The benefit of dating when you're pushing 40 is that you know when it's right. And if you've paid attention, then you know that sustaining a meaningful and long-lasting relationship isn't about being clean; it's ALL about how you clean up the mess.
At 45 you still don't ever understand it all, but there is an acceptance of how this whole life thing works. You are quicker to say I'm sorry, slower to linger in spaces that feed you, and generally liberated from 80 percent of the shoulda-woulda-couldas that dominated your 30s.
On my 47th birthday, I found myself between three bald men in their 60s and a good-looking but trashed guy in his 30s. To be clear, I was standing between two groups on the dance floor and searching for my people, the hipsters in their late 40s with emerging wrinkles.