Today, I thought I’d write about a recent get together I had with an amazing group of women who were all divorced and wanted to chat about getting back into the dating world. It was interesting to see how they each felt. I was curious and wanted to know what were they looking for? Was it someone to love again? Did they want to meet someone to spend the rest of their life with? Or, someone to go on a couple of dates with? How about someone to have drinks and a movie with, or maybe a companion to go on trips together? Did they want a casual relationship, or a long-lasting connection?
These were a lot of questions on which to ponder.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau More than a third of Americans over 50 are divorced, widowed, separated or have never been married. The AARP show that 66% of divorces have doubled since 1990 and are mainly initiated by women. It seems that it is more common for people in their 50s or 60s to let go of a marriage and go out in search of a happier and more authentic life.
Some of the recently divorced women, felt that for the moment, they were happy just being by themselves. That way, they felt safe and figured they didn’t have to deal with disappointments and heartbreaks (at least for now.) A few said they would love to dive in and date but were not feeling confident about putting themselves out into the dating pool. A couple felt that dating at midlife could be a fun and rewarding experience.
One woman in our group laughed and said she felt like she had an expiration date stamped on her forehead. As most of her friends kept advising her not to wait too long to get out and date. However, she felt it was too early for her to get back out there and right now she really wanted to become comfortable being alone and spending some time getting to know herself. She felt that she would know when she was truly ready to go out and date again.
Being ready to date again is a process, and everyone is different. You have to be patient, feel truly relaxed and comfortable with yourself. One should build up their confidence and be open and willing before you put themselves out there. So, don’t be in a hurry or feel pressured by others. Listen to your inner guidance, you’ll know when the time is right. Be honest and be clear with yourself before you even think of beginning.
With the internet, things have really changed when it comes to the dating scene.According to Match.com. people over 50 make up the fastest growing segment of users. Research has shown that the 55+ crowd has doubled since 2013.
Knowing what you want is where to begin.
Here are a few tips that we put together to hopefully make dating easier. No matter what age you are or your relationship history.
- Learn to let go of regrets and bitterness and start to move forward. Know that it is common to have feelings of grief very similar to the loss of someone. Make sure your thoughts don’t get the better of you. Just acknowledge your feelings, and get ready for the next phase of your life.
- You are stronger, you are wiser, you have grown and you have changed. So, the first thing you must do is love yourself. Get comfortable being in your own skin, learn to like your naked body and accept who you see in the mirror. Enjoy your own company, being alone for a while is a good thing. So, let the worries go about being alone. Find a hobby or try new things. Take care of yourself and keep yourself busy.
- Make a list and keep it real. Remember, you’ve matured so don’t look for who you thought was good for you in your 20s. It’s no longer about tall, dark and handsome, where he works or what car he drives? Tap into your feelings and write out what you truly want in a partnership. Get a clear vision of who you want in your life.
- Remember you can have great sex after 50. If you were in a long-term marriage or relationship where your sex life wasn’t up to much, don’t let that define you. When you’re ready, take a risk and try new things. There are all sorts of interesting products available on the market to help make sex fun and enjoyable. Always wear great lingerie. You’ll feel sexy all of the time and who cares if no one sees them?
- Don’t listen when people tell you that men only want younger women. There are plenty of men out there who want to date someone their own age. What most people are looking for at this stage of life is attraction, a spark, a good sense of humor and compatibility. Every date is a learning experience, not only will you learn about your date you’ll learn more about yourself.
- Enjoy the process, it’s all a journey, find the fun in it and enjoy meeting new people. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Be open and enjoy the moment by not looking too deep into anything. Focus on the fun of getting dressed up, feeling sensual and desirable. Think about doing enjoyable things together like meeting for coffee. Going out for dinner to a new restaurant. Going to the movies and sharing popcorn. How about the museum or art gallery? Be creative. Enjoy conversation and be curious about the other person.
- You may need to kiss a few toads along the way and that’s all part of the experience. Don’t mentally sabotage yourself, give people a chance. Try not to put all your eggs in one basket. Be prepared not to connect with everyone you meet and don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back from someone you enjoyed meeting. Eventually you will find the right match. Dating is a process so be patient, there will be ups and downs but keep going and take things at your own pace.
Remember you cannot change anyone else. The only person you can change is yourself. We all have baggage, so communication is the key. Express your feelings, be honest and open. If they can’t handle your honesty, then move along to the next one. There are men out there who will take advantage of women. So, trust your intuition, follow your instincts, stay true to yourself and listen to your heart. It’s ok to say no thanks.
At the end of our time together everyone agreed that you have to be open hearted and also smart and diligent about dating at this age. Be honest and post current pictures of yourself if you go online. Give it more than one date, at least if you think that you might want to see them again. Stay focused on your goal. Get yourself out of your rut and get going. Only you can do it!
You do not have to do it alone. There are many support groups to join as well as volunteering. You deserve to live a life of happiness and joy, and trust your world will get back on track. Can you feel excited about dating? Then get ready to say “yes”.
If you need help getting back out into the dating scene, or just feel like a chat.Please feel free to contact me. Let’s put together some goals and start to make a plan.
“You will find what you seek”. ~ Lialah Gifty Akita
Diane Morgan works with women who are overwhelmed and torn by the aging process and have a hard time finding themselves and their place in life during and beyond midlife. She is the creator of a powerful transformational program Awaken Your Beauty Inside Out: Fall In Love With The Skin You’re In. This phenomenal program capitalizes on her 20 plus years of experience in the beauty industry and her expertise as a certified Master Empowerment Coach for women.