When it Comes to Senior Dating, Women Should Leave these Things Behind
When it comes to senior dating, having lots of life experience is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, by the time we reach our 50s and 60s, we know who we are and what we want from life. In many ways, we also have more to offer a potential partner.
On the other hand, you don’t live through 5 or more decades without getting hurt. Finding love after 50 requires us to come to terms with our past so that we can build a better future.
Senior Dating is Tricky Business
To be clear, I’m not saying that we need to hide our past from the people we date. I’m also not saying that we need to “soften” or “change” ourselves for others. I’m simply saying that, when it comes to dating over 50, leaving our subconscious fears, biases, stereotypes and emotional scars in place will limit our chances of finding happiness.
Talking with the other women in the Sixty and Me community about their dating experiences, I am convinced that there are 5 things that we need to learn to leave behind as we look for love again.
Our Previous Relationships
We’ve had many relationships in our lives – some good, some bad. Statistically speaking, if you are looking for love in your 50s or 60s, you have probably gone through a divorce or separation. No matter how much you loved your spouse, the feelings of rejection, disappointment and even betrayal that came with your break-up may never fully heal. That’s just a part of life.
Truthfully, we have limited control over how long it takes to recover from a divorce. That said, we can at least attempt to control how our previous relationship is impacting our views of others. When we are hurt, it’s natural to let generalizations into our minds. Whenever you hear yourself saying, “All men are…” ask yourself if you are being fair. Your ex-husband is not every man. Every single person deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Our Physical and Emotional Limitations
By the time we reach our 50s, there is a tendency to believe that “people should just accept us for who we are.” To a certain extent, this is correct. I personally hate the fact that women our age are under constant pressure to look younger. At this point in our lives, we shouldn’t apologize for who we are.
At the same time, we can’t ignore how the world really works. The truth is that men are attracted to women who take care of themselves. The reverse is also completely true, by the way! So, if you want to expand your dating options, it makes sense to stay in shape and care about your appearance.
Working out doesn’t just change the way you look. It changes the way you feel. When you have more energy, it is easier to see the world in positive ways. When you feel physically strong, it is easier to be confident in social situations. That’s just how we are wired.
If you want to find success with senior dating, focus on being the best you that you can be.
Our Perceptions of the “Perfect Man”
After talking with 100s of women over 50 about their dating experiences, I’ve noticed a bit of a double standard. Most of us hate the fact that many men seem to have a preference for younger women. At the same time, we continue to look for handsome men with lots of money.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with having high standards. At the same time, shouldn’t we stop and ask ourselves whether good looks and financial resources are really what we need in a man at this point in our lives?
When I spoke with senior dating coach, Lisa Copeland, she made a similar point. She said that shared values are much more important than superficial characteristics.
Take a minute to think about your ideal older man. How many of the things that you are looking for in a partner are surface-level and how many would really impact your happiness together?
Our Oversimplifications and Stereotypes
One of the most common statements that I hear older women make about senior dating is that “All older men want is a nurse with a purse.” Talk about a limiting belief! The truth is that men are just as complicated as women. Do most men have a natural attraction to young women with flawless bodies? Of course! But, does this mean that they only care about looks? No way!
The majority of older men are looking for someone that they can relate to on multiple levels. They care about looks, personality, interests, values and much more. So do women, by the way!
I can’t guarantee that you, or anyone else for that matter, will find love after 50. That said, I can guarantee that thinking that all older men only want a “nurse with a purse,” will kill any chances of you finding a partner.
For a unique perspective on what older men really want, check out more interview with dating coach, David Wygant.
Our Fear of Making the First Move
Many of us grew up with the idea that, when it comes to love, men should make the first move. In a world filled with school dances, work events and other social activities, this approach worked fairly well. After all, we were around new people all the time. Why not wait for a man to talk to us?
The older we get, the more we need to work at building an active social life. This is true when it comes to friendship and it is definitely true when it comes to love after 50.
Online dating is fine, but, there are so many opportunities in the “real world” to meet interesting older men. Not all of these conversations will have potential. But a precious few will present new opportunities. That man sitting next to you on the bus might make a good friend. The gentleman in the line at the post-office might be able to offer you even more. You’ll never know unless you overcome your fear of making the first move.
Women over 50 have so much to offer. We have decades of experience to draw on. We understand how the world works. We are loving, passionate, caring beings. All we need to do is let go of the past so that we can build a colorful future. I wish you all the best with your senior dating adventures!
Have you, or someone you know, found love after 50? What advice would you give to other women in the community who may be getting back in the dating scene after a long break? Please join the conversation.
For more senior dating tips, watch my some of my interviews with an amazing Dating Coach for older women, Lisa Copeland: