What do men in early 40’s look for in dating/relationship?

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There are all types of men... What type of men are you looking for?

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My regret from the first time around of dating him is not having that conversation before sleeping with him.

Just personally when I was dating I preferred not to sleep with people that didn't want something serious. But I really liked my husband so I sort of let my usual standard slide, and then I just mentally wrecked myself when he didn't want to be more serious once we were sleeping together.

So I don't really know what that timing looks like for you, or if you feel similarly around that subject. But if it were me and I had it to do over I'd have that conversation shortly before things progressed to that level of intimacy.

But what do I know - he's my favorite person ever and we are married now. So maybe I played it just fine not doing that. But I was a total mental wreck for months for having made the decision to sleep with him before understanding what he wanted.

Great chemistry, shared values and life objectives, and respect for each other.
(M, 40's)

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Strategically: Shared life goals, caring and loving
Tactically: Easy going, respects diverse views, have a good sense running the family and shared responsibilities and allows space for each other (as we both have been grown up now personally and professionally).
She can also expect the same from me.
Sorry for breaking it down in consulting speak.😊

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For myself (M 40s): independence, a best friend, acceptance of all my eccentricities, good communication, someone who is working through their own childhood issues via a therapist or some other method of working through her junk (we all have junk), athleticism/exercise centric, an obsession with good health (mainly through eating well), openness to new experiences, but also the autonomy to go out and do her own things with her friends, and not too needy (getting anxious if I don’t text all day because I’m traveling to a client for example.)
That’s my opinion.

In general a balanced person, with the expectation I will give all of it back and more.

Patience
Thoughtful/shared decision making on big things
Non-judgmental (present and past)
Trusting (without having to go through my phone)
Social but not over the top (can’t party every other day)
Non-confrontational (on anything. Just talk it through and hear perspective)
Allows some space (within reason)
Aligns with fundamental political, religious views and family values (LGBTQ, female rights, kids, etc.)
Is accepting of friends and family (they with have a generational gap on views)
Physical intimacy/ sex (3 times a week). The rabbit in us slows down.

It takes time to experience this (conversations don’t always do justice). So, I would slowly probe into these areas during dates but experience it over a period of 2-3 months and then have the conversation on whether to get serious.

Enough with the best friend nonsense - I dont know where we got off track over the decades, but partnership is paramount - "best friendship" is a luxury.

I'm a male, 40, athletic build, average looking, 175k+ earner: been happily married for almost a decade. Here's why I STILL love my wife (in no particular order):

1. Fit/Attractive: She keeps a regular workout regimen
2. Likes to cook - not a "top chef" by any stretch, but I like it
3. Agreeable/Friendly/Feminine - Not a pushover, but keeps our home a pleasant sanctuary. I expend so much energy dealing with disagreeable personalities in the workspace, I don't want that when I come home
4. Clean/Neat - she's not very good at this, but we have a weekly maid service that makes this bearable
5. Maternal - great mom to the kiddos
6. Coachable - we all are works in progress, I know it, she knows it; this is the "glue" in our marriage
7. Healthy Intimacy Drive: self explanatory
8. Knows when to give me space: f*cking priceless this trait is

Men are simple and the above are actionable; none of this ephemeral "feel-good" stuff I read from an earlier post.

This is a very left brain angle on love but I don’t disagree with any of your points. Well said

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