This is one of life’s big mysteries but sometimes I think the key is identifying the right places to look. When you’re over 40, you’re usually pretty comfortable in your own skin You know what you like, and what you don’t.

Maybe you would prefer to hang out at cafes, museums, film festivals and art galleries.

Maybe you’re divorced and frustrated with dating or haven’t ventured back out to the dating pool.

You could be a widow and unsure of ever finding another man like your husband.

People ask me all the time whether I offer dating and relationship coaching for single men. But I tell them that I help men by helping women who are dating after 40. ) One of the most transformational ways I support women is by helping you better understand GROWNUP men.

Just like women, the men you’re dating have lived and learned.

Just like how you’ve dated your share of challenging types of men like the Pinger, the Couch Potato and the older-and-balder-than-his-profile-guy…men also meet and enter into relationships with less-than-impressive types of women.

I’ve talked to countless single men over the years about their experiences with women, especially those in their 40s, 50s and beyond.

You have to work hard to find someone you really want and really like – or, as one married male friend put it, “someone normal” (apparently normal men are in short supply).

The search is a kind of journey, and along the way you tend to learn a few things about yourself, and about the society we live in. Everyone knows lots of fabulous single women in their 40s …but can’t think of any equally fabulous single men the same age.

But for me, and my three best friends, the key word is “want” rather than need.

We all have fulfilling careers, lots of good friends and interesting lives.

For those of you in your 40s or 50s who are recently divorced, widowed, or just eager to re-partner, dating again can be daunting. As two independent people with separate lives, you are probably more capable than your younger counterparts to nurture the three entities needed for a healthy partnership; “I,” “You,” and “We.” With enhanced self-awareness and father/mother-time on your side, there is a greater likelihood that you will make better choices, avoid previous destructive patterns, and build more lasting relationships. History has a way of repeating itself unless you mindfully replace your old dependencies and fears with new patterns of behavior. Your priorities are in order and you know the benefits of being real. Post-Divorce Healing and Rediscovering Your SELF,” Deborah Hecker, Ph. is a psychotherapist with over 35 years of private practice experience. In addition, she is certified as a psychoanalyst and has extensive training in the following areas: addiction counseling, grief counseling, collaborative practice and mediation.