ve had fun on dates and meeting in person, but getting there feels akin to answering work e-mails. I have to be in the right zone. We aren’t competing with just other possible dates; we are competing with awesome/busy lives – on both ends. There is less time and to focus on each other, and our attention is often divided when we do. My time is so much more limited and valuable to me now than when I was in my 20s and 30s.

    4. I am starting to view relationships a lot differently. I am not so quick to write someone off. I think that I am a lot more forgiving. See above points. I try to understand the other person genuinely and appreciate them and their experiences on a deeper level. The biological rush to start a family is gone, so I have more patience in that regard. I honestly feel that I could have a wonderful, serious relationship with couple of men I already have known for years (and dated previously), if only we could get on the same page. I don’t really have a question for this one. It is just a point that might be different. I don’t know how to get them to see it. They just might not be there yet. I don’t know.

    5. I often ask myself, what is the point of a relationship at this stage of my life? Before, I knew. Now, I can see the appeal of the casual flings, but then, no. I am unable to detach from an emotional perspective when sex is involved.

    6. I suspect: a higher percentage of “confirmed” singles with each decade. Most of the people who have the desire and skillset to be successful in a relationship formed one in their 20s or 30s and are still in it. We are rife with communication challenges on both ends and unappealing characteristics (psychologically speaking).

    And what everyone else said.

    • Alexis says:

      Love what you wrote here TJ. Everything you’ve written is bang-on with what my experience has been.

    • Emily says:

      Well-articulated.Overall most of these comments are depressing.

    • Nina says:

      Especially what you said about no goal and motivation. Dating is much more casual and fluid.
      Existing childen and work are the priority. I can finance myself. So what is left? It’s pretty much companionship and sex.

      • Nina says:

        I want to add that your advice does work well for me. Men are very attracted to me when I am in a light and happy. So I try to be on that vibe as much as possible.
        I want to be with interesting people so I become knowlageable (read up or watch videos) of things that would also interest people I’de like to meet.
        I am naturally very shy so I decided to challange myself and started speaking at conferenced and meetups, and men have aproached me later saying they were impressed and interested and would like to discuss over coffee.
        These are just a few of the things I’ve learned from you, or became aware of because of you.

    • Leona_Lovequest says:

      Yes, yes, yes! All of these things. My experience with dating has been very similar. You need extra motivation to even want to keep trying. I turned 45 this summer, no kids and never married. I’m still looking for someone special, but it has not been easy. Had I known in my 20 and 30 what I know now about dating in my 40s I would have made finding a good relationship a much higher priority. While I find most of the Get the Guy advice very useful I have more problems finding someone I want to date than actually being able to keep him around.

    • Carol says:

      You are spot on TJ re busy lives, family & work commitments, men looking for younger women etc.II’m 61 & the man Ive been seeing is 67 & he’s still in pain from his divorce 5 years ago & is stuck in the past. Dating is not easy at any age!

    • Tracey Greathouse says:

      Absolutely TJ, you just hit the nail on the head. The priorities are so different. They say they want a relationship but then turn around and say they need to be selfish right now and be with their guy friends. I have found golf to be more important than a relationship. There has been a priority shift. This makes dating difficult. The age factor as well and wanting younger women. I just experienced the I can’t commit any further to you, so I’m letting you go syndrome. After 9 months of dating and together every weekend. It’s much more limiting out there. I see a huge difference from when I dated at 39 as opposed to now dating once again at 48. It’s frustrating.

    • Karen says:

      Words right out of my mouth. Im 54, widowed 4 years. Most men my age that I have encountered are angry with exes and want younger, “extroverted” women. They also don’t want to expend much energy on a relationship and hsve strong viewpoints as it relates to politics, religion, and women. Not a lot of openmindedness. And I’m not really searching;Just an observation.
      From my standpoint, I think it would also be interesting to see how all my life rolls interact with a prospective new love (i.e. Mother, Grandma, Breadwinner, etc).

    • Susan Lim says:

      Hi TJ… it was only recently that i have started to notice Matthew’s videos & theories… and came across your opinions on “is dating different in your 40’s?”

      I totally agree with what you said… I was surprised that someone on the other side of this world shared my thoughts and had selflessly list all out for as many ladies as possible to be aware of.

      It was kind of a positive affirmation to me… that I am not a “freak” alone in this world who thinks this way.

      Thank you very much… Hope all is well for you. May all ladies be blessed.

      Susan
      From Singapore

  12. Susan says:

    No, you’re not naïve. I have always loved your advice and insight. I’m divorced many years, then long term relationships and no children. I have felt the slant towards younger women with your advice. Where? Hmmm….
    1) Definitely about where to meet men. They don’t seem to be at Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, the art museum, contemporary ballet dance or getting their car fixed. Where are they?
    2) Getting a group of people together to go out…not possible with my friends…widowed and doesn’t date, married, etc.
    3) Where are the men in their late 40’s and 50’s? (The ones who exercise and care about their health; which is a concern since I’m my late 50’s.)
    I live a full life with varied interests and passions and men are never at these events. I care about my health and exercise..at home.

    • Susan says:

      I meant watching a dance performance. Meet-up.com I join for my passions, but, it is full of women.

      You remain ever my mentor…I just want to know where the men who love life and are fun ARE?

      I appreciate you giving our age group this much needed attention.

      I love your wit, advice, insight and caring,
      Susan

    • Nina says:

      Hi Susan,
      How about joining a hiking or bicycling group in your area?
      I think hiking would be better because there would be more opportunity for conversation.
      Also when I was younger (before I was married) we would go hang out in the park where the cute guys were playing recreational sports. I think that would still work.
      You could always try to start talking to someone on line at the food truck.

  13. justagal says:

    I am 50, and since Ive been studying your strategies, Matthew, I can tell you that yes, they do indeed work for people my age. The men may be aware of your work by their age, but that doesnt stop it from working. ;)
    I am happily involved and madly in love.
    None of your strategies are trickery, anyway. Its just a style of interaction. Ive never lied to a man. Just spoke his language, like you say so often.

  14. Superwoman says:

    The only issue that has changed in dating in my 40’s is that no matter how much I flirt and remain feminine, the moment a man finds out that I have a professional vocation, the power dynamic changes. Once he sees my profession is tied to a larger perception of the world, then he starts to compete with me. It is as if he no longer feels important, because I have a mission and he just has a job. I have not yet met a man who is strong enough to have a woman who is ambitious with deep convictions about politics, art, culture, and language. The more I cultivate myself, the more I think men shy away. They feel small, even if I do my best to be attentive and nurturing. I certainly never had this problem of competitiveness in my 20’s and 30’s and sometimes I am at a total loss, as to how to meet someone who wants me to succeed and also feel like he is a part of that fulfilled life. Ideally, I would like a man who knows his succinct mission in life, but I just have not found that person yet.

    • justagal says:

      superwoman, I have seen Matthew address this very issue. There is a way you can have your own perspectives without coming across to a man as competition. You deserve to find love and you will. Please look that up on whatever method you like, be it youtube or the book. The language you use to communicate the same understandings makes a difference when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex, or love interest.

  15. Beth says:

    I use Matt’s advise a lot. I try it out on guys who are married and not who I want just so I can practice. It works! The issue I have as a high vale woman over 40 is I want a high value man. Maybe I am new to being a HVW, so I am not sure where the HVM are, but I don’t believe they are at the bars if they are over 40. They are also no the majority in the over 40 single category. The advice I have been hoping for is where to meet HVM. I try the grocery, coffee shops, restaurants at happy hour, but I am not seeing men there. So I ask you Matt, where can a HVW go by herself to meet a HVM? If you tell me this, I will promise to use every text, comment, and/or state I have learned to “Get the Guy!”

  16. Tigress866 says:

    49 here… With children…

    Matt, you’re awesome.
    Your advice rocks.
    Period.

    P.S. When are you returning to NY? ✨

  17. Maz says:

    I agree with what Matt says in this video. I’ve never felt Matt’s videos/advice is aimed at younger women. I never once considered my age once I hit social scene again after a long absence. A friend told me about Matt Hussey & I’ve never looked back. He and his brother Stephen are like online mentors. :)

    I’ve always thought age is irrelevant in dating & life in general. I like people to get to know me first before the subject of age is broached, but for the sake of discussion here, I’m fifty four. However, unlike the lady mentioned in the video I am not married & don’t have children.

    I find lot of dating sites pigeonhole people into age groups, (e.g fifty plus age group with photos of grey haired couples). I find this very annoying & unrealistic. None of us fit neatly into pre-packaged categories. Life is not like that. Some may be happy with going out with their own age group. But people also may like going out with both younger & older. It’s where you’re at in life, together with responsibilities/life experiences rather than your age.

    Not dating at the moment, but am happy having fun just flirting and getting out there. It’s all a bit awkward at times but it’s very liberating, as I’m shy, but I’ll have a go. I remember when I was younger being wary about dating, hang ups, etc – but I can see that was because I was making excuses not to do anything, as there really wasn’t any reason why I couldn’t put myself out there.

    I’ve discovered, both by myself & through taking advice from Matt’s videos, that I’m at a greater advantage now than I was when I was younger. I’m more comfortable in my own skin, confident, more open to new experiences and most importantly, rejecting the hang ups I had when I was younger, as I realise they never mattered in the first place. Matt’s advice has helped me to embrace these changes. I also don’t take life that seriously any more. Basically life is much more fun.

  18. D. says:

    I’m heading towards mid 40s, no kids but want them, never been married. I’ve never had a long term relationship either and I’ve been single for awhile.

    I’ve been working on myself to be the reflection of the man I want to attract. It’s taken me awhile as I had a number of setbacks and I noticed that I still kept attracting the same type of men – low self-esteem, no vision, happy to survive and exist than to thrive.

    Fortunately I am now arriving at the space where I want to start dating, but based on my previous experiences I am truly not getting my hopes up. I too have experienced what Alexis mentions and have the twenty something hit me up for the older chocolate experience, the forty something that’s only interested in texting or setting and/or has no interest in a real connection, the men who are only looking for instant gratification without caring if it came from me, Sarah, Sally or Michelle, because he has a line up.

    And then there are the men who want to be ‘needed’ and I think Vavavoom may have a point. For some men, a woman who is accomplished may feel like a tall totem pole to climb and may never feel like he can meet my needs or even match up to my needs. Definitely I want a man as an accomplished woman, how he provides for me maybe different from most other men, but how he protects and professes his love for me should be no different.

    Matthew, I suspect you have a communication strategy and tool for all of these situations, but I think there maybe a generational circumstance at play here. When us 40 and 50 something girls were told we could be anything at school, the boys of our generation didn’t know what that would mean and therefore, didn’t get the message until we were their bosses, earning more than them and were independent of them. Their father’s couldn’t advise them on a future they couldn’t see. And in some cases it’s an issue for our generation.

    The millennials are born into the equality message and taboos and old paradigms are breaking down around intimacy, sexuality, communication and procreation plus the ubiquitous use of technology, I think females and males are navigating this new world together. Whereas, us older lot are trying to find common ground on all levels.

    Just my thoughts. Looking forward to seeing what you might develop for us Matthew.

  19. Kathryn says:

    The difference is technology. We grew up dating in a completely different era when we were younger. We would dress up, go on dates and only telephone each other in between. It would be lovely to hear each other’s voice and the space in between was when you would build the anticipation to see each other again. It sounds strange but mobiles were new also, we actually used the land line. Things like porn were not so easily available as they are very prevalent today. Men are validated and feel wanted by sex and think about it a lot more than women. So you now have a scenario where a woman has to be on call to take messages, rude or otherwise and be asked to send photos or videos 24/7. I saw some statistics of young girls and how many of them are sexting and it’s truly astonishing. Women my age are busy with their lives and you want to focus on passion projects. It’s a fine balancing act to be available to be playful, loving and yet be able to put over you are busy without quashing the passion. We also live in a society where everything is available all the hours and at any time. And we expect more, to be happy more. I have a favourite artist and one of her best known pieces is Passion 1-6. They tell the seasons of a love affair. The spring of love awakening, summer full of energy, the tempestuous storms of Autumn and the cooling of winter. And, I love this, that hopefully Spring will come around again and the feelings of new love will awaken, if you’re lucky! But in the world today we don’t allow for these fluctuations in feelings. If it’s stormy and we don’t agree on everything all the time or if it cools in ardour there’s an automatic assumption it’s all going wrong. It’s not the same love affair on line. We need the warmth of the other person, their energy, their persona, their aura. And we need to be wanting for that in the spaces in between meeting. It’s all in the distance. The dance I saw recently was adapted to do just that, to create the space for the viewer to put in the meaning. It sounds wacky but it did just that, for me the meanings were many and would have been completely different in arrangement from anyone else in the room. Technology creates no space. I think it can be mangaged and women at any age can enjoy the beauty of love. It just has to be mangaged differently. xx

    • Heather says:

      Excellent observation, Kathryn. Creating space for desire and longing is something we’re denying ourselves with being logged on and connected, 24/7.

      The other thing you mentioned, that I completely agree with, is how we’ve forgotten to allow for the seasonal ‘fluctuations in feelings’. Our need for validation is constant. How many times a day do we log on, to see who liked a comment or favoured a tweet? This fast paced dopamine spiking machine, that we’re constantly plugged into, is disturbing the natural ebb and flow of life. It’s no wonder dating has become so difficult. With so many options, there’s very little space for real love, to grow.

      H x (p.s. looked up Passion 1-6 – wow!)

      • Kathryn says:

        I completely agree, real love needs time to evolve and grow. I’m feeling nostalgic for a world that was simpler, nicer.
        I knew you’d love Jessica’s work Heather, she’s done a range with Romo Black and it’s just beautiful, wonderful quality and replication. Jessica has passion 3, I have a cushion!, in her hall way. It’s as big as the whole wall and it’s absolutely awesome up close. They take up to three years as each layer of oil has to dry and they take so much of her emotion. She is as beautiful as her paintings, I try to replicate some of her serene aura on a daily basis now, lol. Harry Styles owns passion 1, lucky him. xx

  20. Donna frost says:

    Matthew, I am looking for love, I am 45. Last men I have dated in their 40 s and 50 s don t want s serious relationship, just casual. Current boyfriend said we are not going to fall in love as it makes his life too complicating. He lives a distance away and has two children. I am starting to think what s the point of it s not going anywhere? I enjoy being with him but when he goes I feel empty ? I don t know whether to end it or see if it developed into love

  21. Stephanie says:

    Matthew, I am 46 and have been proactively dating since February 14, yes, Valentine’s Day. I have tons of stories!
    Unlike your caller, I don’t have children and am free to go out and try your suggestions…for the most part, they work. Tonight, in fact, something you suggested was just about to work when I realized I didn’t want the guy to come over and I quickly turned around.
    In regards to your caller, dating is not different in your 40’s….if you can get out on the town and feel good, start flirting, listen to Matthew, he knows what he’s talking about most of the time. If you have children then online dating might be the easier route and then you don’t have any pressure, you’re matched up automatically. Best of luck to the girl over 40!

  22. Connie says:

    I think the advice applies for the most part. I’m 46, I was married for 20 years and didn’t date a lot before. I am a fun, smart & attractive woman who stays in shape. I mostly find dates online, because I live in a small college town. I still find I get offers from either younger men (looking for hookups) or older men (who see me as young). Men my age who have been married seem to want younger women, and they want to be able to go into a bar and pick up a woman if they want to. Even if that doesn’t happen, they want the option. Many guys in their 40’s put 20-40 on their preferred age range on dating sites. Do we need different strategies to find men? Do I need to move to a bigger town?Should I lie about my age? Not sure what to do about it.

  23. Alexis says:

    Hmmm. I’m 41, but I don’t have children and was never married so I can’t speak for the person who originally asked the question. I personally think that your general communication techniques can be applied at any age. However, I think the place where we are starting from at this point can vary so greatly (divorced with children, or single and still wanting children)and can temper our expectations. It’s a point in life where there is the greatest possibility of discord between men and women’s dating expectations and needs from finding a partner. Part of this is the issue of children/family, but also in general how women who are middle-aged are viewed in our culture. Men who are my age range and who may want the same things that I also would like to have (family/child) want someone younger and ‘fertile’. Thirty seven is when I noticed this on dating sites that’s when I started noticing differences, when I started getting less responses. So that narrows the pool significantly. The other big male group at this age are those who are divorced with children often want someone who understands family life or they are done having kids and are not open to the possibility of having them with you. You also learn with these men that their children will always come first (rightfully so), so any relationship that you could have with them will always be secondary to a life they have already started…..less flexibility which means often you are the one compromising more to make the relationship work. So at this age, depending on where you are at in life, it seems much more difficult to find someone at that could be on the same page as you…it’s not a head thing, it’s reality, and it’s heartbreaking. There is a third group of men that have surprised me the most…after I hit 39 my mail has become inundated with men in their early 20s who want their “older women experience” and basically I’ve been solicited for sex. So it’s hard to stay positive when you have all these things happening. It’s hard to feel desirable for these reasons at this age. It’s a strange sense of invisibility that I thought I’d never feel, but my confidence has taken a beating. You can have all the lessons in the world to teach women to feel and think like a high value woman, and normally by this age, finally owning that for yourself comes with age and you really finally begin to feel more comfortable in your skin and have a better sense of your worth in other areas. But the strange reality is that often by the time you have hard won this realization for yourself, the sad reality is that for a lot of men, a single women without children in her early 40s does not have ‘dating worth’ any more. They don’t care if you’re high value or not, they just ain’t looking at you. Not for anything more than a f#@ck buddy or a recreation companion a few days every other week when they don’t have the kids. I’ve never felt more invisible in my life. And to sum it up, a major point its at this period of life where women and men’s expectations for what they want from each other may be the most disparate. In your 20s and 30s, and maybe in your 50s onwards, these seem to even out, and your expectations and what you hope for life are more likely to be congruent with the potential partners in your age group. I know this sounds all horribly pessimistic, but that has been my experience. I’d love to hear what you have to say Matt as well as others. I wish I could be more positive, and I do find your tips helpful Matt because I think they’re great for just connecting with PEOPLE in general. But the premise underlying your advice is this sense of knowing your worth and not settling and believing in the possibilities and unfortunately your 40s is when, if you are single, you understand that while you can always try to believe in the possible, you cannot help but look at the slimmer probabilities. In your 40s you begin to grieve loss, both real and imagined. I personally have stopped hoping to meet someone to build a life with. I’m open, I connect, I have a life I work on, I smile, I flirt. I’m here. But through circumstance, I feel invisible to men. I’m not what ‘they’ want and the men I’m meeting don’t want the same things as me. It’s strange.

    • A. says:

      I think what Alexis says here is largely true. Those factors are all at work. I think if one doesn’t address the kid-factor with over-40 year old folks, then the advice isn’t specific enough.

      That said, it ain’t all that bad! I started having fun once I stopped looking for men. Now I have all sorts of men in my life and it’s fun! I’m not in a dating space at the moment, but I am taking time to be friends with men and learn about them and that is eye-opening. Most of my friendships in my life have been with women so this is interesting.

      I’m just focusing on living a good and happy life for the next half of my life. Maybe love happens, maybe it doesn’t. Really, maybe it doesn’t. But I’m okay with that. Like Matt quoted if your life isn’t good enough already without an Olympic gold medal, it will never be good enough with one.

      There is no magic formula to change how or what men think at any age. It is what it is. I’m just focused on being happy in the here and now. I’m over 40 and life is just too short to fret about men sometimes!

    • Kelli says:

      Every single thing Alexis said has happened to me. At 41 (next month), never married with no kids I find that I’m not on anyone’s same page & likewise seemingly only on the radar and approached in the most crude ways by 20 somethings wanting a “cougar experience”.

      It’s also challenging to think about most options being divorced men and/or divorced men with kids so that I likely won’t get to share in things as firsts–they’ve already had a wedding, a wife, expectjng a baby, having kids. It’s a bit sad to think that I may not have the opportunity to share in those same experiences as new experiences with a partner.

    • Heather says:

      Alexis, as a 40 year old woman (without children and unmarried), I feel your outlook is somewhat pessimistic. Sure, the number of ‘available men’ has seemingly dropped, but that doesn’t mean that ‘you’re not what men are looking for’. There are so many different types of men, with different desires and life situations, that I don’t believe you should rely on, what is likely to be a fear based, appraisal of your current circumstance.

      I’ve been single, for a while – I’m not really in the head space to be dating, at the moment, but when I have been, what has stuck me is just how many men are online, seeking love, sex, connection. There are millions. And it only takes one… I appreciate that the fear of being disappointed can cloud your vision – and not ‘finding love’ has to be one of the most crushing losses in life, but you’re only in your 40’s! You already know so much about life, who you are, what you want – you know your way around the physical body, the human heart. All these qualities make for a well rounded and loving life partner. There are lots of men who, through their own gritty life experience, want these very qualities. Believe me, there are – not all men are death fearing/young flesh hunting morons!

      I was at a wedding, in August, of a middle aged couple – both in their early 50’s, who met whilst walking their dogs in Haggerston Park. Both, equally ‘lived in’ and now happily together. The wife told me that she always knew that she’d marry older. She spent her 30’s and 40’s working and building a life for herself. Because of that, they’re now able to live in Sydney for 6moths of the year and London for the remainder – chasing Summer. That was her life dream and she believed in it and, although it took longer than she has anticipated, it happened. Sure, this is anecdotal, but the point I’m making is that your inner life/belief structure has so much power over your outer life. What you believe will inform what you see and how you behave. It’s everything.

      They say that the most happiest marriages are those that begin later in life (Elizabeth Gilbert said this, recently), and so I take that as a reminder that people find each other later in life, all the time. Try to remain youthful, both in spirit and in mind. People (of all ages) are attracted to youthful, loving mindsets.

      • Alexis says:

        I enjoyed reading your comment Heather. I swear I’m not that miserable a person, but thought I’d point out factors that can make dating 40s much more challenging than at other phases in life. Grief is a real thing and not one that can be easily glossed over. I really am at a loss as to how to navigate this. How to want what you have and getting to a place where you don’t want what you don’t have is what some have said is the key to happiness. Desiring something and a connection that constantly alludes you is not smart and can be destructive. But cutting desire out is also destructive. And here is where the grief and confusion lies.

  24. Vavavoom says:

    Hi Matt, I’m gonna share my thought before watching the video or reading other peoples comments.
    Let me start by saying that I’m 27 so I can’t tell you by personal experience whether this theory is correct or not.
    My guess is: Women in their 40s might think of them selves as more of a GROWN adult, independent, strong, well-established, accomplished, experienced, wise and there for in less of a NEED of a MAN. As you know men like to protect, provide, nurture…. I guess you could say they want to be the guiding light, almost like a mentor. Women in their 40s might not (beliveve that they can) come across like a cute, girly, innocent damsel in-need-of-a-mentor/”bigbrother”/teacher/protector/provider. Men like a younger woman cause it makes them feel like they can take her under his wing (in a good way). think of the sugardaddy/sugarbaby fenomenon. Those girls satisfy that need in men, the need to experience that YOU are THE MAN, MR. SIlverback, superman, capale, competent, someone whose advice you value.

  25. anon says:

    I’m 42. I’m a virgin. Two years ago I was at a disco/nightclub about 2 hours drive from my hometown. Normally I don’t go to discos but I was on a weekend holiday away. He was 36 & I was 39 then & he wanted sex that very night. I told him I wouldn’t do that. I told him I would drive to meet him in a town that would be half-way distance wise, another night but he made it clear – only if sex was on the menu (basically he had a “no sex/no date” mentality. I’m not the kind of girl that would have sex on the first or 2nd date. I think Matt that discos aren’t the best places for older women to look for a boyfriend.

    • Phy1 says:

      Yes, I have similar situation like you, Anon. I am 40 and i am a virgin because I am a Christian. I was taught not to have sex before marriage. A couple of months ago, I met a 41-year-old guy online who is a widower with no children. He wants to have a complete family.He showed interest in me and we just clicked right away. We communicated through emails and apply Matt`s techniques on communicating with him. It actually worked well. We felt that we were right for each other and he does think I am a wife and mother material. However, my belief and the issue on sex become a big problem between us. He is a non-believer and he wants sex in the relationship because he thinks sexaul compatibility is very important in a marriage. I understand that. But then we stuck here. He worries that different beliefs will affect the way of raising kids since he wants children. And he worries that we are not young and if we find out we are not sexually compatible after getting married will lead to very bad consequence to me. He actually respects my choice of staying as a virgin and thought of different ways to deal with it. However, he lost patience and he now starts to distance himself from me and suggests me to find someone who share the same belief and the same view on sex issue. I think he is trying to not to hurt me. But i am afraid that i may not be able to find a guy like him. He has been so good and respectful to me. I am in a difficult situation. What can I do? I am confused.

      • d says:

        Its a dealbreaker for both of you. Find a man who doesnt mind, or even better respects, appreciates and/or shares your belief of waiting for sex after married. Im a guy and would prefer a woman who is waiting to give of herself only to her future husband. If the sex is not good initially after marriage, you work together to make it better because you love each other. Do you like someone for the person they are or how good they are at sex?

  26. Assunta says:

    those in late 30s early 40s for instance – that are late bloomers to love – dating/relationships. may have yet to experience one or 5-10 year gap of even going on a one off date. feeling consciousness that when going to dating world – single never been married, no common law, no kids. while others may have been married once etc… 2 part question 1) guys that may be in similar age range let’s say even up to late 40s, but have been married – what do they think. also while older know what you want but also want to experience some courtship time but also keeping in mind of possibility of having a kid also. – short courtship period. 2) stigma of being single never been married after a certain age. socio-cultural perceptions based on gender and age.

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