Dating at 45 is a whole different ball game than dating at 20 or 30. At 45, you have more life experience -- and probably a few long-term relationships and possibly a marriage behind you. If you have children, getting into the dating game can be even more daunting, but that doesn't mean that you can't have fun or find special someone.
Think about past relationships in a positive way. Even a relationship or marriage that didn't work out can teach you valuable lessons about the opposite sex, dating and romance. These lessons can help you develop the skill to choose your perfect partner, notes eHarmony founder and relationship author Dr. Neil Clark Warren. Try to view past relationships as an important part of your journey up to this point rather than failures to help you feel positive about dating at 45.
Consider how your children will feel about your dating -- and be sensitive to their emotions. How much you tell them depends on their ages, of course, but no matter how old they are, let them know how much you love them, make it clear that they will always come first and explain that no one will ever replace their other parent, advises Rosalind Sedacca, author and relationship trainer. It's generally a good idea to wait until you're dating someone exclusively before formally introducing your date to your kids; your kids don't need to meet casual dating partners. Take time to prepare your kids for meeting your date -- and keep meetings short initially. Afterwards, ask your children what they thought of your date and listen to their feedback.
Realize that those you date who are your own age are fully formed adults, notes Rachel Greenwald, author and dating coach. They are likely to have established careers, children of their own, baggage from previous relationships and possibly health problems. People who in their 40s and 50s are less likely to change their ways or lives than younger dating partners.
Remain open to the possibility of dating someone younger or older. There is no reason you have to only date other people who are 45.
Accept your face and body for what they are at 45. If you have insecurities about your aging appearance, pamper yourself. Go for a facial or a massage. Treat yourself to a new outfit or hairstyle. Book a spa day for some energizing treatments. Exercise regularly and consume a healthy diet. Make yourself feel good, inside and out, to boost your confidence and make yourself more attractive to the opposite sex.
Ask friends to set you up with their single friends. Take advantage of any opportunities that come your way to meet potential dates and expand your social circle. Accept invitations to parties, weddings and other social events, and make an effort to talk to new people. It's essential to make this effort because it's harder to meet other singles the older you get, notes Rachel Greenwald.
Step outside your comfort zone. Attend singles events, such as speed-dating evenings. Look in your local paper or online for information about upcoming events. Choose events tailored to singles over 40 if you only want to mix with others your age.
Check out some online dating sites to connect with other singles. Research the dating sites available to determine which one is right for you. While most cater to all ages, there are also sites geared toward those who are over age 40. Online dating is a good choice if you are apprehensive about meeting people and want to take it slowly. The eHarmony United Kingdom website notes that the 40-plus group is one of the fastest-growing categories of users.
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images