A guide to finding a rewarding relationship when you’re in your forties

How many dates do I have to go on to find the right person, we both wondered. How many lonely nights do I have to spend before I find “the one”?

I can’t even tell you how many dates we both went on before making the changes we needed to find and keep a happy and rewarding relationship in our forties. Now my husband and I want to share the secret of finding love in your forties with all the lonely souls out there to dispel those lonely nights forever.

Rule number one: It takes work!

Nothing worth having in life is easy, but if you’re ready to put in the effort you will no doubt reap the reward of finding a true and lasting love, a best friend and a partner in life.

Look, I know how you’re feeling. You’ve tried everything and you’ve pretty much given up, but you haven’t really given up because you are still here reading all the blogs and trying to figure out where you are going wrong…You are the reason we are writing this blog! We are no different than you. We figured it out, found the love of our lives and ended up happily married and you can too!

What makes our guide different is that it will give you both a male and female perspective on how to find and keep love over forty, so stay tuned over the next few weeks as we share our secrets to finding a real and lasting love!


The Work Continues..


In the last step we made an effort to ‘Recognize’ our issues and patterns, now it’s time to CONFRONT our issues and all of those who were key to the creation of those issues – including ourselves.

I’ll give you some examples:

  1. Dad left or was never around

Let’s say that during the ‘Recognition’ part of the process you realized that you were always chasing after people who are emotionally unavailable, and that all of this was due to dad having left your life early, or dad never being around. Have you ever had the courage to confront dad about this? Have you ever had the one-on-one with him to discuss your feelings about it, or have you always been too scared? Well, now is the time to have the conversation about it. What’s important here is not to expect some big apology, or even expect dad to express remorse because he may never do that. In fact, it’s very likely he won’t. What’s important is for you to release that negative energy and just get it off your chest. This is important even if dad has passed away, or if you don’t know where he is. In these instances, write your feelings down in a letter, go to counselling, speak to your remaining parent about it, or whatever you have to do to face those feelings and fears and free yourself from repeating the pattern of dating someone just like dad. The same goes for mom, and the same goes for all of your past relationships. Believe me, you will never feel more relieved and at ease as you will in those moments after you have confronted the cause of your issues.

2. Mom was always disappointed or cold

The same goes for mom, was she always disappointed with you and as a result you lie to make your self seem better, or was she negative, or cold? Now, even though you want affection, you find yourself chasing people who are just like mom? It’s time to confront mom and tell her how her behaviour made you feel, and how it has affected your relationships with others. Once again, don’t expect anything! It is unlikely that you will get the big apology you’re dreaming about. What is more likely is that mom will get defensive and/or angry and deny causing you any pain or harm. Remember, this is about you confronting your issues – not about her reaction. What is important here is that you confront them for your own sake, not the other person’s reaction. Make this clear to yourself before confronting anyone and it will be less disappointing if you don’t get the big apology you were looking for. If mom or dad do apologize, well hey, that’s a bonus.

3. Your ex cheated

By confronting past relationships you are doing the same thing. If your ex cheated on you, or lied to you, or whatever it was – send them an email saying everything that you have left to say on the issue. Get it off your chest and realize that not everyone is your ex, meaning, not everyone will cheat and lie, or drink to much, or not care about you, or whatever the issue was. Stop dragging that past around with you and expecting that every new person you meet is going to do the same thing or act the same way. These are your issues, not theirs. It is very important to remember that. Once again, it’s unlikely that you’ll get an apology, what’s important is that you face the fears which are blocking you from a healthy and happy relationship in the future.

4. You blame others

One of the biggest issues we have with ourselves is that we blame others for all of our problems in relationships. It is imperative that we realize that we our the biggest stumbling block to our own happiness, not anyone else. That is why we need to confront ourselves and address the fact that we are the root base of all of the choices we make. For example, disinterested people are not more interesting. They will not suddenly change and be more interested just because we want them to be. Disinterested people are just that – disinterested, and we are the ones who chased them and wanted them to be more interested than they were to begin with. They are cats, and wanting them to not be a cat doesn’t make them any less a cat. The person who is ultimately to blame here is yourself, after all, you were the one who wanted a cat not to be a cat, right? Confront yourself, and lay claim to all of the choices that you made without laying blame on anyone else. If you can do that, then you are ready to leave your past behind and make better choices for the future.

Read the signs

Now that you have Recognized your patterns and Confronted your issues, it should be a lot easier to spot the problems before they start, and to cut short dating anyone if you feel you are going down the same road that you did before. After all, where has that road gotten you if you are still here? For example, if the young hot girls you fall for keep leaving you when they turn 27, then maybe it’s time to start dating someone closer to your own age. Plenty of hotties out there who are over the age 35 or 45! The issue is not with the too young women you date, it’s with the fact that you think they’ll still be in love with you six years from now.

It’s Time to Apologize

So you have now Recognized and Confronted and in so doing you have also realized that you are not blameless in your previous relationship patterns. Somewhere, somehow, you have some responsibility for what transpired in your relationships of the past. Even if it was the other person who cheated, or was abusive, or committed a crime, or just didn’t love you enough – something in you made you choose that person, they didn’t make that choice for you. Of course, you are the one who might have done something wrong too, which is even more reason to be the person who apologizes. Apologizing is a very real and very important part of taking responsibility and growing up. It is also a way to free yourself of any guilt, or pain you have over your actions of the past. This is the step in which you contact all of the people you hurt and apologize to them. This includes people you bullied in school, or your parents, your friends, your ex-lovers, etc. If you can’t find them, then simply write it in a blog, or a letter, or on your Facebook page, or write it down and throw it into the ocean in a bottle. What is important here is the act of apologizing, not their reaction. There is a very good reason why most therapists recommend this step as part of the healing process. Apologizing is a big part of being an adult, and if you are not an adult then you really can’t expect to have an adult relationship with someone who is an adult. It is also a big part of Letting Go and Accepting, which are the next steps in the process…




Do the work..



Ok, so you’ve had some time to complete the assignments in the previous post, and what did you find? Did you see any patterns there? Have you been dating people who are just like your dad, or just like mom? Has your fear of abandonment led to staying too long in bad relationships, or cutting out early before they leave you first? Is no one good enough, or perfect enough to live up to your expectations? Did either of you cheat or lie? Did you find your relationships ended with too many screaming matches, or in a cold state of silence and indifference? Are you basing your choices on the shallow pursuits of how successful or attractive your partners are? Were you or your partners too into drugs, drinking or going out night after night? Was there physical or emotional abuse? Were you or your ex-partners too all about yourselves in the relationship? Without taking the time to examine your previous relationship patterns, you will never understand why you are where you are. So now comes the hardest part – doing the work!

I know what a lot of you are thinking: “Finding a good relationship shouldn’t take work, it should just come naturally.”

Well I’ve got some bad news for you, sunshine, you’re out to lunch. With an attitude like that, you might want to pre-subscribe to a ‘How to Find Love Over 50’ blog because this one isn’t for you. Doing the work, and facing your past patterns, is a key part of moving forward and finding the love you want in your forties. Trust me, both my husband and I had plenty of things that we had to address before and after we met, after all, no one is perfect. Trust me, if you don’t have some issues you wouldn’t still be single. I am not trying to be harsh, I am trying to be realistic and help by telling you the things your friends and family won’t.

Make the Connections Between Past and Present

Here’s what I mean by that: If you find yourself in relationship in which there is always screaming and yelling, look back, was there always screaming in your childhood home? Is that why it’s where you feel the most comfortable? Alternatively, was there always a cold silence, which makes you welcome screaming and yelling as a form of attention, or indication of caring? The same examination goes for every other issue and pattern you found when looking at your past relationships. For example, are you always chasing people who are emotionally unavailable because mom or dad was distant or never around? Are you falling for people who live in a fantasy land because there are things you don’t want to face about yourself that self-absorbed people never notice? I’m not going to go through an exhaustive list because I am sure you get the idea. I am not a therapist, and this is not a therapy session, but I can tell you from experience that unless you do something about it, you are bringing all of your past issues and hurts to the table. To find love in your forties, this will never do.

How to Deal With It

There are seven very important steps in this part of the process:

  1. Decide You Are Willing To Do The Work
  2. Recognize
  3. Confront
  4. Apologize
  5. Let Go and Accept
  6. Get Help If You Need To
  7. Believe the Love You Want Exists

Step 1 – Decide You Are Willing To Do The Work

I think you you’ve already decided that, after all, you’re still here!

Step 2 – Recognize

Step two is what the last two posts have been all about. It’s about looking at your own patterns, why you make the relationship choices you do and what you can do to stop repeating negative patterns. Remember, one of the most important parts of this process is to take responsibility for your own life choices. We all know that people love to lay blame, they blame others for their failures and for their relationships falling apart. This step is where we realize that we made the choice to be in our previous relationships. The person you were with didn’t make that choice for you. Even if they tricked you into it by getting pregnant – you decided to follow though with it, not them. So why did we make those choices? Why didn’t we just bail the moment we realized that the person wasn’t for us? Why are we blaming them for our own choice to stay? Most importantly, why did we choose someone who would cheat, lie, drink too much, be lazy, be abusive, not care, etc.? What was our first clue that the person was like this, and why didn’t we run then? Why did we expect them to change instead of simply changing ourselves?

It’s like this, a cat is a cat. That’s just what they are. So if you get yourself a cat, don’t freak out when the cat catches a mouse and leaves it the middle of the floor. After all, that’s what cats do, and you made the choice to get yourself a cat. What I mean by this is, if you meet someone at a bar and every time you go out with that person you go to a bar and that person gets drunk every time you go out – don’t be surprised when that person doesn’t change just because you are dating! In another example, if you meet someone you really like and you are attracted to them because they are very aloof and hard to get, etc., don’t be surprised if they stay distant and don’t become loving and attentive just because you want them to. In other words, don’t expect anyone to change into the person you want them to be just because you want them to. That person is a cat. This is not to say that some people won’t change because they love you, the point is that there is a very high likelihood that they either won’t change at all, or won’t change until they are ready to. That is why it is very important to focus on finding someone who is already right for you, and the only way to do this is to figure out what it is that you really want.

In the last paragraph I focused a lot on the other person, the other key issues to address are the ones that stem from you. What are the things about yourself that would like to address? Do you drink too much, yell too much, or are quick to judge or criticize? Do you throw things when you’re angry? Have you ever been physically or emotionally abusive? Have you ever cheated on someone, and if so why? Do you lie to people because you’re afraid of what they might think if you tell the truth? Are you driven by money or outside appearances, or are to too harsh and mean? Are you a nag?

If you are serious about finding love and happiness, your internal issues will also have to be addressed. Skipping this part of the process will not aid you in finding a lasting relationship, in fact, it is the most important thing to do. Let me give you an example, both my husband and I still liked to party in our thirties (as you can see from the pictures above), and it’s not coincidence that we both ended up in relationships with people who drank way too much. This was one of the many things we each had to recognize and correct in order to move forward with our lives. That’s not to say that we don’t drink, or never have a good time, it’s just not a weekly part of our lives anymore and we are no longer prone to drinking to excess. If you have reached your forties and want to believe there is nothing that can be improved on in your own personality then you should simply stop reading this, but if you want to find love in your forties – be prepared to do the work!

This brings us to the second part of Step 2, which is to recognize and decide what it is that you really do want and are looking for. This is the easier part of Step 2. Think of all of the things that you want in someone and in a relationship and write it all down. Also, think about all of the things that you don’t want in a person, or a relationship, and write all of it down. You will have to concentrate and focus on these things later on in the process. Then take a look at all of the things that were good and did work for you in your previous relationships. After all, not all of it was bad, was it? What were the things that you liked? What really attracted you to that person beyond their looks? What were the things that kept you in it? These are the things you will want to bring forward into the future.

In the next post we will continue through the steps, so stay tuned…



Step 1 – Know Thyself


I know, I know, this is the advice you’ll get from every self-help book and article out there, but that’s because it’s a necessary step in the process. So like it or not, it’s step number one. Easier said than done, right?

Let’s start at the beginning. Let’s go back all the way to when you were a little girl or boy, what did you dream about? Where did you see yourself? What was your ideal mate like in your dreams of the future? How closely are you still holding onto your ideal? Write it all down, it helps.

Next, let’s talk about your parents. What was dad like? What was mom like? What were your siblings like, and what was your relationship like with each of them? Did you look up to them, hate them or want to be them? Was mom mothering, smothering, distant or cold? Did mom blame you for things, or expect too much? Did she nit pick or nag, or was she so wonderful that no one else could compare? Was dad the world’s greatest, or never around? Was he emotionally unavailable? Was he abusive, a drunk, a liar, or someone so perfect you thought you would never live up to his expectations? Think hard, be honest and write it all down. You can use point form if you want to.

Now let’s look at you. What are your hopes, desires, disappointments, regrets? Are you where you want to be in life aside from having a mate? Are you happy, depressed, angry or bitter? Do you feel that you are doing everything you wanted to do in your life by now, like going on vacations, or writing a book, or going to the gym regularly, or whatever your thing may be? If not, why not? Are you someone who looks inward when things don’t work out, or are you a person who blames others, or the world at large? Do you still blame your parents for things? Do you blame your siblings or your exes? If so, why? Do you drink too much, or are you introverted and shy? Do you play the field, give it up too easily, don’t know what to say to new people, find people boring, or find yourself too boring? Are you quick to get angry, or do you bottle things up inside? Are you a nag? Are you shallow? Are you obsessed with youth and beauty, or always chasing people who aren’t interested in you? Do you value money over love? Are you too passive or passive aggressive? Can you only be with someone who looks like a model? What do you wish you could change about yourself and what has more than one person accused you of? Were you harmed in any way as a child or an adult? This includes physically, sexually, emotionally and through neglect. Write it all down, and be sure to include why you feel the way you do. Be honest, be true because without a good hard look inward you ain’t getting anywhere, believe me. I told you there would be work. Leave loneliness out of it for now though, ok. We’ll get to that later.

Now we get into the nitty gritty and start digging into all those past relationships. What were they like? What were your partners like? What went wrong in your view and in theirs? Was there anyone you wish you were still with and why? Is there the one who got away because you screwed it up and if so, why? If you look hard, very hard, were there any traits your partner had that reminded you of mom, or dad, of one of your siblings or anyone else you admired in your youth? Did you like them because they were nothing at all like mom or dad? Be clear, be honest, let’s get to the bottom of it.

Let’s focus a little bit more on you now. I want you to write down some of the key problems you’ve had in relationships of the past, you can include friendships too, and how you dealt with them. Think hard about your reactions to things, were they good, bad, over the top or indifferent? Was the person just never the “one” and, if so, why were you there in the first place? When did the passion die and why? Was it all about their looks, their youth, their brains, their job, their money, or whatever? Be hard on yourself, you need to be to move forward. After all, giving yourself a break hasn’t stopped you from still being single…

Ok guys, by now you’re probably feeling a bit tired and emotionally drained. Think about all of this for awhile. Let it seep in. Go over your notes, make additions, clarify stuff. Look for patterns. Go back and forth between partners and parents, siblings and friends, see any similarities? Which people did you enjoy the most and why? Which traits were you drawn to or repelled by? Look hard at all of them and yourself for awhile. Sort it out, delve deeper. Try to understand who you are and what you really want. Which patterns repeat themselves and which lead to the same place? What are you really looking for in yourself and in others? Who are you and what part of yourself are you ready to leave behind to move forward?

Much more to come, so stay tuned…