Dating: Why older, definitely means wiser

Posted on: 03 August 2010 by Mark O'haire

Dating is for everyone – if you’re getting into the dating game at a later time of life, don’t assume you’re at a disadvantage. Here are five reasons why you’ve got the upper hand over younger daters.

Dating can be overwhelming at any age, but as we get older it can seem a mystifying world, especially if we’re coming back to it after a long marriage or partnership. And while you may think that young people have the advantage – more free time, a bigger social circle, more spare cash – there are lots of ways that the saying ‘older equals wiser’ rings true in the world of romance.

You’re much more in touch with yourself

When we know ourselves we make better choices, which is especially important when it comes to dating. With age comes the ability to really understand who we are. That’s what all those previous years are for, and why when we’re younger we’re meant to make so many mistakes. It’s part of the learning process. When dating when we’re older, knowing ourselves better means we can differentiate between someone who’s just ‘fine’ for us and someone who really could be ‘The One’.

You have a much better judge of character

Remember that terrible boyfriend/girlfriend you had when you were 21, who you thought was an image of perfection? Remember how your parents told you they were no good, but you didn’t listen? That was because weren’t so great at judging character when we’re younger either. Over the years we gain experience in reading the signs to know when someone’s going to be a ‘wrong ‘un’. We learn that how someone treats the other people in their life and the decisions they make informs the kind of person they really are. This honed trait means that when you’re dating when you’re older you can weed out the losers and time wasters far quicker.

You know what’s important

Our idea of what’s important in a relationship changes and matures over time. When once it was that he had to have chocolate brown eyes, or that she should have a beautiful laugh, these superficial qualities lose their sheen. Now, we’re not saying that looks aren’t important when dating when you’re older (there’s a terrible joke about fading eyesight in there somewhere…), it’s just that other qualities such as kindness, ability to listen and a love of life are just as important. After all, looks fade but those other things tend not to.

You have achievable dreams

As we get older, we don’t forget our dreams, we just make them a bit more realistic. Years ago you might have dreamed of moving to Australia and raising a family there. But time passes and the idea of uprooting yourself to a whole new way of life loses its sheen. That doesn’t mean you’ll never visit Australia, maybe you now dream of taking a sabbatical and going there – your dream just became more manageable. This is important, because in a partnership there are two people who need to work together to achieve each other’s goals, without one partner having to compromise too much.

You’re more realistic

Those tough life experiences we have do have a purpose: they allow us to become more realistic in our expectations. That’s not as depressing as it sounds, because it means we learn to get along better with other members of the human race, and see people in a positive, yet honest light. When you’re dating this can be a huge asset as you can see past people’s flaws. When you were 25 you might have rejected a date who called the next day as being too eager. When you’re 45 you see that as a positive message that your date isn’t interested in date playing.

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