Swipe left. Swipe left. Swipe…right? Shit. Online dating is for the birds. Specifically the young lovebirds. They have all the time in the world to sift through images of men holding beer cans, their buddies, and sometimes babies (with a black circle censoring their face, of course. Cause….privacy!). As I decide whether a photo is really worth a thousand words, I wonder, can I find love online after 40? What’s the best dating advice for women over 40? And is online dating at 40 my destiny? 

If it is, I’m in trouble. Because I hate it. I hate the small talk, which includes, “hey,” “hi,” and my all-time favorite, “Here’s my number.” I mean, can you ask my name first? (No, I do not share my name on my profile.) And sure, I’m slightly flattered when I hear, “You’re gorgeous,” but for the love of God can we get offline already and meet in person to ensure you’re not an Ogre pretending to be 45 instead of 65? 

You see, in many ways online dating after 40 is a lot like online dating at any age: long and drawn the fuck out. According to a Pew Research Study (cause I’m fancy and want to bring you STATS to prove my point) 45% of online daters feel frustrated with the process. Only 28% felt hopeful. The math speaks for itself, folks. 

Alas, there I am, trying to find lurve online. It’s the way of the world and, no thanks to COVID, I can’t even flirt the good, old fashion way. If I wink at a man at a grocery store, he might think I’m holding in a sneeze and run in the opposite direction. So online dating at 40 it is. Are you with me still? If so, here is dating advice for women over 40 and, hopefully, some ways to survive our plight!

Dating advice for women over 40

Don’t stress it. It’s supposed to be “fun.” 

If the thought of online dating makes you hyperventilate, it’s time to take a break. This is actually supposed to be fun, not frustrating or stressful. Take a break from online dating when it feels like a chore. I do it all of the time. Like 3 times a month. Ok, maybe that’s why I’m still single. 

Use online dating as practice.

Having trouble connecting? Think of online dating as a practice round for the real thing. You might meet someone eventually; if you don’t, at least you were able to finesse your flirting skills. 

Chat them up.

I’m horrible at this but I will give you this dating advice for women over 40 anyway: be proactive when online dating and message people of interest. Peruse the profiles and take initiative. You not only have control over choosing your best match, but you also can boost your ranking with the online dating algorithm, as per Damona Hoffman. (Like an Instagram profile, they do exist.) Based on how active you are on said dating app, the algorithm chooses to push your profile in front of prospective online daters or bury your profile in the abyss of those that log in to the app once a month (raises hand). 

Don’t get desperate.

People can smell desperation even through an online dating app. You will reek of “please want me, I’m lonely” if you tell them your life story and/or try to rush everything. This is not the same as telling a potential online connection, “Hey, so, are we meeting or what?” The point of online dating is to meet not to keep chatting over text. Just say so assertively and within reason (like, not after the first message exchange). If your person of interest doesn’t seem interested in meeting you offline, don’t despair – dump! 

online dating at 40

Keep busy with other things.

Most folks over the age of 40 have a full life. You might have kids as I do, and/or have a life full of friends and loved ones. Keep it that way. That way you’re not so consumed with online dating that you obsess over this guy who didn’t call or text, or the fact that they continue to message you for weeks instead of getting off the damn pot. (And by pot, I mean the fucking dating app!) Phew. Sorry. This is a sore subject. 

Anyway, just keep living your life like it’s golden. Don’t make online dating the end all/be all of your happiness. We’re too old for that shit!