Originally published on Girls Ask Guys
Dating for women over 30 or 40 can be a special issue all on its own. Obviously, the dating and marriage trends vary wildly depending on where you live. I’m here in NYC and 30 is PRIME dating age for the women here. It’s when the guys start looking at you as wife potential instead of just a 20-something party girl. And I know when I travel to Utah, I meet 30 year olds with teenagers. So while the actual age may be different, the real question is,
“How do I date when I feel older than most of the other people dating?”
Okay, here we go! So, when a girl first starts to develop breasts and curves, she starts receiving male attention. At first this is great! She feels sexy, wanted, womanly, valued, etc. After a while, she realizes that she doesn’t want all of that attention. So she learns the art of “brushing off.” She doesn’t meet guys’ eyes on the street, doesn’t smile at strangers, can’t strike up conversations in a bar because she just wants conversation. Many guys will mistake any of those things as signs of interest in them. (Hint guys: they are not. She just might be a friendly extrovert.) So she learns to kind of push away guys. Not saying that she does this with everyone, but she learns to send out that “I’m not interested” body language. So she does this for years while she works and dates and lives her life. All of a sudden, she is older and not really getting approached as much. In fact it is becoming hard for her to even find a date. What’s up?!
So by the time a woman is in this place, many of her peers are already coupled up. So the dating pool of good men has shrunken significantly. In addition to this, for those men, she is not in the “most desirable” category anymore. Those good men are going for women 5, 10, 15 years younger than her. And the ones that ARE going for her are:
1. young guys with a “cougar” thing and
2. older men that look at her as young.
For the most part, these aren’t the type of guys she’s interested in. But after all those years of having guys approach her, she realizes that she has no idea how to actually go out and find a guy herself!
So what’s a gal to do? Well, in its simplest form, she has to learn how to be approachable again. I’m definitely not saying she’s gotta throw herself at guys, that’s needy and desperate and men can smell that a mile away. First off, she has to unlearn those things that made men stay away. Look at your body language. Are you physically open? That is, make sure your arms aren’t crossed, stand erect, have an open and inviting look with a little smile on your face, and turn your body towards what interests you. If you see a guy you like, make eye contact with him, look away, then look back with a smile. Don’t be afraid to go approach a guy yourself. There’s a lot of talk about whether it’s okay for a girl to ask out a guy. I prefer a mashup of old and new. Take the initiative to get him to ask you out. For instance, if you’re talking to him, do something like this, “Oh you like live music too? That’s great! You know what, why don’t you find a cool band for us to go to next weekend!” Men’s egos are much more fragile than women’s. By doing this, you are assuring him that he’s not going to get rejected. And it still makes him do the actual leg work of finding something and inviting you. We all value more what we have earned than what is given to us. That’s why I want to make sure he’s going to make an effort to take you out. If he doesn’t, **shrugs** better to know now than later.
Another thing is to reconnect with what makes you happy. What is dating SUPPOSED to be? FUN! But we can forget that sometimes. What do you enjoy doing? Knitting? Hiking? Motorcycles? Go do more of that. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it makes you more interesting. I hate to say it but there’s a lot of competition out there. What do you bring to the table that is going to make him like/want you more than anyone else in the room? People love to meet interesting people. So be interesting! If I was talking to someone and she told me that last weekend she joined some friends on a motorcycle ride to a park, went hiking and relaxed with some wine while she worked on her knitting, I would definitely sit up and take notice! “Wow! This is a girl that enjoys life, knows what she likes and makes sure she has time to do it. I want to do these things with her!” The second part is what happens to your body language when you are doing something you like? It opens up, you’re more confident, at ease, energetic, etc. All the hallmarks of a potential partner! Even if there isn’t someone in the group that you are interested in, everyone has a brother, a friend, a coworker. And they’ll say, “You really need to meet this woman! She is fun, bright, cheerful and interesting!” My favorite saying is, “Luck favors the prepared mind.” So yeah, there’s always an element of luck in anything. But if you are constantly out there, meeting people, having fun, becoming more interesting, it’s going to make it much easier for luck to find you!
For more on this, check out my article.