Getting married in your 40s is an option. When anyone turns 40, it’s an invigorating feeling. There’s no longer that awkward, unsure-of-yourself vibe that haunts the 20s and 30s.
A sense of confidence, a comfort in one’s own skin, and exhilaration take over that uncertainty. Where you might have been afraid to speak your opinions or have a voice, you now boldly stand firmly behind how you feel and what you think.
And that translates to your partnerships. Likely, you have either been involved in long-term, committed relationships, perhaps endured divorce, and are looking at the possibility of getting married. The prospect of a second marriage is daunting if you’ve been married and divorced.
As a woman who divorced in her 40s, it was nice being single after decades of marriage. I wasn’t sold on the idea of remarriage; instead, I lingered in the dating pool for a bit. But my second husband was persistent – thank goodness, and we took the step after a couple of years – contentedly.
Marriage in your 40s, whether your first or post-divorce, is a personal choice. It is an option. You’re a much stronger, braver, and wiser person capable of discerning what precisely you want and need.
If you want to date a while and marry a bit later in life, that’s your prerogative. No one has a right to suggest age will be a defining factor for happiness regardless of your decision.
There’s someone for everyone at every age if marriage happens to be your decision, even if casual dating is your choice. Anyone who says differently is merely envious of your confidence.
Tips for marrying after 40 or choosing to date
As a 40-year-old, you will have already experienced long-term, committed relationships or gone through a divorce. In any event, by the time you hit your 40s, you’re having a big time. You’ve grown comfortable with who you are, the place you’ve come to be in your life, and the accomplishments you’ve achieved – thus far.
There’s so much more to do and see, and you can’t wait. If you meet someone to share these adventures with, it will enhance your life. But there’s no rush. If you already have and you’re looking at marriage, whether it’s a first or post-divorce, most people in this age group tend to take their time and enjoy the moment.
Let’s look at a few expert tips and allow some of us who have lived the experience to tweak these a bit.
Divorce is an inevitable expectation
That statistic, according to experts, is beginning to diminish. The suggestion is that the younger population wait longer to get married. They’re choosing to develop a better sense of who they are, establish financial security, and a bit of life experience before walking down the aisle.
That can mean people are experiencing a first marriage later in their 30s or into their 40s. It can also indicate these relationships are standing the test of time since the divorce rate is declining.
But it’s also a sign that more members will be in the dating pool. That could create a challenge when attempting to discern authenticity from someone disingenuous. Fortunately, you have the gumption and good sense in your 40s to walk away.
Are you ready to meet someone new?
In most cases, a person in their 40s will have experienced a long-term partnership, perhaps even a previous marriage. Before entering into a serious commitment with another partner, it’s wise to have a discussion to ensure that each of you has healed from past experiences.
With open wounds or unresolved feelings, you won’t be able to be fully present for a new mate.
In that same vein, a new significant other is not fully available if you find them reminiscing about their ex frequently. That’s especially true if the remarks are unfavorable toward the individual.
If someone is genuinely over a past partnership, they can look at it objectively and critique not only the other person’s missteps but their own as well.
Someone unable to do that is at risk of repeating the behavior. Not to mention, who wants to hear a guy or girlfriend being despondent over a previous partner constantly. Move on, already.
Separate albeit together
While couples want to develop a connection and become close-knit, that doesn’t imply that you should do everything together. In fact, you should avoid that. It’s essential to have a sense of self, enjoy independence, separate interests, hobbies, and even your own friendships.
By the age of 40, these things will be well established. A primary component of dating, really at any age, is establishing boundaries. You should discuss expectations and what would constitute dealbreakers upfront honoring just a bit of latitude.
Understand gender expectations
A sensitive topic for some individuals surrounds the issue of gender roles and responsibilities. It can present confusion and become a source of contention in a relationship if it’s not dealt with straight away to eliminate the potential for anyone becoming offended.
That can indeed be a situation that develops with people set in their lifestyle and circumstances as 40-year-olds. Each person will have different philosophies and ideas. For instance, who will pay for dinner?
Both people are financially capable and independent. The question is, why should a man always pay for the bill? Does a man need to hold the door open when entering an establishment while a woman enters before him?
If two people have differing views, it can become uncomfortable and awkward; perhaps someone could grow resentful. These are instances where open, honest communication is warranted to have a healthy, strong, and respectful partnership.
If there’s, at all, an opportunity for compromise or flexibility, it’s crucial to attempt to reach that point. If, however, neither person is willing to budge their viewpoint, sadly, it could be a dealbreaker for the partnership.
Go with your gut
By the age of 40 and over, instincts are strong. You can get a feel when someone is not necessarily what they appear to be. Sometimes, people don’t go with what their brain tells them, instead choosing to follow their heart.
Often their perception is they should just merely give it more time; things could change. There’s also the typical notion some partners carry of believing they have the potential to help someone become a different person.
If you don’t care for the individual you’re with as they are, you should move on until you find what you’re looking for specifically. No one should have to make changes to fit another person’s mold.
And if you find that you have to be someone you’re not to suit your new partner and you’re not comfortable with who you’re becoming, that’s a sign you’re with the wrong individual.
You’re not in your 20s anymore
Now that you’re in your 40s, some responsibilities and schedules need to be kept. Dating is not necessarily the priority. At this stage, most mature people are dealing with business obligations; perhaps some own their businesses, and maybe individuals are single parents or are caring for elderly relatives.
That doesn’t mean you want to forego the potential for a new relationship or even the possibility of a new spouse, but it does mean that schedules will be tight.
It’s essential to establish your limitations upfront. It would help if you also factored in restrictions the partner you’re considering becoming committed to might be under before you take that step.
Growing serious with someone often means seeing that person more or expecting more from the individual, but that isn’t always possible.
Sometimes it’s necessary to fit time in where you can, and the other person will need to respect and appreciate the moments you can share. For two people in their 40s considering marriage and having experienced long-term commitments previously, compromise is nothing new.
In fact, this couple should be able to handle working around each other’s schedules better than almost any other age group.
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Marriage isn’t necessarily the first thought process for all 40-year-olds. Many have had previous long-term experiences, if not coming out of marriages, with a desire to be single or casually dated for a while. I speak from experience and can account for this. It’s almost like been-there-done-that, let’s reintroduce myself to me.
People in their 40s are exhilarated by this age. It’s a time when you’ve established who you are, developed what you want from life, and have grown comfortable in the skin you’re in.
It’s a fantastic age and time to be alive. Choosing to date and possibly eventually meeting someone that fits with everything you have happening in your life is a choice, an option, not a need, or a must-have. A new partner is an accentuation. When you meet a potential partner, it can feel good; sometimes it ends in bliss.
But marriage or remarriage needs to be easy, casual, and light for it to work out for the long-term for a strong, charismatic, and matter-of-fact 40-year-old