By the time we reach our 40’s, most of us are fairly set in our ways. We have lived full lives and experienced many things, both good and bad. Dating at this stage in life and beyond can pose some interesting challenges as we try to blend lives together that were very set by themselves. When I am evaluating a man, I think a lot about lifestyle and personality. While I am fairly active, work out, like to do outdoor activities, someone who is at the gym every day, is an avid attendee and player of sports, and likes camping may not be the right guy for me. While there is nothing wrong with having some differences here, each person really needs to evaluate how lifestyle and habits can create conflict, and just how big that conflict could potentially be. While we cannot avoid some conflict in relationships, if we are honest with ourselves, we can certainly avoid major issues that could destroy a potential future together. I tend to take a more practical and systematic approach to this than many people, so if you choose to loosen the reigns on this one a little, go with what you feel is right for you.
Some things to consider when thinking about conflict are ethics, values, and integrity. This is basically the core of who we are as individuals, and very important when considering a relationship with someone. For instance, I once had a man lie on his online dating profile about his age – and not by a little, either! He was 8 years older than he claimed to be and he was already 2 years older than I usually consider date material for me at the age he told me! I was at the restaurant a full half hour before I realized he had been standing right next to me and looked nothing like the guy I thought I was meeting. Men (and women), really, if you are intending on meeting someone who you want to potentially have a future with, you cannot start out with a lie before you even meet them!! And please, please, please look at least somewhat like the picture you post on your online profile. My philosophy on this is I do not have time to waste on dating someone I would not consider a relationship with, so why waste my time and theirs. It does not make any sense. Starting off with a lie cannot lead to anything promising. Beware if this happens to you and they try to explain it away with well concocted stories. I would not buy it, and you should not either. Honesty and integrity are things we all want in a potential partner, and there is just no excuse for blatant lies.
We also need to look at how ethical someone is. For instance, how do they deal with their bills? Are they paid on time? Are they conscientious of making sure that happens? Do they spend frivolously? Do they have car insurance (in some cities this is something you may want to consider checking). If someone is always looking to get over on the system, is that someone you really want in your life? Is it a lifestyle you would consider living? All of these things are just some examples of some basic core values. There are many others you may want to consider.
By taking the time to identify potential sources of major conflicts now, you are saving yourself from potential future headaches and heartache. We only get one life, so why not spend it with the people who are headed in the same direction as you are? There is no race to find your Mr. Maybe. It may take some time. The important thing here is that you do not lower your standards to live a life that compromises who you are and does not make you happy. Dating after 40 is hard! We all have some sort of baggage at this point, but there are some really wonderful men out there and they are worth waiting for! Run through life with a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. Take the time to weed out the things you know will create conflict. Live a better and fuller life – even if that means for now you are spending it with your girlfriends! Mr. Maybe is worth the wait, don’t settle for Mr. Wrong!