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Lordy, Lordy, are there any good men still left over 40?

It’s safe to say that if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve definitely taken a different approach in my pursuit of finding Mr. Right. What about you? How much have your thoughts and feelings changed over the years about love and marriage? I made a checklist of things I was on the lookout for prior to hitting the middle-age dating scene again, so I could resolve any issues that could have an impact on my happily-ever-after the second time around.

Compare my list to yours.

Has he ever been married or divorced?

That’s important to know—especially if you’ve been divorced like me. It’s been my experience that older people, who’ve been single for a while, tend to develop a mindset and get used to doing things their own way because they don’t have to answer to anyone. The dating part of the relationship can be a lot of fun, but when you decide to make that trip down the aisle and move into each other’s space, your living together could end up being cramped and uncomfortable. Some people should be prepared to face the hard-core reality that they may be better off alone.

What kind of baggage is coming into the relationship?

Dating during middle age can be challenging because all of us bring some baggage into each other’s lives. Some of us have packed so much stuff over the years from bad relationships that we could take a trip around the world twice.

They say time heals all wounds. That may be true, but you need to find out how old and deep those wounds are. In my case, I tried dating about six months after my divorce. It was someone I had known years ago, and I had always wanted a second chance. But the wounds from my tumultuous marriage and divorce were still fresh. No matter how much I wanted the relationship to work, I couldn’t get past the anger and resentment. It caused me to slip into a deep depression and made being around me an unpleasant experience. That was my baggage. But, thank God, I unpacked my suitcase and threw that “junk” away.

On the other hand, if your middle-aged prospective mate has some very old, deep wounds and can’t seem to get over the past, it might be wise for you to get over him. I once dated a man who actually caught his wife in the physical act of cheating and, although they had been divorced for ten years, he couldn’t get over it. He even admitted he could never trust another woman again because of it. That was a major red flag.

Character matters!

Years ago when I was actively pursuing a husband, I had one very important criteria. He had to come from good stock. By that I meant he had to have a gene pool that generated good looks and intelligence. Of course, I’ve since learned that he can be as fine as Denzel Washington or Brad Pitt with an IQ that would put Einstein to shame, but if he doesn’t have character, he’s missing a key ingredient.

If, in your search, you’re willing to accept someone who is known for being a ladies’ man, breaks dates without explanation, forgets birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, doesn’t show much respect for his mother or, worse yet, can’t keep his hands to himself when he’s mad at you, then all I have to say is you’re getting what you deserve.

You can read more about finding Mr. Right in my book, "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age. Available on


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