Dating Over 40: Just Starting Again at 54 – What’s the Best Way to Start?

Dating Over 40
Dating Over 40

Dear Over 40 Dating Coach,

I need to start getting out there again. I am divorced, 54 and have been unemployed for 18 months. I haven’t spent much time looking to date since I’ve been focusing on the job hunt.  But I’m ready to start doing something.  What would be a good first outing? 

Ready to Start

Hi Ready,
Where to start? Good question! A lot of my over 40 dating coaching clients ask me this same question.

Much depends on your attitude and outlook. And where you live determines what type of events are available.

Another question is do you have a friend to go with? A dating buddy can make things easier at first. But it’s not a requirement and you can go alone – I did!

But, without more info, I’d recommend a singles dances. They are usually low cost and certainly low risk. And if you like to dance –  potentially fun! Singles dances don’t require any commitment – you just show up and dance when asked. Very simple.

But here’s where the attitude comes in…

To make the most of the event, here are some tips that will make all the difference. These tips are all about your attitude at the dance and how you interact with men.

1. Stand at the edge of the dance floor with a smile, tap your foot and look ready to go. Don’t cling to your girlfriends. Walk around or stand near the dance floor by yourself part of the time to make it easy for men to approach you.

2. Say “Yes” to as many men as possible. Other men are watching how you respond and who you reject before they approach you. Men don’t like to be rejected so they look for women who seem low risk and friendly. So be nice!

3. Don’t expect to meet the man of your dreams – just appreciate meeting new people. This is a great opportunity to get used to the singles scene again and get  your feet wet at a low pressure event.

The more experience you have, the more comfortable you’ll be maneuvering at singles events. Being comfortable signals confidence which is a very attractive quality to both men and women.

4. Be as friendly as possible to everyone you meet – you never know who those people might know! I met my husband because I was nice when I met his sister. She liked me enough to suggest a blind date with her brother!

Everyone there might have a son, nephew, brother, colleague, neighbor, uncle, father, etc. who they could introduce you to.

5. If you danced a few times – think of it as a good night and be willing to go again! Someone new will attend each event so give things more than one attempt before you cross it off your “dance card.” 

Personally, I dated three guys who I met at singles dances. And yet, before I got out there on my dating journey with the right attitude – I hated dances! No one ever asked me to dance and I rarely met anyone.

Why is that? Because I stood against the wall with my girlfriends and complained the whole night. Not very attractive . Plus, I didn’t make it easy for the men to approach me since I was rarely alone.  

Attitude and outlook are everything on the singles scene. Smile, be friendly and decide that you are open to meeting new people. Then, let it go and see what happens. Deny your preconceived notions and just be willing to go with the flow. This is the recipe for enjoying singles dances.

Wishing you love,

Ronnie Ann Ryan – The Over 40 Dating Coach

 photo credit mharrsch

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Dating Over 40: Just Starting Again at 54 – What’s the Best Way to Start?”

  1. As a lady who’s been out there and single for 8 years, I’m now finding it even more difficult to find someone to conceive a relationship with because I had lung cancer last year. Going through chemo and radiation have left my red blood count very low and it affects my energy level. When I’m up front and honest with men, they seem to run away. Maybe that’s what they need to do anyway and they arern’t for me.

    I can’t imagine what it’s like for women who’ve had breast cancer, reconstruction or for men with prostate or other cancers, to find someone who fully understand. I don’t believe our Cancer population is small in the single world, but it’s never addressed. People who have been afflicted with cancer, who are single, have a much greater challenge. My cancer, in particular, as a 45% chance of surviving 3 years, but I feel good, like to get out and would love to find someone who shares my beliefs and good outlook on life. My attitude is that I could live another 20 -30 years (I’m 57). but sometimes I fell as though I just might be a walking time bomg – the cancer may reoccured. I like to be upfront and honest with people, so the dating sceen has been scarce since my cancer.

    What suggestions do you have?


    • Hi Mary,
      First my heart goes out to you for everything you’ve been through. That’s a lot to handle. And good for you for thinking positively – you could live another 20-30 years!

      Regarding your dating question, the short answer is this- do you know about TMI? Too Much Information. Sharing the intimate details of your life without any foundation.

      Give men a chance to get to know you first before you share your problems with them. Men run, just as women will run when hearing too much upfront because in being honest, you put your issues before your personality and good qualities.

      First get to know each other a little to see if there is romance potential. Then, as you start to see some consistency in your dates, maybe after 4-6 dates, you can share your health concerns. This holds true for any problem, including financial difficulties, ex’s that are terrors, children with special needs, hating your job, health, etc.

      We all have baggage, and some bags maybe heavier than others. But give people a chance to know you before you share the deep, private details of your life, what ever they are. They might still react the same way, but there are some, who once they know you, will want to stick around regardless of your health situation.

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