Divorce Diaries: Dating Over 40 - How Bad Can It Really Be?

Post-divorce dating over 40—seriously, what could be bad?

Posted Sep 03, 2012

Dating over 40?

What's next for divorced midlife women dating over 40?

Dating Over 40? We've had It All—marriage, career, family, children, divorce. What's next?

Post-divorce, dating over 40. Does the idea give you a stomach ache; inspire panic, fear, self-and-other-loathing and dread?

Why? I'm here to tell you it should inspire the opposite: joy, optimism, relief, curiosity, the tingly youthful enthusiasm of possibilities.

Don't roll your eyes, ladies. It's all in how we look at it. Our midlife-dating -power-glass is either half empty or half full. Today I will argue on behalf of half full.

If you're a woman of a certain age, with kids, post-divorce, with all the wisdom, self-knowledge, confidence and experience granted by midlife, you're in the dating catbird seat. You don't have to do anything. It's all up to you.


Post-marriage, post-divorce life

Because you've got nothing to lose! It's all up to you. You're the decider. The stakes are so much lower than when we were in our 20s, juggling careers and the relentless anxiety of the have-it-all culture we were promised. We were hunters—aiming for the career, the guy, the condo, the essential pieces of that elusive Real Life.

Well, we scored. We made it to The Show. We got the career, the husband, the house, the dog, the kids the All in Having It All. And however it shook out is however it shook out.

Now we've got older kids who turned out far better than we could have ever hoped; a cool job we finally feel challenges us and is worth our time; a fab circle of righteous and hilarious midlife BFFs we don't have nearly enough time to see.

Women and the blessings of aging

We've finally made peace with all the enemies of our younger selves—our parents, our exes, our bodies, our limitations, our life choices, all the stuff we thought we could control but couldn't, our mortality, our unique strengths and magic, our maternal and womanly wisdom we no longer ignore but allow to guide us.

Find out more: The power of dating over 40

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About the Author

Pam Cytrynbaum

Pamela Cytrynbaum teaches at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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