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Dating after 50

by Michelle Aycock on Mon, 01/10/2011 - 3:12pm

Q. I'm a 52-year-old woman recently divorced, after being married for more than 30 years. My daughter keeps telling me I need to go out and date, but I don't know how to do it, and it scares me to think about it. Should I try to start dating again, and what do I do?

A. Thinking about dating after 30 years of marriage is going to be scary for you.

However, dating after 50 is very different and can be better than when you were younger, as you are now more aware of your needs and expectations.

With age comes knowledge about yourself and who you are as a person, which can also make it hard to find someone to date because you are more selective.

Some common fears for women older than 50 who want to date include:

-- Opening up about your private life and having to bring up past hurts.

-- Fear of being rejected.

-- Your body image isn't what it used to be, and you now struggle with trying to keep your body in shape.

-- A fear that your judgment about men really isn't that good and you may not find a partner to share your life with.

-- Getting into a relationship, making mistakes and then the possibility of being alone again.

Getting back into the dating game after so many years can be intimidating. However, the fun and companionship that can be found may be well worth it.

Try not to be negative or bitter about life or what has happened in your past. Be sure that you want to date, and you're not entering the dating scene because your family and friends say that you should.

It is important to become familiar with dating essentials and redefine your concept of dating.

Dating at 50 is very different from when you were in your 20s. Put your focus on enjoying the ride, not on a destination. You may find the person you will grow old with or someone to just share an occasional weekend.

Whatever your decision about dating, some general tips are:

-- Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Keep active and stay in shape. Get out of the house by going for walks, to the movies or concerts.

-- Pay attention to your appearance and wardrobe.

-- Stay informed about current events and any other topic that interests you, in order to have interesting conversations.

-- Develop interests; take a continuing education class or learn to paint or dance.

Michelle Aycock is a licensed psychotherapist. Contact her at 912-233-4294, michelle@coastaltherapist.com or go to coastaltherapist.com.

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