A famous study published in Newsweek back in the 1980’s concluded that single women over 40 were more likely to die in a terrorist attack than to ever walk down the aisle. Although this study has been thoroughly disproven, the belief remains strong in popular culture today. But all that is changing, thanks in part to technology helping change attitudes about marriage, and in part to a number of studies that have revealed surprising facts about marriage over 40.
Currently in the US, 13% of all couples who marry are aged 45 and older, compared to just 1% over twenty years ago. Additionally, though it has long been believed that women who graduate from college are the least likely to marry, recent studies have shown that women who graduate from college before getting married are in fact more likely to report being happy in their marriages, and are statistically less likely to divorce.
So not only is there nothing wrong with getting married after the age of 40, there are also a number of compelling arguments in favor of doing so. If you’re at that age and are looking to settle down, consider the following tips:
The first thing you’ll want to do is to figure out what you want from a relationship. Let’s face it, priorities change over time: when you were a teenager you probably wanted to have some fun, but when you’re going over 40, you’ll probably want to look for someone who shares common interests with you, or someone who has a stable career and finances. Whatever your preferences, decide them ahead of time before jumping back into the dating game.
Get back into the game!
Once you’ve gotten your priorities straight, the next step is to get out there and start dating. This might be a bit difficult depending on how long you’ve been out of the game, but not to worry! That sort of problem is natural. If you’re at a loss as to where to start, try the internet. People weren’t joking when they said you could find just about anything on the web. Dating sites such as Match.com and Yahoo! Personals are more popular than you’d think, and they’re not just for single young men and women anymore; reports indicate that 14% of Match.com’s member base is over the age of 45, and almost 10% of those individuals have never been married.
Of course, if you’re not interested in meeting up with total strangers, you could go the tried and tested route of getting references from friends and family. Let them know that you’re back on the scene and looking for someone interested in a committed relationship.
Distance yourself from discouraging, negative people
Even though attitudes are changing, you’re still going to run into people who don’t believe there’s any hope for you after 40. Often, they’ll say that there is no point in getting married when having kids is no longer an option, while ignoring the fact that people marry for other reasons as well. Perhaps you’re looking for companionship? Maybe someone who can help carry the burden of life with you? Ultimately, the only person that can decide whether or not you should marry, and the reasons to marry, is you, and you alone, and you shouldn’t let any amount of negativity from outsiders influence that.
Be prepared to make the first move
Gone are the days when men were expected to take the lead in initiating a relationship. If you see someone that might be a good match, by all means, make the first move. You’ll never truly know otherwise.
Persistence pays off
Your first few attempts might end poorly. Don’t panic! This is natural, and happens to everyone. You shouldn’t give up. After all, when was the last time you got something right on the very first try? Everything worth doing, is worth doing right, and everything worth doing right takes time.