Dating Over 50 – Do It Anyway
Dr. Wendy Walsh
posted on October 2017
America’s Relationship Expect, Psychologist, Radio Host and Writer
If you’ve ever stood in front of a mirror right before a much-anticipated date, plucked a stray grey hair and wondered if your new dress would conceal your newfound menopause belly, you are not alone. Dating over 50 can be downright nerve racking. Know that for many people, romantic relationships aren’t easy at any time of life. Behind them may be a lifetime of hurts that may have included childhood trauma, a troubled marriage or the painful memory of an abusive relationship. Thus, getting your mojo back can be terrifying. But love, according to solid research, is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Believe it or not, being single is worse for your physical health than smoking or obesity. Having a secure base, a comfy partner whose arms we can fall into during times of need, is the best gift we can give ourselves. But getting back on that proverbial horse, going from first date to committed partner, may involve kissing a few frogs. I promise you, in the end, Prince Charming can emerge. On your way to him, here are a few tips to help you navigate the world of dating over 50.
1. Banish the idea that all men like to date younger. Our thoughts and beliefs are uncanny things. As negative messages swirl around our heads, they often become our reality. If you believe that all men yearn to only date young, hot women, I promise you, those will be the men you meet. The truth is that peers date peers across the lifespan and only a minority prefer intergenerational dating. Think instead of your life partner as a friend, a contemporary, a grown-up with shared cultural memories and references. This is the man you’ll meet!
2. Try going retrosexual. If you’re newly single, maybe it’s time to look up an old flame on Facebook. You might find that sparks fly like they did when you kissed under the high school bleachers. You never know. One word to the wise, though: If he’s clearly in a relationship, remember that you are a card-carrying member of the girls’ club, and “no mate poaching” is rule number one.
3. Be real. Unlike dating as an insecure young woman who flirted with identity and pretended to be cooler than you were, now you can fully embrace your wise, experienced status. That means having enough confidence to be real, honest, and, yes, vulnerable. This will open the door for your date to be authentic too.
4. Bring your own happiness. If you think you’ll feel happy only once you meet a happy guy, think again. Happy people attract happy people. Create a contented, meaningful and fulfilled life first and bring it to the dating table. That means join clubs. Do volunteer work. Nurture others. Get active politically. You’ll have so much to talk about on your dates!
When it comes to dating again, remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Feel your fear and do it anyway. Love awaits the brave.