Dating later in life is always unexpected. We are taught from a young age that we should be settled with a partner, possibly even a brood of kids and definitely with a secure sense of self. But things have changed. Divorce rates globally are through the roof and that sense of self everyone wants and needs seems to be more tied to the role you play in a romantic relationship than who you are as an individual. Our traditional parents (bless them) have taught us about being good wives and husbands. How women fix the home and care for the children and how men bring home the bacon and sit at the head of the household. These roles no longer apply. Yes, that’s a blanket statement but a worthwhile one to make.


Many marriages have experienced judgement if they’re not behaving as traditionally as their counterparts assume they should. Families are faced with harsh criticism when the husband is staying home looking after children and the wife is working to fund the home and family. And many people between 30 and 40 years of age are dealing with the end of their first marriage. These are the people who fell in love soon after school (sometimes in school) or while in college or university.


They made the big decision of committing to each other forever with the thought that once they graduated they’d enter the world together as a couple of new adults. But the world isn’t accepting of this. Current society encourages you to experience yourself by yourself, as a separate entity to any commitment you might have made. Today you’re allowed to enjoy many years of not knowing who you are because the pressure is off. And identifying yourself by what you do (your job) is now a no-no. So, society inspires us to learn how to identify who we are no matter what we do, what we look like or what our upbringing is. And all of this makes suddenly becoming single and wanting to enter the dating world as an older person very, very difficult.


For both men and women, it’s important to remember that when you’re suddenly single and about to enter the dating game, you are in a brand new world. But that doesn’t mean it’s a horrible place. In fact, it’s actually more awesome than what you went through in your late teens and early 20s. Here’s what you can expect from dating after your divorce.


Knowledge of self

You’re about to meet self-aware people, most of them, who have some idea of what it’s like to be stripped of everything they know and start again. Those who go through this type of intense life change are often forced into knowing themselves. Also, being suddenly alone, including those who are suddenly parenting alone, means you have to learn how to sit with yourself. So, you and everyone you meet enters into an interaction with quite a bit of substance. They have a lot of insight into who they are and what they’re looking for.


Sex is easier

Sex is emotionally and mentally easier but only after the first interaction has occurred. Moving from a bed and a partner you’ve known for decades into a foreign space with a stranger is frightening. But this is one hurdle and once you’re over it you’ll find that, unlike your 20 year old self, you know longer have the stupid guilt. You also won’t mistake sex for love and there’ll be a lot of joy in you realising that sex is a separate and awesome thing to have.


Sex is not physically easier though. In fact, physically you might end up in an interlude with someone and find that your or their bits are not working as best they should. This is quite normal and, in fact, opens doors for exploring the world of sex toys and sex aids. Now, sex toy retailers suggest that everyone, no matter your age, can indulge in these nifty gadgets and gizmos but let’s face it, the older crew really benefits. If he’s got a problem with sustaining, then surprise him with a bathmate sex toy which’ll alleviate that little issue by offering a big solution (know what I mean?). And, if she’s as dry as Cape Town after its recent drought, then investing in some luxurious high-quality lube will see you both slip sliding til you scream.


There’s a serious lack of BS

This is true and refreshing. If you’re on a date with someone who’s been divorced then they, like you, are there because they genuinely want to be there. They wouldn’t waste time on something they aren’t truly interested in. Dating divorcees are generally not time-wasters. They lack all of the tolerance we all chose to have when we were in our 20s. Plus, they have baggage which means they are probably a little picky. So, if you have a date or a second one or even a third then rest assured the person you’re with has chosen to spend their precious time with you because you’re actually quite a catch.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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