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When love starts at 40s

Brenda Wanjiru and Anthony Ndichu got married in their late 40s. They share with us the difference between dating at that age and at a younger age

Harriet James @harriet86jim

In December  2017, Brenda Wanjiru and Anthony Ndichu tied the knot in a colourful ceremony. What made it even special was that they were both in their late 40s, proving that it’s never too late to find love.

They met in 2009 at a funeral in Kisumu, and while it was love at first sight for Anthony, Brenda was in a long distant relationship with another man.

“When I mentioned to him that I was dating someone else, he asked “Has he engaged you?” I said “no” and it hit me that I needed to know my place in that relationship.

He tasked me to ask the guy where our relationship was headed. This is called boldness,” she recalls. And Brenda’s relationship with her long distant boyfriend came to an end. She began dating Anthony. 

Unlike her previous relationships, dating Anthony was quite different. He was more mature, knew what he wanted in life, was responsible and focused.

Different ball game

“Dating at 40s is a different experience. You have experienced much and you know what you want. It’s either you go for it or drop it. There’s no room for entertaining players or people who are still trying,” she observes.

Being single at 40 is more often than not depicted with humour or pity, and rarely reflects the reality that single men and women can find true love. Most of them are divorced, widowed, been through several traumatising relationships or have simply decided to wait for the right person.

For many, there’s a freedom that hits at some point in your 40s. Whereas more women who are in their 20s and 30s want to settle down and have children to beat their biological clock or for financial stability, this becomes less the case as others get older. At 40s and beyond one is looking for love, companionship or simply to have fun.

Challenges

Steven Nzusa, a marriage counsellor, argues that one of the benefits of dating at 40 is the confidence that it gives. “Being  40 something means one has the ability to draw from the rich life experiences as well as emotional insights that are helpful in making more informed choices.

There is a balance of being still relatively youthful and adventurous, yet at the same time one is older and wiser. In addition, one can detect a lack of authenticity in a potential date a mile away, and are less likely to be wooed by super-flattering conversations. You’re invariably more cautious and less impulsive than you were in your younger years,” Nzusa notes.

However, not setlling in your 20s and 30s  has challenges. For Brenda, loneliness from time to time and pressure from relatives and friends to find the right mate was something she had to grapple with. “They did not understand how a person in the corporate world would miss a life partner.

I had friends who went an extra mile of hooking me up, but none was fruitful. One time my aunties told me to consider having a baby, saying menopause would catch up with me. My response was, dignity is a virtue and at God’s time He would make things beautiful,” she says.

Comfort and pleasure

On the other hand, Anthony’s dating experience in his 30s was a bit challenging as he says he couldn’t find any serious and focused woman to date. While some people thought that he was avoiding marriage, deep in his heart, he had faith that he would soon meet his perfect mate.

For men on the other hand, 40s means the ability to look deeply into things. Usually, selfishness, pettiness as well as being inconsiderate are turn-offs while a woman who is confident and aware of herself can make someone seem sexy to a man of a certain age.

“As men grow older, they are aware of the inevitable need to have someone to take care of them. Even the most independent person has at least emotional needs that require tending, and there is comfort and pleasure that can be derived from the company of a person who possesses a quality soul,” says Nzusa.

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