Episode #28: Why Dating In Your 40s Is Amazing

Episode #28: Why Dating In Your 40s Is Amazing

This week I was inspired to share some growth lessons from my own dating history. Dating in your 40s…scary territory, right? Well it can be chaotic–NGL. But I have to say a lot of the work I’ve done and the lessons I’ve learned are coming in clutch right now. And the result? More calm and confidence than ever.

Basically, being a stronger, more healed version of myself is always a vibe! But one of the places those lessons show up the most is in your personal life.

Listen in to find out more & get inspired to bring these principles into YOUR life–no matter what age you are or if you’re currently dating.

In This Episode:

  • Find out what inspired me to share a bit about my dating life this week
  • Learn 3 ways dating in your 40s is different than in your 20s
  • Get inspired to use these lessons for yourself, no matter how old you are or if you’re partnered up or not
  • Much more!

Listen Here:

Why Dating In Your 40s Is Amazing | Episode #28 Transcript

Hello, gorgeous, and welcome back. It’s you and another episode of the Self Worth Project. My name is Jenn Stevens. I am a coach, hypnotist, and healer. I’m sharing tips on how to heal yourself from the inside out so you can go out there and live the life of your dreams.

Yes, so today we are talking about a subject that is very close and dear to my heart, and that is why dating in my 40s has been actually kind of amazing, or at least a lot better than it was in my younger years.

Let’s start with the inspiration for why I wanted to talk to you about this this week. I listened to Gala Darling’s podcast. I have been following Gala Darling literally since the LiveJournal days. It’s not like I know her personally, and I definitely don’t hang on her every word. Like, I’m not watching all the stories, I’m not listening to all the podcast episodes necessarily, but this one I listened to because it was an update about her life and about how she just got engaged at the age of 40.

I admit I went into this podcast feeling a little bit tense because just from the title, I was like, oh no, is this gonna be another one of those podcasts where we are telling women that they cannot be their happiest selves, their best selves, their most confident selves unless they’re in a relationship? Because that just completely goes against my ethos, and I thought it went against hers as well. However, it wasn’t like that at all. She got really real about her relationship and how it was supportive and was actually a great relationship for her. That is what inspired me to come on here and talk about the lessons I’ve learned in love.

I might not have a big diamond on that finger at the moment, but I can tell you that dating in my 40s has been so much easier and breezier than it was at any other time in my life. When I was in my 20s, I was the perpetual relationship hopper. Like, I think I really didn’t spend that much time being single. So between the ages of 17 and 36, I was mostly in a partnership and mostly in unhealthy, not great partnerships, only I just had no idea about that at the time. I just did not have the language. I was that person who would just date the person because I really liked them and I didn’t really think about how this person was treating me, how I was being respected in this relationship. So I went into a lot of places with a lot of people that I really wish I hadn’t done.

Not to say that I’m living with regret about it. Of course, everything is a lesson in the end, but these were definitely not people that were good for me. I can definitely see all of that in retrospect. So I’m coming into this conversation today with a lot of experience in that department, and I can tell you that my experience with dating now is just so different. I think a lot of it is because as you get older, you know yourself better, and you’re just less willing to compromise your life in certain ways.

Basically, it becomes a lot easier to recognize the people that aren’t good for you, whereas when you’re young and you’re hungry for love, as I was, you tend to go into things with the rosiest rose-colored glasses on. You think everything is going to work out, you think love is going to save the day, and that if I just love this person hard enough, everything is going to work out in the end. That’s one of the hardest lessons I think we all have to learn: you can love somebody pretty hard, and that might not save the relationship, and that definitely will not make that other person love you. That is a lesson I think everybody with an anxious attachment style needs to take to heart. While this episode today is not talking about how to heal your anxious attachment style specifically, that is really a lot about what this is about.

So I’m going to tell you about three lessons today that have shifted the way that I see men and dating in my 40s.

The first lesson that I have learned since my younger years is that I have healed a lot of my emotional wounds, and that just means that I am going into these situations not so hungry for love. I’m going to talk about that a lot today. Feeling hungry for love is like you feel like you need this other person to satisfy something inside of you. I’m not saying that that can’t exist or you shouldn’t have it, but for many of us, that hunger for love puts the blinders on. It makes us see the world in a different way, and it makes us settle for things that aren’t good for us.

I have so much compassion now when I look back at my younger self because I know one of my primary motivations for me when I was dating is that I felt emotionally disconnected from my family. That’s part of my own personal emotional trauma history. I just did not get that reception, that support in my family dynamic, right? That just wasn’t there. So I can see that a lot of my motivation when I was younger is that I was going into romantic relationships looking for that. I wanted that connection. I wanted that support. I wanted to feel seen and loved, and that is really what drove me into the arms of many people that were just not in my highest interests.

That is probably the biggest difference for me personally. I have healed those wounds. I have done so much work on that, not to say that I’m completely perfect or completely 100% over it. I don’t think that that really happens. I think sometimes we are mostly over it, and then every once in a while we might get triggered into feeling like that again. But for the most part, that hunger, that need for emotional reciprocity, I have gotten that in other ways. I know now that I cannot get all of my emotional needs met in one other person, and I’ve done a very good and conscious job of populating my life with people who care about me and who can emotionally support me, even if it’s not in a romantic way.

I know that I do not have to put all of my eggs in one basket. I do not need that romantic partner to do that work for me because I’m already doing it for myself, and I have many other people that will help me to do it. So that is one lesson.

Lesson number two: I’ve done a lot of work on my attachment style, which, as I mentioned, is an anxious attachment style in general. Again, I was so love-hungry. I was so focused on finding partners. I was so focused on romance. I was so focused on all of that stuff. I can tell you a lot of that was because I felt like I wanted that approval. I wanted that validation. I wanted to have that partnership. Sometimes the partnerships were okay. Like, I’m not going to say it was all completely terrible. At the time, you might not pick up on that from the way I talk about these people at the moment, but it wasn’t always bad, right? So it’s not like I was completely anxious and like freaking out all of the time, but I definitely had all the anxious attachment style attributes.

And again, it’s not like I’ve completely conquered that. I’ve done a lot of work on that. I have completely switched myself around in so many ways, but I will say I still have to think about this. I still have to conquer it. I still have to work with that, work through that. These big emotional wounds that we all carry can take a lot of deep programming. And even when you think that you’ve done all this work and even when you think you’re over it, you might still be presented with times and situations and moments where those things come up into your mind. So for me, it’s not so much a matter of vanquishing them and never seeing them again and completely disowning that I ever had that in the first place, but knowing now that I can see it when it comes up. I can notice it when it comes up, and I can do a lot of things to help myself feel more secure and validated so that I don’t have that need, that love-hunger need, and I’m not putting all of my energy and attention on somebody else, which is a huge, huge part of that. Anxious attachment styles are all about putting your energy out, and now I’ve gotten way better at putting my energy inside of myself, keeping my energy inside of myself.

Okay, so the final point that I want to talk about today is that I simply know what I want, or at least I know a lot more about what I don’t want. So the part of Gala Darling’s podcast—and I recommend you go listen to that episode, by the way—the part that really resonated with me was where she was talking about how her previous partners were always trying to change her. This is something I think we can all relate to as women. People fall in love with us, they think we’re quirky, they think we’re funny, they think we’re inspiring to them in some way. But somewhere along the line, the things, the very things that attracted them to us, start to look like burdens. They want us to put away our magic a little bit. They want us to be a little less quirky, a little less funny. They don’t want us to shine our light as bright. And of course, there are so many different ways this can come up. Like, I’ve had people tell me how to dress. I’ve had people tell me to cut my hair, blah blah blah. I don’t usually go for those things, but they have come up. At the time, I remember feeling so confused, like, okay, you should know who I am, and you knew who you fell in love with. Why are you trying to change that? It just did not make any sense to me at the time when it was happening, even though now, in retrospect, I did do some things a little bit differently. I think there’s always a way we can approach things differently, right? But I know now that I simply will not entertain those kinds of people. I will not entertain the kinds of people that think they have a great idea of what my life should look like. I will not entertain people who do not respect my career and my goals. I will not entertain people who do not have my highest and best intentions in mind. This is such a clear no for me. It is such a deal breaker.

Back then, I didn’t know it was a deal breaker. Back then, I thought that love could conquer everything, and I would do whatever I could to make sure that the relationship worked out, including shrinking myself and dimming my light and just doing everything I could to make that person happy. And as you know, that’s not something that we should be doing. You should be with people that are inspiring you to shine even brighter, to shine your light as bright as you possibly can, that love all the quirky weird things about you that make you unique, that love the way that you dress, that love your crazy hair, that love all of those things. Those are the people that are truly going to love you.

So if you’re dating in your 40s, you probably already know a lot about this, but if you are feeling like you’re struggling in this department, maybe just sit down and get really clear on your own boundaries, get really clear on what you want and what you don’t want, and make sure that you’re not wasting your time and energy with people that don’t respect those things about you.

I know that dating can be hard at any age, but I can tell you from my own experience that dating now is so much better because I know myself better, and I am so much less willing to compromise my own happiness for someone else’s. I know that I deserve the best, and I will not settle for anything less. So I hope that this episode has inspired you to think about your own dating life, to think about what you want and what you don’t want, and to go out there and find the person that truly deserves you because you are worth it. Thank you so much for listening, and I will talk to you next time. Bye!

Jenn Stevens The Self-Worth Project

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Episode #28: Why Dating In Your 40s Is Amazing

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