Looking for a new love when you are over 50 is scary, especially if you have been in a relationship for many years and suddenly finds yourself alone. Whether you have been widowed or divorced getting into the dating scene takes a lot of internal fortitude. So, here are some do’s and don’ts to help you get started.
Don’t feel pressured to date before you are ready
If you newly single and are feeling lonely and don’t want to be alone don’t attach yourself to someone who is ready for a serious relationship. Spend time with your friends and family. You don’t want anyone to push you into making commitments you are not ready for. One of the primary reasons for second divorces is that people rush into another relationship before they have healed from the first. The most successful relationships are those you want not those you need. A ‘rescue relationship’ seldom lasts.
Don’t try to replace the love you have lost
You may find yourself looking for someone whose appearance or profession or talents mirror those of the person you are no longer with. The feelings you have for them will be a transference of the feelings you had for your last love. You endow that person with traits that belonged to the other person and are disappointed when they do not behave as your past love did. But you never really loved them for themselves – only for whom you needed them to be.
Don’t carry the old baggage everywhere you go
While it’s important that you know your new loves past and they know yours, keep in mind that you are sharing this information to help them know who you are not for them to be your therapist. Constantly talking about the past makes your new friend feel they are being compared and have to compete. People who have been widowed sometimes enhance the past relationship unrealistically in a way no one could ever equal. People who have been divorced may tend to sound angry and bitter. Focus your new relationship in the present and future. Identify the best qualities of your new love and begin to grow your relationship from there.
You can do this
You never imagined that you would be single in your 50’s. You expected this love would last forever – or at least a lot long then this. You haven’t had a date since you were in your 20’s and times have changed so much. Sex with a new partner is so intimidating. All your bad habits were part of the past relationship but who is going to want you now with all those imperfections? The reality is everyone has got something that makes them less than perfect. If you set out to find someone shiny and new you will be dating someone every young. But if you want someone who won’t leave you as soon as your sexual prowess diminishes, or someone who will be interesting to talk to and be with for the rest of your life you just might have to take the good with the bad.
People are just people
Everyone just wants someone to be a companion, share their interests and be kind to them. Open your parameters and look around. Your date is feeling just as anxious as you. Being in a bad relationship is far worse than being alone so take one step at a time, go slow, and enjoy the new experiences you are about to have.