The Art of Falling in Love After 40

by Tracey Ricks

When a woman arrives to that seminal point in her adult life when she is forty or over, society expects that at this point, a woman would already have certain things checked off life’s list of expectations. Marriage, children, career, perhaps grandchildren and an empty nest. In today’s world, that may not necessarily be the case. There is a great majority of women who do marry and raise a family as wives and mothers. A lot of women decide to complete their graduate education and establish a career before marriage and children. Others forgo having children at all. By the age of forty, a woman knows the direction her life is headed and has drawn up the blueprint for the next chapter of her journey. Sometimes that road becomes complicated in matters of the heart.

Being in love is a wonderful and exciting experience. Especially for the mature woman. She is knowledgeable about relationships and by this point understands exactly what she can bring to a relationship and what she wants to receive. However, falling in love has never been simple and this is also the case in the search for love. Whether a mature woman has never married or finds herself single due to the demise of a marriage, finding love after forty can become complicated.

But complicated does not mean impossible. There are several key things that the mature woman should have in place as she embarks on the search for love. Some of these principles can be applied to women of all ages. Finding the love you want and deserve takes knowledge and preparation. Here are just a few points to consider:

Love Begins and Ends With YOU. Learning to love who you are, limitations, flaws and all, is the primary factor to acquiring love. Love is a magnet. Love draws attracts love. If a woman is struggling with loving herself, how can she possibly succeed in attracting love into her world? Realizing that love has a foundation that starts from accepting and working on the reflection one views in the mirror, and does not begin from love found exclusively from the outside or another individual, can increase the chances of being in a productive relationship. Loving yourself is indeed the greatest love of all.

The Power of Change Comes From Within. We as women are notorious and infamously known for our attempts at changing other people, chiefly the love interests in our lives. When we meet a man for the first time that we are attracted to and notice he has a few dints or kinks in his armor, what is our initial impulse? “I can CHANGE him.” A mature man cannot be changed unless he has the desire to change. If the desire and need is not present, then why would change be necessary? It is important to accept people where they are in their lives. Attempting to change an individual simply to suit ones romantic vision is selfish and not at all resembles what mature love is.

Transparency is a Two Way Street. Honesty, for some, is not always the best policy. Why? In today’s world, being honest is not respected. Many people are content with presenting a façade of who and what they are in order to attract a potential love interest. This type of dishonesty brings heartbreak and breeds distrust. Being forthcoming with our desires, likes and dislikes, wants and pet peeves, presents the total picture of who we are. Why confess to loving football when the truth is you despise it? Why expect a potential relationship partner to be honest about his life, when you refuse to return the favor? There are still people in this world who value honesty. Being open and transparent allows you to link up with like-minded individuals.

Distinguish the Difference Between Sex and Love. There is a huge misconception that women have about sex. We believe that every time a man has sex with us, he harbors some type of feelings of love. That is untrue. Occasionally for men, sex is just…sex. It is a physical act. We as women naturally view sex as an expression of love. When two participants are not on the same page about what sexual interaction may mean to each of them, then the results can be confusion and pain. A mature woman should know the difference between the sexual act and love. Before engaging in any form off intimacy, a discussion should be entertained. Why? It is better to establish the parameters of a love relationship BEFORE sex than asking the question all men hate after having sex, “Where do we go from here?”

Take Your Time and Enjoy the Journey. If a woman finds herself checking the single or divorced column, that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. Being a single mature woman can be a fantastic and rewarding time. Many women over forty are seeing their nests empty and for the first time in twenty or more years, they have the opportunity and the luxury to focus on their lives without wearing the moniker of selfishness. Women forty and older are in a unique position. Forty affords the advantage that twenty doesn’t come with. Forty is the age where everything begins to come together. You know what you want and what it will take to get it. Falling in love is the icing on the cake. A partner to share your adventures. In the quest, it is important to enjoy the journey. Rushing into relationships thinking that it is love only winds up being a disaster. Enjoy being single and take the time to enhance the woman you have become and continue to learn in order to stimulate more mature growth. If love is the destination, then make the journey worthwhile and fun.

Finding and falling in love after forty can be a challenge, but the rewards are deliciously sweet. Preparing the heart and mind to attract love, and developing the principles outlined can help one succeed at love. Love is the stuff that makes the world go round, and it is not just for the young folks.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Tracey Ricks is a freelance political journalist, former talk radio host, and writer. Tracey contributes weekly to her website, The Musings of an Intelligent Black Woman,

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