Finding Love After 60 – Advice from the Sixty and Me Community
Finding love after 60 is a major topic of discussion and curiosity for women in the Sixty and Me community – and with good reason. Many women over 60 are embarking on a new stage of life with different relationship statuses than were common in our parents’ era. Some women are recently divorced. Others became widows or simply chose to never to marry in the first place.
This leaves many women wondering whether it is worth re-entering the dating world and looking for the best way to go about finding love after 60.
We recently posed a question on Facebook to our Sixty and Me community, asking women our age who might have gone through a recent divorce and entering the world of over 60 dating for the first time. I asked:
Can we be loved again? Is finding love after 60 possible?
The feedback and insights from the Sixty and Me community are always enlightening and this is especially true when it comes to matters of the heart. Here are a few of the main points on the minds of women who are grappling with the challenges and opportunities of finding love after 60:
Finding Love after 60 Starts with Loving Yourself
Many women in their 60s have been hurt, divorced or widowed. Going through the dissolution of a marriage or a disappointing romantic relationship can often feel intensely painful. Many women over 60 are learning how to re-engage with their sense of self-worth and self-love.
Some women said that they could not imagine being loved again. Others said that they had tried dating, but none of their relationships had worked out. So they have started focusing on their own interests, activities and families, regardless of whether they can find “the right man.”
Trust is an Essential Ingredient of Love – Now More than Ever
Many women our age are having a hard time trusting men – whether due to a painful divorce or a series of disappointing dating experiences. Many women over 60 find that their sense of confidence is broken and feel disillusioned by men and marriage.
A few women mentioned that they observed many men our age are emotionally damaged and others find that they no longer trust men’s motives. Others said that the longer you are single, the harder it becomes to fall in love. You get set in your ways, and are no longer willing to make yourself vulnerable in the ways that dating requires, or be open to a new serious romantic relationship.
Women Over 60 Value their Independence
Many women our age might have had marriages where the man was “in charge” and where we might have felt we were making our own interests and needs subservient to his. Some women commented that they doubt they’ll ever find love again, because they don’t want to have to take care of a man, and would rather just take care of themselves.
Other women said that even though they realize that they do not “need” a man to make them happy, they would like to find someone to share their lives with.
Love Has New Meaning for Women Over 60
One challenge of dating over 60 is that the whole concept of romantic relationships has a different meaning for this stage of life. When the traditional roles have gone away, omen over 60 are looking for different things in a man than we might have wanted when we were in our 20s, 30s or 40s. Most women our age are interested in finding a man who shares mutual interests, common dreams, and a common worldview.
Women our age want to be appreciated and have someone to share adventures and laughter with. We are no longer looking for a relationship with the goal of having children and building a “home” together. Dating over 60 is often more about having fun and finding a partnership of equals. This can be positive or negative depending on what you want from a relationship.
Some women enjoy the fun of meeting new people and going on casual dates, while others might find casual dating to be lonely or disappointing.
Some women might distrust the motives of men who have been divorced multiple times, or who seem needy or inattentive. There are definitely many good men out there, and hopefully women over 60 can get what they need out of their dating relationships. The foundation is trust, healthy relationship boundaries and habits, and mutual respect.
Love Can be “Found” – or it Finds You
According to comments from our community on Facebook, there are many places for women to find love after 60. Many women have had success with online dating if they approach it with a positive attitude. (In fact, according to a study from Bowling Green State University, people over 60 are the fastest-growing age group to use online dating.)
Other women have met good men at church or in community organizations, or just while out walking in the park. Another option is to simply go to the places you love and do the things you love to do. Any man who shares your interests is likely to be frequenting the same places.
Another idea that is gaining in popularity is to hire a dating coach. According to this article in the New York Times, some matchmakers and dating coaches are now specializing in coaching for people over 60. If you are willing to invest some time and money in personal sessions with a dating coach, you might find better matches faster. At the same time, you can learn a lot about yourself, your preferences, and your life goals along the way.
Men Struggle to Find Love after 60 Too
Often the conversation about dating over 60 focuses on the idea that women are at an inherent disadvantage with too many eligible women our age chasing too few good men. While this is true, men our age are often struggling with the same types of worries, doubts and negative feelings that women might have.
Before your first date, try to understand the psychology of an older man – he is also probably feeling a bit nervous, hesitant and afraid of rejection. So start a conversation, flirt a little, laugh a lot, and be feminine and fun. Don’t feel like you have to control the whole date, drive conversation or make all the plans – try to help him feel competent and comfortable and “in charge.” Dating should not be a power struggle! Be spontaneous and go with the flow.
When I interviewed David Wygant, he pointed out that men want to feel appreciated too. They want to feel desirable and honored. They want to feel you recognize they have something valuable to offer, whether it’s conversation, companionship or shared interests. Enjoy each other’s company and try to find something to admire about every man you meet. Even if it’s not a “love connection,” take the attitude that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Here’s my interview with David.
Despite the Challenges, Women Over 60 Haven’t Given up on Love
Perhaps the most encouraging sign from our informal Facebook poll is that the vast majority of women over 60 seem to be optimistic about the prospect for love in their lives. This can take the form of a marriage, a committed relationship or just walking down the street holding hands with someone special.
Love can be part of your life at any age. Hopefully we all can be brave, confident and open to possibilities, and willing to take a chance on letting love into our hearts once more.
What are your feelings on finding love after 60? Is it possible? Is it too hard? Are there any aspects of dating over 60 that you’ve found to be surprisingly fun and enjoyable? Please leave a comment below.