Regardless if you're just out of a long-term relationship, navigating co-parenting with your ex, or focused more on career than love, Lesbian Dating in your 40's isn't much different than dating in your 30's.
What HAS changed, is the world around us.
In just a few years, the rise of lesbian dating apps has changed how queer women find other women. From OKCupid, HER, Bumble, Tindr, The League Zoosk, Clover, and several more, lesbian dating apps are compelling women of all ages to create a profile and start browsing. As a CEO of a lesbian matchmaking agency who spends much of her time working on ways to bring the women together, I love this!
The conundrum is that while while reading and swiping can provide a satisfaction for "putting yourself out there," it's actually slowly eroding your confidence and sometimes creating more feelings of alienation than hope. My attempt in this blog post, is to provide you a simple road map and options to start (or continue) your journey without feeling disillusioned or alienated.
Read our post 4 Lesbian Dating Apps for Women Over 30 for a more deep dive into the differences.
Lesbian Dating in your 40's is less about finding "the one" and more about finding a compatible partner who wants the same things as you.
As you know, 40's are a time of clarity. Things start to either fall into place or fall away. No longer do you care what people think, are as worried about making the wrong choice or as concerned with people in your lives who don't make the effort. Dating in your 40's is similar. While it's still a numbers game (you still need to kiss a lot of frogs), our lives are more settled, more grounded and we're really ok with where we are.
You Have More Options Than You Think
Dating when you have a full life (kids, careers, Crossfit) can seem like an impossible task. How are you going to fit in a random coffee date with a stranger when every minute of your day is scheduled? This is the real struggle. And it's something I hear from women *everyday.*
How can I meet a professional woman? Where are the queer women over 40?
Every single day, me and my team of matchmakers get emails from women all over the country with one question: How can I find a woman, with passion, a career, is healthy, funny and enjoys life? There are, literally, millions of women who love women who yearn from a long-term relationship. You have more options than you think.
As lesbian matchmaker with an 80% success rate, here are my inside tips for lesbian dating in your 40's.
1. Lesbian Dating Apps: Should you Do It? Are They Good for the Soul?
While it’s no secret we here at Little Gay Book are not huge fans of lesbian dating apps because they have a tendency to kill love, we gratefully acknowledge that many women use them and as fans of anything that brings the women together, we appreciate the option.
The key is to use a lesbian dating app as ONE TOOL in your arsenal of dating options. Like all technology, it is fallible and self-serving and while the app may promote that it wants you to find love, this is a capitalistic society and what they really want if for you to stay longer on their app.
That being said, you may still find our short recommendation of lesbian dating apps for women over 30 a satisfying option. When you're ready to dive in, read How to Use Lesbian Online Dating More Effectively
2. Attend Events Where Your Preferred Mate Is Going to Be
In Marketing, it's about getting your content in front of your Target Market. It's researching what they like, where they shop and where they hang out. For example, if you like particularly sporty lesbians, you're going to need to hang out where these women are being sporty. Yes, it might be softball. Or football. Or Crossfit. It's putting yourself in front of your target market and then making conversation. As a busy mom, this idea sounds like a nightmare! I already have to go to my kids' soccer games and other activities and the idea of having to go to another event to meet women, does not sound easy. And it's not. That's the point. Anything worth doing isn't easy. But, I do have another idea that's a bit more simple....
3. Lesbian/Bi Speed Dating Events
Speed dating has come a long way since awkward silences and desperate strangers - Nowadays, it is a necessity! Who has time to set up multiple coffee dates, send text messages to people you don't know and then wait for a response? No one. Lesbian/Bi Speed Dating has you meeting up to 20 real women, in 5-10 minute dates, in a casual, fun environment, and then finding out right away if you have any kind of connection. You can meet new friends or new dates. And while I'm biased to the Lesbian/Bi Single Mingle events that my Hosts coordinate all over the US, there are a VARIETY of groups that host events where queer women can meet each other. Go to them. Pay the ticket price. Put on your best outfit and head out with a desire to meet new faces. And if you don't find your people right away, ask the women at those events for more events.
4. Meet Ups
A quick search at MeetUp.com for "Lesbian + [Your City]" will provide a colorful list of queer women's meet ups. These groups are either focused on simple socializing, or a common theme (business, hiking, running, eating) to bring like-minded women together. What I love about MeetUps are the variety and DIY of it. You simply choose one, attend and meet. What is challenging is if you're feeling less than confident about meeting strangers. If you're shy, a Meet Up can be intimidating. There's generally not a host to make you feel welcome and without adequate signage or a person in charge, it can be difficult to decipher who is in the MeetUp and who isn't! However, as they are created by anyone who wants to pay to organize the Meet Up, the groups often change so there's always something happening.
5. Tell Your Friends
Just like that Faberge Organic Shampoo commercial with Heather Locklear told us when we were kids, "I told two friends about it and THEY told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on..... " If you're looking for love, tell everyone you know that you're looking for love! Regularly. And repeat yourself. With so much information coming in and out of out heads, it often takes seven different mentions before you remember something. If they're friends that love you, they'll keep an eye open. Granted, you might get a well-meaning friend that attempts to be your matchmaker, just please remind her to leave that to the professionals at LGB and then go out on that date!
6. Don't Write Off Women Younger Than You
My San Diego host, Shelley has been in a 4-year relationship with a woman 17 years younger than she is - 17 years! She jokes that she could have been her girlfriend's babysitter and her g/f kind of loves it. Shelley is 47 and her mate is 31. Had they created a limitation about "not dating anyone younger/older," they never would have met. These so called "May - December" relationships are quite common in queer women's relationships. In fact, age differences in lesbian relationships are one of the topics that women ask me about the most.
As it happened, Shelley and her girlfriend met during a gay/lesbian film festival (something they both loved) and Shelley actually told her mate to "F-off" before they ever went out on a proper date. The moral of the story is that age is truly just a number and you should never let it limit your dating options (and don't write off the women who cuss like sailors 🙂 ).
7. Consult Experts (Online and In Person)
If you’ve been out of the dating pool for a while, you might feel there’s so much to learn. Dating used to be a somewhat mysterious process, without study, algorithms or specialists. Thankfully, there are now many, many blog posts, videos and Ted Talks on the subject. For example, in a Ted Talk by Evan Marc Katz called No More Bad Dates, he discusses an essential conflict between speed and comfort. Some women want speed, preferring to meet up right away. Others want the comfort of knowing a little more about the person before they meet. He suggested a way to resolve this conflict by using the following plan (read the full blog post here, it's one of my favorites).
Therapist or dating coach
Do a quick Google Search for “Dating Coach” in your city and you’re bound to find a sizable list of experts who can help boost your confidence, define your roadblocks and get you back on the path of happy, healthy dating. He/she will give you “homework” to help you gain confidence, enlist you in role-playing scenarios so you know what to expect, while helping you decipher those internal obstacles that may be getting in your way to dating over 40 success. As a dating coach and clinical psychologist, I can honestly say that just a few sessions of dating coaching really helps most people. Some of my happy women over 40 can tell you all about it.
8. Final Tip: Patience
Ted Talk presenter Evan Katz went on 300 dates before finding his wife. He wasn’t upset about the high number because he was enjoying the dating process. He loved going on all those dates, meeting all those interesting women and weeding out any potential bad dates by communicating thoroughly in his pre-date conversations. Staying positive and communicating clearly are important parts of the process. If someone doesn’t respond, there are infinite numbers of reasons why, that have absolutely nothing to do with rejection. You don’t even know this person or what he/she might be going through in life.
A good phrase to have in your head if someone disappears or doesn’t want a second date is “Next Please!” There are a million amazing people out there and you are at a special point in your life to meet them. Go forth and find the love you deserve.
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