By Latasha McGill
If you are over 40 years old and single, dating can be harder than taking a calculus class. Add social media, online dating apps and regimented rules to the mix and chances are you have taken that class a few times. It is 2020 and black women, especially those over 40 are having a hard time attracting and maintaining healthy romantic relationships. To be quite honest, I believe the harder of the two mentioned in the previous statement is maintaining a relationship. Do not get me wrong; I see so much drama on social media until it makes me think at times, “Yep, I see why you’re still single.” I do not say that arrogantly or with malice. It makes me cringe when I see beautiful, black women posting relationship memes every day all day, or woe is me updates constantly and/or inundating their timelines with quotes that satisfies their ego as to why their exes didn’t deserve them or value their worth. In my mind, I am thinking, “come on honey, move on and let that go.”
Dating should not be a battlefield in the mind, heart or spirit. I have had a love gone all the way wrong experience as a 40 year old. However, it did not deter me from desiring and pursuing a healthy relationship. It taught me how to value myself even more and helped me to heal from years of brokenness that kept me in a cycle of toxic relationships. Most people who are age 40 and over are at a point in life where they have experienced relationship trauma and probably more than once. In addition, there is a defense shield in place that is named “I am not putting up with this foolishness” (or insert whatever word at the end of that phrase that accurately describes you) lol. Social media, our besties, and others close to us have subconsciously trained us to dismiss a person after the first disagreement or if all the boxes on our long list of standards are not checked. I get it, at age 40 you want to relax, enjoy wine in the evenings, have someone to come home to, watch Family Feud, and travel with frequently. No one wants to be bothered with relationship drama at that stage in life. Moreover, I am not saying you should. However, what I am saying is that you will have to be intentional about healthy love.
What I mean is this: Chances are you will meet someone who is wonderful and amazing. Someone who gives you that “uh-oh feeling” (Brian McKnight song) and you will still have to put in work to make it work. Two people who have been blessed to find someone they are compatible with, have great chemistry with during their 40s or over have probably been through a lot of life. Both of you will have to be patient with each other, very forgiving and understanding as you navigate through the phases of dating and courtship. It can be easy to throw in the towel as soon as a challenge arise. Please do not mistake challenges for red flags.Challenges can be worked through; red flags should be seen through and be the indicator that it is time to move on. Another thing you will have to give a lot to one another and to yourself is grace. Most of us have been the way we are most of our lives. It is quite difficult to break 25-year-old habits in two weeks. Also, admit to your flaws, shortcomings and communicate transparently. If you are territorial, admit it (telling on myself). Truth is, you know yourself and what your deal breakers are, what gets under your skin and what you need to work on personally.
At this stage in life, it is time to fully embrace who you are. It is okay to be flaw some! The right partner will appreciate your transparency and will love you regardless. They will not run away because you do not walk on water or know how to parallel park. It is beautiful when you meet that person who says, “Baby, we can learn how to walk on water together” or “let’s talk about the issues we’re having because your feelings are important to me”. Ladies, there are men who are looking to be in a healthy romantic relationship just as you are. Men want to be loved and care for the right way as well. They, too, are tired of relationship trauma and want someone to do life with. Remember love requires sacrifice and compromise. If you are not willing to do either, you are not ready for what you think you are. The key to healthy love over 40 is to be yourself and be with someone who wants you and loves you for who you are and wants to grow with you. So, be gentle with yourself, know yourself and love will find its way to you.
Latasha “Tasha Mac” McGill is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tasha Mac is a grammar geek who is obsessed with coffee, high heels, lipstick, 90s R&B and Comic book movies. She is also a vegetarian whose idea of “turning up” is being in bed by 9pm, working out, watching HGTV and reading a book.
Connect with her on Facebook @Latasha McGill, on Instagram @TashaMac523, on Twitter @LadyT523