5 rules of dating after 40

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Think about all the people you’ve dated in your lifetime and remember that building relationships takes time.

For years I wondered if there was some new way to go about dating; some secret approach that no one had discovered yet.

A funny thing happened to me on the way to writing my latest novel, Queen Takes King, in which a 45-year-old finds herself single after her 25-year marriage disintegrates. I was told by other single women over 40 who'd been in the dating pool longer than I had that there were "no men out there." And they didn't mean "no good men"; they meant "No men. Meanwhile, on the libido side, things were getting desperate. The Egyptian was, they claimed, some kind of sensual magician. Today I have two young boys to raise, and I'm not hot on introducing them to a new man. There's nothing like watching your gorgeous, good-natured, snowboarding, ladies' man nephew undergo weeks of heavy chemo to make you stop feeling sorry for your lonely self. And then, when I wasn't looking, there was a flurry of activity. To avoid confusion in the midst of this sudden man bounty, I put a method to my dating madness: As 2008 was a political election year, I decided to hold my own primaries.

I found myself single after my almost-17-year relationship disintegrated. Period."I could have sworn I spied members of the male persuasion on L. That is, if you like your men hairless and sweating in yoga class, grunting through their vinyasas, dragon tattoos on their waxed calves, or perhaps speeding past in their silver BMWs, sporting Bluetooth sets, shaved heads, and glinting veneered teeth. Numbers were pressed into my hand and texted from Black Berry to i Phone. One evening over dinner, my older boy, Thug Number 1, asked if I'd ever get married again. My dates became "candi-dates," and I designated delegates (friends) and superdelegates (family) to help me vet them. He was sweet and funny, with an adventuresome nature; he thought up fun, original dates like a night on the Queen Mary to celebrate Mardi Gras with about 10,000 gyrating, feather-boa-wearing Brazilians.

However, it can actually be easier as people are less likely to change major things in their lives after 40, and they’re wise enough to know what they want and what they don’t want.

Keeping the right attitude, reminding yourself that dating and finding relationship is a process, and making the right choices (and heeding the advice below) will help you on your way to a successful dating experience.

Finally, he said, "But we'll never get to slow dance with each other."My breath stopped short. We continue to talk every day, sometimes for hours.

I mentally flipped through my excuse cards: I have small children, I don't want to get serious, my life's complicated, I have a very sick kid at home. He finally said, "You know, Gigi, I don't want to play games anymore. On our first date, I lit up the barbecue for him and played Teddy Pendergrass.

Women spoke wistfully of their dates, which weren't so much "dates" as "appointments."I would have settled for a nonsensual magician at this point. Eventually, one of the candidates would win the election, otherwise known as my heart. Candi-date Number 2 was a Texas real estate entrepreneur.We were the same age, both single parents, and we both consider "Yo, what's up? We seemed to know all the same girls, the same guys, the same music, the same lines. They told me about the girls they'd only sleep with and the ones they'd like to take home to meet me, their mom away from mom.Meanwhile, my house was becoming headquarters for my nephew's friends, who'd visit Frankie and monitor him closely on his shaky road back to health. As the primaries wore on and election fatigue set in, the puppies and I compared notes on dating. When I was hurt, I learned not to call, text, instant message, or e-mail.We'd talk about the Jackson 5, Teddy Pendergrass, and the Whispers. We confessed that our first novels were an embarrassment.(He was lying; I wasn't.)He'd ask me to go out to dinner. I cherished our relationship; I didn't want to ruin it by dating.

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