How to Start Dating at Midlife
Q: I have been divorced for nine years, and it felt great at first. Lately I've been feeling lonely, and I'd like to get back to dating. How do I do that at my age? -- Roger, 60
Dr. Susan: The guidelines for dating are pretty much the same at any age. Seek out someone who intrigues you (via online sites, local groups of like-minded individuals, singles events). Then: be interesting and interested. Have a few ready topics to talk about. Keep up with the news. Do you have a hobby or special interests that won't be tedious to talk about with a date? Be willing to invest a bit of time and money into the beginning stages of dating, not expecting every date to "pay off." Above all, be patient while preparing to open your heart again.
One big difference at midlife is that both you and the women you meet bring baggage with you, sometimes quite a lot of baggage. You need to be flexible, adaptable, willing to communicate clearly and compromise. She may have kids, and you have to realize how important they are to her. Either of you may have had negative experiences with relationships, but don't dump on her, and run like the wind if she isn't ready to move beyond her own past.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.