Just as the menopause can be a taboo subject….
…dating late in life can similarly be an awkward, less spoken about topic. But there’s no reason that it should be! There are plenty of people who find themselves single in later years of life, whether that’s because they’ve never been married, are divorced, or are widowed. People need connection and intimacy at any age, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed to be interested in dating later in life. If you’re considering stepping back out into the dating scene but aren’t sure what to expect, read on.
Firstly, finding a date later in life is not too different than finding a date at a younger age. You can meet the right person anywhere: the gym, a bar, through a friend, or through online dating. And while aggressively chasing down any singleton you spot may not be the best solution (as they say, it happens when you “least expect it”), it’s important to put yourself in situations where you can meet someone, even if that means asking a friend if they know anyone.
You are more well-rounded now than you were in your 20s and you have lived long enough to know what you want in a partner.
If you have found a date, there are a few important things to remember. To start with, it’s completely understandable if you feel nervous or apprehensive. Maybe you’re not as confident in your appearance as you used to be (and the menopause certainly doesn’t help with insecurities), but it could be that the person you’re meeting up with has similar feelings. What’s much more important is that you’ve lived an incredible life with many successes and accomplishments. You are more well-rounded now than you were in your 20s and you have lived long enough to know what you want in a partner. In all likelihood, it’ll be easier to understand whether something is worth pursuing or just a waste of time. This time in your life is really an opportunity to focus on yourself and your well-being, and when you know what you want and what works best for you in a partner, you can much more easily surround yourself with the right person.
Secondly, while it may be the hardest step, it’s incredibly important to be sure you’re ready and moved on from your past relationship (or relationships). Your happiness is important, and it’s absolutely okay to move on. Of course, being sensitive to the feelings of your family (especially if you have children) is necessary, but there really is nothing wrong with choosing to enter the dating world again. This may be more difficult if you’re widowed, but deciding to start dating again doesn’t mean you have to forget or stop missing your late husband. Love and emotions are not zero-sum game: the addition of one does not subtract from the other.
You have the right (if not the duty) to care for your happiness, and anyone who loves and cares for you will understand that.
What is important is an acceptance of the situation and being sure you yourself have healed to the best of your ability from whatever it may be that has hurt you (a divorce, the passing of your marriage mate, or a string of unsuccessful relationships). You have the right (if not the duty) to care for your happiness, and anyone who loves and cares for you will understand that. However, acceptance doesn’t just stop there. When you enter the dating scene later in life, you will likely encounter many who themselves are widowed, divorced, or have a few strings attached. It’s normal to meet someone who has kids, a family, and a few complications. It’s important to be okay with the fact that your potential new partner will have had a life (or a few lives) before you, just like you have.
You shouldn’t let fear, embarrassment, or stigma hold you back from getting into dating.
Finally, if you’re still feeling unsure, remember: it can be fun. Dating later in life does not have to mean anything serious. You’re likely to have less responsibilities than you had when younger (having to establish a career, having to raise a family, etc). You probably have more time and more disposable income to experience new things you never have before and start a new chapter in life. Why not bring someone along for the journey?
You shouldn’t let fear, embarrassment, or stigma hold you back from getting into dating. If you feel ready, then that’s all that matters. Sure, it might not feel the most natural at first, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get back into the swing of things and rediscover your charming self. You know what you like, you know what works for you, and it’s the right time in your life to start putting your life and your happiness first!