- What is my age:
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I am a newly divorced single woman over We got married, we had kids, we grew apart.
Therapists and relationship coaches explain why dating at middle age comes with its own set of challenges. Remember when dating was about meeting a potential mate through a friend and getting to know them over dinner and a movie? Well, if you're dating in your 50syou know that it can be so much more complicated than that idyllic scene of your younger years.
You might be reemerging on the dating scene following a long hiatus, perhaps after being divorced or widowed—only to find that the rules and technology of the game have changed. In fact, there are many particular challenges that come with dating as a something.
Here, therapists, relationship coaches, couples counselors, and more explain why dating is so much harder at mid-life. Unlike dating in your 20s, you might simply fear that you're just too old to be in the game in your 50s—and that shakes your confidence to the core.
8 things to know if you want to get back in the game
If you can be open to new possibilities, dating can actually be easier as you get older. In your 50s, you might feel like you've been out of the game for too long to even know how to play. And that insecurity can make you feel like giving up on a new relationship before you even really gave it a chance. However, 'disastrous' first dates do not always mean that there is no potential in a relationship forming. First dates can go poorly for a of reasons; anxiety is a very common one.
You might have less energy not just for dating in your 50s, but for everything—and that can create additional challenges when it comes to your romantic life. If you do decide to go to a bar, it is likely that you don't really know and enjoy the music they play, which makes you uncomfortable already before you meet new people," says Robert Thomasd sex therapist and co-founder of men's health site Sextopedia.
In your 50s, you might face a lot of negative self-judgements that make it hard to attract the love you deserve. Many singles over 50 are divorced —at least once, if not multiple times over.
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And that adds layers of complexity when it comes to building new relationships. And then there's the challenge of finding someone who will accept and even participate with your children. Even if you and your dating partners aren't divorced or widowed and don't have children, everyone likely has plenty of relationship experience by the time they hit And whether you call that baggage a word loaded with negativity or just plain experiencethese past relationships impact the realities of dating later in life.
However, bonding over your baggage is never a good way to start a new relationship," Coulston says. Dating in your 20s was about just plain fun.
Is it possible to find love after 50?
But dating in your 50s can mean juggling romance with the responsibilities of caring for children, or parents, or maybe even both. Your 50s is "the sandwich time between kids and aging parents," says Saltz. These all impact the emotional energy left over for a relationship. When you're younger, compromise is an ingrained part of daily life as you grow and evolve.
But really, it depends on what you’re looking for
But "by your 50s, you have some set patterns of behaving and feeling, some set values, goals, ideas about how your life should go, and it can make you less flexible to accommodating someone else," Saltz says. You will not be growing up together, you will be grown up and trying to fit with someone—finding someone who fits is more challenging.
You might have felt less resistance in your younger years to adopting someone else's way of doing things—because your own weren't so firmly set in stone. These days, you might have a few high-quality friends, rather than a whole party bus full of people to expose you to other singles. That reduces both your exposure to the dating pool, and also to an endless supply of wingmen or wingwomen to pump you up.
Never put this one food item on the top shelf of your fridge
Remember the etiquette that defined courtship and dating when you started out on the scene? Yeah, those days are long over. Yes, that means conventions of chivalry, courtship—and certainly factors like technology, too. To that end, the technology piece of dating can deter people over 50 from getting back in the game. But, he warns, "the person who is unwilling to learn or make adjustments is likely to face more challenges in the dating scene.
Whether you feel like you might be the target of an elaborate scam a la a Dateline investigation, or you feel just plain cautious of more run-of-the-mill misrepresentation when online dating, you might fear becoming a target by putting yourself out there. Considering how many relationships you've experienced by the time you reach your 50s, you might find yourself comparing all new partners to the old ones, and that can be a form of self-sabotage.
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Unfortunately, this negative perspective tends to just draw in the same type of people they want to avoid, while scaring off the people who would be perfect for them. On the flip side, some who are widowed tend to use their departed loved one as the yardstick by which they measure future dates—but it is impossible for anyone to hold up against the love of your life. Even if they get close, the pressure of the comparison can kill a lot of fledgling relationships.
Every individual is unique, of course.
But as a group, singles over 50 are likely contending with a different sort of sexual health profile than they once were. Post-menopausal women may view their bodies and sexual desire very differently than when [they were] years younger," says relationship counselor and sex therapist Andrew AaronLICSW. The reality is, the dating pool is smaller at plus than it was in earlier decades.
And that can prove downright daunting.
You might be thrilled to be single and mingling in your 50s. Or maybe you're upset to find yourself in this position. And if you're in the latter category, the fear of being alone might compromise your decision making.
And another warm body does not automatically make a meaningful, enduring match, she points out. All Rights Reserved. Open side menu button. By Alesandra Dubin March 19, Alesandra Dubin is a lifestyle editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Read This Next.
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