Dating in your 40s is sure to feel a bit different than dating in your 20s or 30s, and for a few reasons. For one thing, Colier explains, you might have children who need to be prioritized, and thus, you don’t have as much time to dedicate to a new love interest. Or on the other hand, you may still want to have children, and so there can be a sense of urgency around finding a match, she explains.

And even if you don’t want children, of course the urgency to find a partner can still exist. Colier notes that singles in middle-age may feel “fundamentally flawed or lacking” because they haven’t “checked the box” that so many of their peers have. “For a lot of women, there is still such strong cultural conditioning that we’re not complete until we’re in a relationship—and it’s madness,” she adds.

Plus, between family obligations and busy work schedules, it may be challenging to meet singles your age out-and-about, even when you’re frequenting events and social scenes near you.

But the good news is, Colier tells mbg, dating in your 40s also gives you the unique opportunity to swim in the dating pool as a mature adult with a strong sense of self. “If we’ve done some inner work, then in the 40s, we have the possibility of having a much healthier relationship. Another person brings an addition to our life if we’re healthy, as opposed to, ‘You fill me up,’ or, ‘I need you to be okay,'” she explains.

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