Rules for dating in your forties

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“The rule of thumb with kids is to provide the minimum information to satisfy their question: ‘I’m going out with a friend tonight.’ When this new person becomes significant to you, you can begin to discuss how you will introduce your date to your kids.” Passé policy: Go ahead, kiss on the first date.

You’re not in high school, and it will prove how passionate you still are New rule: Don’t feel pressured to get intimate until you’re ready This new rule applies to the first date or any date—after all, at your age, you don’t have to prove anything.

The paradox is that your maturity offers you many advantages over the youthful daters. Knowing yourself better and being able to size up others more skillfully gives you a big advantage. You likely have greater financial freedom to enjoy fancy dinners and getaways. You are more sexually confident and liberated than you were in your youth. Physical appearance, the type of car one drives and other status symbols take a back seat to more important personal attributes.

The days of scraping together enough money for a movie are over!

Just don’t give the grisly details about your ex-spouse’s flaws or your knock-down-drag-out divorce.

“Present a past marriage in a positive light—that you learned from it, came away with new skills, developed in new areas,” says Carle.

Suggests Anapol, “Save the fancy dinner date for when you know you care for this person and are starting a real relationship, so it’s more of a celebration than an artificial exercise.” Passé policy: Don’t let your children know you’re dating—it’s too confusing for them New rule: Don’t call it dating; call it “making friends” Even the littlest kids can feel insecure by the connotations of the word “date,” but you don’t want to lie to them. “It’s best not to involve your kids in a new relationship until you feel that it has the potential to go somewhere,” says relationship coach Toni Coleman, MSW.

You may want to think and act like a 25-year-old, but your seasoning tells another tale and may actually improve the chances for success. Without the pressures of getting married and having children, you can enter into relationships for the “right” reasons, not because you are running out of fertile years. Men and women in their 40s and 50s are generally more self-assured. You are, therefore, more likely to depend on yourself, not your partner, to solve your own dilemmas. You have learned from your previous relationship experiences. The following are some common sense dating principles that apply across the generations.

The truth is that dating does change when you get older…and, in many ways, for the better. They know what they want out of a relationship, what they are looking for in a mate and are not afraid to ask for it. You can take inventory of what time has taught you so that you do not fall into old traps. You can put away the “list” of perfect characteristics that you are seeking in your date. Not every aspect of your romantic life feels critical.

Don’t assume you and your partner see things in the same way or that your partner can read your mind. Moments will arise when your judgment about your partner will be put to the test. Like you, your partner is imperfect and deserves the benefit of the doubt. Keep in mind that a good relationship is based on each person’s ability to be supportive of those differences.

It is not possible that your “I” and your partner’s “I” will be perfectly compatible.

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