Pros and Cons of Settling Down Later in Life

Dating in your 40s and 50s vs. dating in your 20s can be altogether different. I mean, some parts are universal, we can still get butterflies, we can still fall madly in love, and we can still find our happily ever after, but the process for getting there may not look the same. At this point in our lives, 20-somethings seem like mere children just figuring out who and what they want to be. I, for one, am happy to be past that point in life and am comfortable with who I am. Aren’t y’all too? Shew. That was a wild ride of bad decisions and confusion, just getting by on sheer luck and the grace of God. But we’re here now, and we’re ready to find love. Whether you are recently divorced or have been waiting to find the right ONE, finding a life partner during middle age can feel daunting. I know y’all appreciate it when I tell it like it is, so here’s some real talk- not sugar-coated, pros and cons of settling down later in life. 

Pro: You know your “type.”

Con: You know your “type.”

No, that’s not a typo. Knowing your “type” could be good, or you could be so focused on looking for your Mr/Miss Perfect that you miss out on meeting the one. I’m NOT saying that you should forgo any serious must-haves in a partner for the sake of settling down, but definitely evaluate your list of priorities and make sure it’s realistic. Should physical requirements such as hair/eye color, height or (heaven forbid) shoe size really matter all that much? That’s up to you to decide, but I can tell you right now only dating guys over 6 feet will not ensure that you eventually reside in domesticated bliss. But looking for a man who’s moral compass, career ambitions, and family aspirations align with yours will get you closer to your happily ever after.   

It’s good to have a type, but make sure you are looking for qualities that really matter and not just superficial “extras” that should be considered icing on the cake. 

Pro: You know what you want out of a relationship

Con: Your expectations may be unrealistic. 

You are looking for your best friend, right? The yin to your yang, the butter to your popcorn, the bait to your hook, the hitch to your giddy up, the cow dirt to your tomato plant…

Well, that last one got weird. Sorry.

Anyways. You should ABSOLUTELY know what you want out of a relationship. It’s healthy to have high expectations and know, without a shadow of a doubt, what a relationship with you is worth to another person. However, you must also be aware of your flaws and limitations and temper your expectations. I’m trying to be gentle because I love y’all, so just play along with me for a second. Are you perfect? No.  Is your relationship going to be perfect? Also, no. As romantic partnerships progress, they get comfortable and, well, kinda boring in some ways. Adventure and excitement are easy to do together, but a true mark of a long lasting relationship is two people that can be reasonably bored and still feel happy. The instant,explosive passion and chemistry you find at a relationship's beginning is not typically sustainable. Look for someone who you would still enjoy being in the same room with on day 3 of no electricity after a storm knocked the power out, and all the good snacks are gone and you can’t possibly play one more round of cards. Excitement comes and goes, and relationship temperature ebbs and flows, so just find someone you can be bored with but still, like at the end of most days

Pro: You are established in your career

Con: Your career may limit the sacrifices that you are willing to make for a relationship

Most women will put “financial stability” somewhere on their priority list when searching for a life partner. To be clear, financial stability does not equal WEALTH, just simply that women are less likely than men to take on another adult mouth to feed. (Men, of course, have their own set of priorities when it comes to the financial situation of their potential partners, but I feel like those typically center around spending habits and savviness)  If it seems like I’m tip-toeing around my point, I am because talking about money makes us all feel weird. BUT  I’m saying all this to ACTUALLY say women are typically attracted to men whose career is well established and provides a living that meets their standards. That’s much easier to do in your 40s and 50s but it also introduces the need for potential sacrifices to be made. If you are the 3rd generation to farm your family’s land, you would not likely consider just packing up and moving two states away. If you built your own business from the ground, up over 20 years, would you be willing to let that go for love? If you are considering a serious relationship with someone who has a job that couldn’t move with them, are you willing to eventually be the one that rents the moving truck? Don’t be discouraged; just be realistic about those obstacles when considering a serious relationship. The Lord will move mountains for His plan to be carried out, what’s meant to be will be.  

Pro: Your life has a certain amount of predictability.

Con: You could be too stuck in your ways. 

I love surprises. Like the -remembering my favorite flower and showing up with a bouquet- kind, not so much the-I have no idea what my life will be like next week, much less next year-variety. A certain amount of predictability is comforting in a potential partner; depending on previous experiences, it could be SUPER important to some people. BUT. When two very grown people enter a relationship, the road to a compromise might be a wee bumpy. Everything from the correct way to load a dishwasher to which Mexican restaurant to choose on Friday nights could invoke the need for a treaty. However, most issues are easily resolved with open communication, so don’t worry too much. Just keep this reminder in your back pocket and impress your partner with your readiness to compromise. 

Look, settling down in middle age can seem complicated, especially if you’ve recently got back in the ole saddle again. Don’t get discouraged, though. Yes, there’s going to be some challenges. Yes, there’s going to be lots of compromise and maybe some road blocks along the way. But listen, honey, you deserve to find the right kind of love for you and you haven’t made it this far in life by being a scaredy cat when faced with a challenge. Just go with the flow, prioritize what really matters and be ready to compromise on the stuff that doesn’t. 

Now, get out there and find the one you’ve been waiting on!

Until next time…

Love y’all and good luck,

Kelly Ann