Dating a man in his 40s is an exciting experience. He wants to provide for a companion and has the means to do so—unlike many younger men, he’s usually established in his career and rather self-assured about his place in the world. In fact, studies like this one from the Atlantic show that a man’s desirability typically peaks around their 40s and 50s.
On the other side of the coin, there’s also a higher likelihood that he’s been married and/or has children. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may be daunting for some women.
So, what are the top 4 essential things to know about dating a man in his 40s?
(1) He likes clarity and honesty
A man in his 40s is more discerning and direct about his dating life—and expects you to be the same.
Playing games like intentionally delaying messaging back for a few days, playing hard to get, or talking about other men to entice jealousy doesn’t sit well—for a man in his 40s, this behavior is more likely to be interpreted as a lack of commitment, and he may simply assume that you’re disinterested.
He’ll appreciate you clearly expressing your interest, and he’ll also appreciate an honest and direct conversation if you’re not interested. With life experience behind him, he’ll more than graciously accept a thoughtful rejection, rather than a slow, time-wasting denouement.
(2) He needs his space
A man in his 40s is serious about keeping up with his responsibilities. You’ll have to respect that he may be preoccupied during the day and may not always message back immediately, or that he might want to get to bed early in order to wake up early.
The good news is that you’ll have more time to focus on yourself, especially when you have your own business, friends, and hobbies.
(3) He may want a family
While every situation is different, it would be wrong to assume that every man in his 40s wouldn’t be interested in starting a family with you simply because he is divorced or has kids already.
If he has kids already, it is also important to understand that he may take his time to introduce you to them—this is normal as he’ll want to be assured things are serious before he takes that step in intertwining your lives. Again, give him the space to do this at his own pace.
(4) He’s not a fixer-upper
Lastly, studies like this one by Costa and McRae have shown that personality traits remain relatively stable in adults after 30. This explains why it is incredibly challenging—or nearly impossible—to fundamentally change a 40-year-old’s personality, and it is important to recognize that trying to do so will most likely only lead to frustration for both of you.
So, for example, if he’s consistently not interested in an outdoor hike on your favorite trail, then chances are slim that he’ll ever be.
A man in his 40s has been shaped by his life experiences, both good and bad, and he’ll have a much stronger sense of self for it. The major benefit for you—if you have the chance to be with someone who truly knows himself—is that this illuminates a clearer path to connection.
If you find yourself searching for love but not knowing where to begin, don’t hesitate to get in touch—I’m here to help.
Wishing you love and good health,