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Fortunately, for those fifty and older who are still seeking that special someone, there are ever-growing options. The dating after 50 world can be cruel and sometimes perilous. And true love is also possible.
Our society is very much preoccupied with finding love. We see it in movies, in television and advertisements, in books and magazines . . . We are bombarded by it daily. In the media’s depictions, one cannot help but notice that often the denizens themselves are pictured in much the same way: happy, untarnished, and of course, young.
The perpetuated idea is that love was made for the youthful. However, as many of us know all too well, this is not the reality for women. Many women have suffered failures to launch in our youth when not only our hormones but our ideologies are at their highest and most susceptible to harm.
Being single is daunting.
It can damage self-esteem, provoke awkward questions from family and friends, and even make social gatherings uncomfortable. Friends’ weddings seem to crop up constantly (as do divorces), and it can be a sad thing to refuse the plus-one offer on that lacy RSVP.
The notion seems to be that love is the seed from which all other things worth living life for spring: marriage, children, grandchildren, a happy house with a white picket fence, and all the rest.
Those of with the wisdom of years know that this is hardly ever the case; according to some studies, in the United States alone, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.
Even if you do find love, it seems that the odds are stacked against you, especially for those fifty and older – according to the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau,
the divorce rate for married folks fifty and up have roughly doubled since the 1990s.
This bodes ill even for women who manage to find someone special.
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Yet for all its pitfalls, there are many advantages to being older and wiser than our dewy-eyed, freshly graduated counterparts. For one, age brings shrewdness; both men and women, after so many years of experience, are much better equipped to judge the intentions and actions of the objects of their affection.
As with anything in life, practice makes perfect, and the experiences of someone barely old enough to buy a beer must necessarily pale in comparison to that of someone who was old enough to vote for Ronald Reagan.
Subtle signs that might be missed by someone under thirty are likely to be glaringly obvious to someone twenty years their senior and therefore acted upon accordingly.
We also seem to gain the ability to see duplicity for what it is as we age, therefore we have the unique ability to see deceit before it can come to fruition and get out of the situation. It’s possible that this saves the over 50 woman many failed attempts.
There is also the power of technology on our side, something unimaginable useful and fantastically revolutionary in the days of our youths. Internet dating has honed itself into a tool for wading through the seemingly endless pool of suitors and seeking someone that is a fit for every individual.
The most formidable weapon in any fifty-plus arsenal, this is a valuable asset that can be used to not only find an ideal partner, it can also be a trial-and-error method. Best of all, there are endless dating sites available now.
Our mothers and fathers would have killed for such a fabulous instrument.
This being said, an important point to bring up is the continuing compassion that society is beginning to show for those who are LGBT. Often for fifty and older who grew up gay, there was little empathy to be seen for what was considered a sinful and unnatural lifestyle, therefore finding love was even more difficult, leading to mental strain and depression as well as feelings of solitude and being a pariah among society.
As time has gone on, some of these hateful ideas have luckily begun to fade away, and in present times it is quite possible for anyone to find a partner, regardless of sexual preference.
Many dating sites are specifically aimed towards the LGBT community and can be utilized to find someone perfect for you no matter what shape, size or gender.
Of course, difficulties abound not just for the LGBT community but for anyone who has loved in the past and lost.
Many boomers are widows or widowers or have been left by a spouse for someone younger, both of which can cause persistent and crippling trust issues.
On top of this, the dating world for those fifty and up can be cruel and sometimes perilous. After all, as stated previously, the dating world seems made for the very young; there may be many fumbles before the touchdown, in any case.
The only way to battle this is to talk yourself up, to stand up straight and make everyone aware of your merit. The best way to do this is to make sure that you create your online dating profile with care and insight. Every detail should be pored over and perfected; you’re selling yourself, after all, so better make it good!
After the initial creation of such a profile (as well as the necessary selfies), the trick seems to be simple doggedness. It is not likely you will find your soul mate in a day’s time; there may be lots of failed flights first.
Not every message is responded to; not every date goes as well as planned. Sometimes, your interest may not be returned, and sometimes theirs may not be, either. Sometimes, though the initial spark seems to be there online, the physical aspect is not, perhaps on either end of things.
There are also those who are not using dating sites to find someone of permanence; sometimes married men and women are simply looking for an ego boost or a way to get something they are not necessarily getting at home.
The sleaziness is not something that should be seen as a reflection on you; indeed, quite the opposite. However, it should not be taken lightly and avoided at all costs.
Remember to use the wisdom that you have accumulated over the years; this is minor leagues compared to some of the things you’ve been through!
It should not simply reside upon your object of interest’s shoulders to act according to the right reasons, however; sometimes as time goes on it may become obvious that what you are looking for is not as long-term as you originally suspected.
There is no shame in remembering that as human beings, something we often crave above all else is companionship and physical attention.
One Night Stand?
In particular, if a very long time has passed since the last relationship, the last date or the last kiss with someone who isn’t your golden retriever, it may simply be a desire for a brief fling that you need, at least at first.
If this indeed proves to be the case, it should be something you are honest with both yourself and your potential mate about.
There is nothing so discouraging as false motives and dishonesty.
We all have feelings to consider, after all, even those who adamantly proclaim otherwise. Exterior toughness does not negate those things. Anyone would hope for as much consideration from another person, and that clarity upfront will be appreciated very much by all parties involved in the end.
Of course, this goes both ways, as well. Some people may be genuinely looking for something long term and emotionally charged.
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If that is the case, conversely, it should be noted upfront in just the same way that a desire for a short-lived fling would be. This is where the true beauty of online dating comes in to really show its colors.
Many websites have specific features where one can outline their expectations and desires for the long and short term of the encounters there. Some have quizzes, others have tests that verify your ultimate goals and values, and of course, there is always the option to note in your “about me” that you want something specific out of your experience on the site.
The people you meet will, again, appreciate the clarity of your motivation, and your chances to find what you are looking for will increase.
Along with your motives and goals, it should be important to note what you are not looking for as much as what you are seeking.
- Do you love cats but hate dogs? Dog lovers who are perusing your profile may find that a useful piece of information.
- Despise coffee but love wine? A first date prospective might use this to their advantage when asking you for a rendezvous.
- Are you open to the idea of expanding your family with children from your date’s past, or would you like to remain childless to focus on your life and that of your partner’s?
Again, any information you can provide will be used with aplomb.
Something that seems to be a source of irksome insecurity for many of those dating over fifty is the presence of grown children.
After all, many of us have not spent the last thirty years as pristinely as we’d have others believe; marriages, divorces and a litany of other life events have likely already taken place, leaving us with what some perceive as an armful of broken pieces from a past life not well lived.
The exact opposite is true, in fact; the merits of someone who has both feet on the ground and a well-established and stable life cannot be emphasized enough.
One of the most unpleasant aspects of young adults is their persistent volatility; much like fledglings leaving the nest for the first time, many of us struggle well into our twenties to find the use of our wings before establishing ourselves into some semblance of permanence.
As someone fifty and up, that awkward, bumbling phase has long since passed. Prudence, contemplation, and discretion have taken the place of compulsiveness and negligence. We are responsible, mature and smart, all valuable traits in any partner and they should be showcased.
Of course, as with anything, there can be dangers that come with age and prosperity. Often with time and solitude comes an inescapable sense of desperation and with it a susceptibility to cling to the nearest willing participant. There are those who would prey on these characteristics, to the chagrin of their quarry.
As aforementioned, many women over fifty are established, especially financially, something that many would see as an opportunity to be taken advantage of.
This is where shrewdness comes in; it is possible to spot and flush out such people before they have the opportunity to infiltrate your life and take what belongs to you. As the old saying goes, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
“Catfishing” is the term for patrons of dating sites and social media who approach and initiate affection and love towards someone they feel they can use to their own ends.
Often the name comes with a picture of someone impossibly handsome or beautiful, and the communications are laden with compassion, flirting and often sob stories to tug at the heartstrings.
Sometimes they’ll need money, or a place to stay, or other liquid assets that are not easy to come by; if ever confronted by such a request which is sandwiched by dewy pronouncements of affection, this should be a red flag. Many have seen their bank accounts emptied by such people, to say nothing of the emotional damage and trust issues inflicted by such treachery.
Most dating websites and social media have a report feature which should be utilized heavily if ever such a person is encountered in the wild.
Remember that you are likely not the only victim, especially if this patron is not stopped.
The most important thing to remember? Tenacity. If you don’t give up, you will be rewarded. The ocean is wide and full of fish, and women fifty and older are equipped better than you think for the hunt.
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