Life After Divorce . . . Sex After 40 (or so)

By Lindy Earl

Life changes with age.  We change.  Society changes.  Norms and values change.  I was born in the 1960’s and I don’t think a 50+ year old would recognize the world in which we live today.  Of course they would be 110.

There are things to consider, just in the world of sex, if you are older and find yourself single and not in a monogamous relationship.  These are not hard and fast rules, just things to consider.

First, do not decide after midnight to engage in sex with a new person.  I’ve told my College students this for years.  It always brings a laugh, but I’m serious.  We aren’t making our best decisions when we are tired, and possibly inebriated.

Second, before you are sexually active, decide what you want.  Are you looking for casual sex or a commitment?  Is the person with whom you’re engaging aware of, and agrees with, your position (no pun intended)?  Yes, you need to talk about it ahead of time!

Think about STDs.  If you’re a carrier, then openly and honestly share the fact.  It does not mean that sex is off the table, but it does allow your partner to take necessary precautions, as you should be.

Consider if you are being used, or using someone, for sex.  Awareness is good.  If you’re heading to an empty house, chances are good at least one of you believes there is going to be some sexual activity.  In fairness, this is not always true.  I have been invited to dinner by men who truly did not have ulterior motives.  Please do not get your panties in a twist over this statement – I’m raising a point for you to consider, not pointing a finger.

Some people will state up front that they have to be in a sexual relationship within so many dates.  By the way, when and from whence did that third date rule originate?  That’s insane.  A third date may be by the end of the first weekend, if y’all are really enjoying one another’s company.  Three days may be a bit early for some to jump into bed.  Three dates may be spread over multiple months, especially if you’re both dating other people.  I don’t suggest a hard and fast rule, but some people have them.  Know how you feel about the idea.

I’ve been told that people lie about sex more than any other subject – how many partners they’ve had (both high and low); the last time they were active; their experience and expectations.  I don’t know if that’s true but it’s what I was told.  Be aware that liars, and lies, exist.

There are good and bad people out there.  Yes, some are looking for sexual relationships, and nothing else. Just hook ups.  Bless them if they are so honest to state this clearly up front.  Some people cannot be sexually active without a commitment, and an agreement or engagement will suffice.  Others have to have the ring on their finger and vows said before sex occurs.

Sex is an area of life, especially life after divorce, where you need to know yourself.  You need to be honest with yourself.  You can tell yourself you can keep it casual, but if you’re lying to yourself, you’re going to be miserable.  You can tell yourself, and your partner, that a monogamous sexual relationship is okay, but if you lose your heart to your lover, when they are just in it for the sex, then you will be hurt.  You will be!

Mostly, you’re just not young anymore.  You are expected to be more mature.  Sex is still basically sex, although people seem to be much more open and vocal about wants and needs. The shy virgin doesn’t work and is a lousy act.  You are able, and should, step up and speak your mind about what you want.

Take a minute to think about what you want – in a relationship, in a sexual relationship, in life.  Then have a good talk with yourself about what you can give.  If you can participate in an unemotional sexual tryst, and come out unscathed (and many, many can), then know this.  By considering what you want and what you can give, you can intelligently move into a satisfying relationship that will work for you.  With good communication, it will work for your partner as well.  And happiness could very well ensue.  What a concept!

That’s Life After Divorce.

Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.  Contact her at or find and like her page on Face Book, and join her FB support group, Single Again: From Devastation to Dating. You can subscribe (for $12/year) to her Life After Divorce Newsletter at