More and more middle-aged folks — and even seniors — are getting back in the gay dating game these days.
Limited attention is given to aging gay men—group often stereotyped as depressed, sexually frustrated, and unhappy. From 1977 to 1982 there were numerous references related to myths and stereotypes of aging homosexual men. Some of the myths perpetuated are: (1) Gay men experience accelerated aging and prefer younger men; (2) Gay men end up being lonely and alone in their old age. Many of the myths concerning older homosexuals have been dispelled through research.
Older gay men have strengths and weaknesses just as all other people; however, they have additional coping strategies which allow them to enter old age at an advantage.
Truth be told, dating in your 40s can be a wonderful thing. You’re braver, smarter, wiser, and more discerning than ever. Using these qualities as your secret superpowers can make dating in your 40s not only fun but also much more successful than dating in your 30s and 20s.
If your interest is piqued, keep reading to discover your road map to dating at this wonderful age.
Make sure you’re both ready to date.
Unlike dating in your 20s, you’ve likely had a major relationship and the person you’re dating probably has, too. Make sure that both you and your date have processed these relationships and are ready to move forward.
Trust your instincts.
Most relationship mistakes happen because a person does not trust their instincts early on and sticks around thinking it will change. By your 40s, you’ve experienced many human encounters, so trust your guts.
Plus, by trusting yourself, you’ll be able to look beyond type and move forward based on feelings and mutual values—true cornerstones of successful relationships. Types are for people chasing something that they think is good for them. Do you want to put those kinds of limits on love?
Your potential date will, so you better know what they’ll find. Try to correct misinformation, or at least be prepared to prove that you’re not the escaped serial killer who shares your name. And while you’re at it, make sure your Facebook page, LinkedIn or other social media profiles won’t raise eyebrows.
Be independent and interdependent.
A nice perk of being 40 is that you’ve likely worked on yourself and are more comfortable with who you are now than you may have been a decade or two ago. If not, take time to think through your dating goals, values, and preferences. Know your relationship expectations and deal-breakers without being too rigid.
Dating isn’t mating.
Just as gold miners move tons of rock to find a few nuggets, you’ll probably have to date dozens of gay guys before you find Mr. Right. If you know that a budding relationship has no future, don’t waste your time. Say, “I’m sorry, but there’s no chemistry for me.” And be prepared to hear those words yourself — frequently.
Dress for success.
You may be wonderful, but if you look like a total schlump, other single gay men will flee. If your personal style is stuck in the 80s, get help. Ask a friend, preferably a younger gay man, to accompany you. Consider getting a manicure and pedicure. Plan to spend a day — yes, guys, one entire day — and one to two weeks’ income on your makeover.
Keep condoms handy.
One pleasant surprise about dating after 40 is less groveling for sex. After a few dates, a lot of young gays are horny for middle-aged gay men, and don’t care if your erections are iffy. However, they don’t want sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So use condoms until you’re monogamous.
What’s it like to enter the online gay dating scene in middle age?
The popularity of online gay dating apps has surged across age groups since its emergence nearly two decades ago. Middle-aged and older gay men—simply by virtue of their age—are likely to have experienced long term, intimate relationships that affect reentry into the gay dating scene. Becoming single again after a long period of being partnered is an emotionally challenging experience that can hamper future relationship formation.
Finding a suitable partner is challenging for middle-aged gay men especially for those with smaller social networks than younger adult gay men. This is why many middle-age gay men are active on online dating sites as a means of expanding their social circle.
If you’re a gay man over 40, chances are your dating life pre-dates the mainstream advent of gay dating sites like Planet Romeo and PlanetOut. You probably started dating back when people met at gay bars or got set up on blind dates. While college-aged millennials were the first to thrust dating apps into the mainstream in the early 2010s, the platforms have become increasingly popular among older singles as well in recent years. After all, the oldest members of the generation that first embraced dating apps a decade ago are approaching 40.
Fun Fact: A study published in 2019 titled “Disintermediating your friends: How online dating in the United States displaces other ways of meeting” found that 65% of gay couples met through dating apps. That doesn’t mean it’s always a good experience, though! This is why we highly recommend premier dating sites like Gay Dating Solutions and My Gay Match.
My Gay Match is a new gay dating site that focuses on matching gay men not only on demographic information but a unique personality measure developed by a psychologist. All members are personally confirmed and carefully screened by their staff to prove that they are real. If you’re looking to find a warm and meaningful connection with interesting and caring singles this is the site for you. The gay dating website is currently offering a free 30-day trial.
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