Dating can be hard enough at times, but the situation can be made that much more challenging for those single gay men who represent the age 40 and up crowd. In a society where youth and beauty are highly valued, many middle-aged men report feeling segregated and unappreciated in dating pools, making it difficult to meet and sustain relationships with potential dating prospects.
The problem can seem even more compounded in the gay community in which the emphasis on youth and brawn is amplified, causing many mature gay men to feel undesirable and like outsiders within gay circles. They feel unwanted and that their age hinders them and limits the pool of men available to them for dating, particularly when they report being rejected by men in their own cohort for younger guys.
Ageism, or discrimination against someone because of his age, plagues many different layers of our culture—and it also can and does rear its ugly head in the gay dating world. This “over-the-hill” mentality is very damaging, robbing us of the opportunity to really experience life, take risks toward goals, and make the most of what we have (if we let it!). This case is illustrated in the comment of a former 29-year old client: “I turn 30 later this year and then I officially am old! I’ll never have a boyfriend now! I feel like my life is over and it’s all downhill from here on out!”
It is hoped that this article will prove all that wrong and provide you with some tips for maximizing your midlife dating success! While the reality is that ageism does exist and there are obstacles in the dating jungle (at any age), these hurdles do not have to dictate the outcome of your love-life. In actuality, your stage-of-life puts you in an advantageous position to conquer this adversity. With your life experience and history, you probably have a greater repertoire of coping skills, resiliency, sense of self, assertiveness, self-esteem, and an expansive support system and resources. This will take you far and makes you a very good catch!
So let’s push aside those fears that you won’t be able to attract someone after you reach a certain age. Let’s destroy that stereotype that all older gay men are unhappy, lonely, and camp out at the local strip bar every night “trolling.” It’s nonsense! YOU make your life what you want it to be and “you’re only as old as you feel”, as the “old” saying goes. Midlife is sexy! And here are seven tips to help boost your dating success as a 40+ single gay man to enhance your readiness for a relationship!
STEP 3: DESTROY THE MONSTER IN YOUR HEAD
What we say to ourselves impacts our mood and behavior. The “monster in your head” is that little voice that whispers (and sometimes screams) negative statements about yourself and the world around you. Our internal dialogue impacts whether we look at life through a lens of optimism and hope versus pessimism and negativity.
Examine your self-talk as it pertains to being middle-aged and your views on dating and gay men. Create a list of all the thoughts that come to mind about these topics unedited. If you have such thoughts as “I’m too old to find love”, “All the good ones are taken”, “I’m going to be all alone”, or “Nobody will find me attractive, I’m 50!” then your monster needs an ass-kicking.
Don’t fall into the trap of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Begin creating a list of counter-statements or affirmations that will defeat this negative thinking. The more you believe these myths about midlife dating, the more you are setting yourself up for sabotage and it’s important to begin challenging these beliefs by taking stock of true-life success stories or by taking risks and creating your own triumphant victory. Refuse to be held victim to such deprecating thoughts and start developing a mindset around midlife as a positive time in your life to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
STEP 4: EMBRACE YOUR AGE
There’s no point becoming preoccupied with your youth “in the days gone by.” You’re as young as you feel and resisting the fact that life changes will only keep you arrested in your development and is a recipe for unhappiness and regret. Learn to accept all the physical and emotional changes that accompany midlife and be proud of who you are and your story.
Do your best to reduce ageism and ensure that you yourself are not behaving in ways that perpetuate this type of discrimination. For example, if you utilize personal ads as a venue for seeking dating partners, make sure you are honest about all aspects of yourself and don’t fudge on your age. This will increase your odds of attracting more compatible people responding to your ad; remember, it’s quality and not the quantity of your responses.
STEP 5: ALIGN YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT VENUES
Where do you meet other quality guys?! No matter what your age, this is one of the most common questions surrounding dating and it all boils down to your vision and values. While picking up other men in bars could be a viable approach, it’s a difficult setting to do so because there are so many guys to have to sift through and screen to determine their suitability with your vision for a life partner.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you!