Fabulous, 50+ and Suddenly Single Free eBook.
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Fabulous, 50+ and Suddenly Single
Table of Contents
Fabulous, 50+ and Suddenly Single. 1
Before You Think About Dating Again.. 3
Getting Ready to Date Again.. 5
Cultivate Your Own Attractiveness. 7
Partners Can Come From Anywhere. 9
Be Fearless. 11
Mingle Without Pressure. 13
Online Dating Tips. 15
You Might Even Enjoy It 19
Before You Think About Dating Again
Finding yourself single again when you’re over 50 can come as quite the shock to the system. Whether you’re widowed, divorced, or broke up with a long-time partner, becoming single in any sudden way can be traumatic even if the split was entirely peaceful.
Sometimes, in those panicked moments, you can find yourself wanting another spouse, or at least a significant other. This feels like stability to you and so, in what may be some of the most unstable moments you’ve ever experienced, you want to do whatever is necessary to regain what you have lost.
However, while this approach may help you in the short-term, it is unlikely that any relationship formed under such circumstances will last. This “Rebound Effect,” though it may soothe your hurt now, could easily end up only causing you more pain later.
Give Yourself Space
Instead of immediately looking for a new significant other, give yourself some space to heal from the relationship that ended. Whether it was ended by death, divorce, or a breakup, you will need some time to grieve what you have lost and figure out what your life looks like without that other person.
The feelings that come during this time might seem almost unbearable. Be sure to surround yourself with people who love you and can walk alongside you as you struggle. Make sure that those around you won’t tear you down, but will instead help you find a new equilibrium, from which place you can then begin your search for someone new.
You Still Have Time
It can be difficult, when you’re over 50, to give yourself whatever time it takes to grieve your lost relationship, because of a fear that you’re running out of time. Sometimes, it can feel like you have to push yourself, to work hard to just get over what happened, because you’re afraid of missing out on meeting someone new.
If you feel these things, take a deep breath and do a quick reality check. Sure, you’re older than you were when you were first dating. Depending on the length of your last relationship, you might be twenty or even thirty years older.
However, the fact that you’re older does not mean much in the realm of dating. In the current cultural climate, there are a lot of people your age looking for a high-quality relationship. These people won’t all disappear before you’re ready to go looking for them. And if you want to offer them the best of yourself, you’ll want to take the time you need to heal from the past.
Good Partners Still Exist
Another fear that can be difficult when you find yourself over 50 and single is a concern that, if you don’t get out there and start dating immediately, all the good partners will be taken. There’s an attitude of scarcity surrounding the dating world for anyone older than about 30, and this only intensifies as you get older.
Sadly, this attitude is a lie. There are plenty of people out there for you to meet and plenty of places to meet them. Taking the time necessary to be a healthy person before you meet them will not make them go away.
Getting Ready to Date Again
When you’ve cried all of your tears and have discovered who you are and what you life looks like without the relationship you lost, it is time to consider dating again. Note that you do not have to date. It is not a given. Choosing to remain single is something some adults want, and it is not a bad choice just because some people don’t understand it.
If you do decide to date again, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself. Because it has probably been a while, whether that means months or years, since you were last pursuing relationships like this, there are some things you can do that will help you prepare and that will make the process easier.
Get Rid of Stuff
If you haven’t done it already, get rid of anything that belongs to or overwhelmingly reminds you of your former relationship. This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing away all your pictures of your deceased spouse, for instance, but it does mean putting them in a place where you don’t have to look at them all the time. This will help you put that past behind you, once and for all, and will make it so anyone you bring home will not have to constantly be reminded of your past.
Some people find this more important than others. You may only need to take down a few photographs or clean out an office or a study that belonged to your previous partner. On the other hand, you might find that you want to buy new sheets and towels, or even a brand new bed. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so take the steps that will best help you get a fresh start.
Decide What You’re Looking For
Before you put yourself out there to look for a partner, decide what you’re looking for. This doesn’t mean, necessarily, coming up with a list of characteristics that any future partner must have. Instead, it means deciding what sort of relationship you would most like to have.
You might want to start out focusing your search on friendship. This can make it easier to meet people, because you will be doing it without the pressure that come with any brand new dating relationship. On the other hand, you may have plenty of friends and want to focus on finding a new significant other, or even on a new spouse.
Come Up With a Plan
Once you know what you’re looking for, come up with a plan for finding that. This plan does not have to be set in stone, but should give you some general guidelines about where you want to go.
Your plan can include a list of places you want to go or groups you want to join in order to form new relationships. It could also include a list of friends and family who will be your support during this process. Whatever your plan looks like, it helps to put it in writing. That will help it to feel more firm in your head and might make it easier for you to follow through.
Cultivate Your Own Attractiveness
One of the best things to do when you find yourself suddenly single, whether you’re a teenager or 50+, is to remember why you’re attractive and focus on those things. It’s easy to be depressed when you’ve broken up with someone, especially if it was a long-term relationship, or when your spouse has died. Cultivating your own attractiveness can help counteract that depression and get you ready to date again.
Remember Why You’re Attractive
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the things that make you attractive, especially when you’re lonely. To help you in this exercise, think about compliments people have paid you in the past, even ones you’ve discounted. These can be compliments from anyone–past lovers, friends, even family.
Think also about the things you like about yourself. These don’t even have to be things that anyone else has ever noticed or spoken of. They can also be small things, like the fact that you keep fresh flowers in your house or choose to decorate with salvaged antiques.
If you’re having trouble remembering or believing these things, write them down. Put the list in a place where you will encounter it often, like on top of your dresser or stuck to your refrigerator. Seeing it will help the truth of your attractiveness sink in.
Get a New Outfit
It might feel shallow to go shopping when you think about making yourself attractive, but having new clothes can go far towards brightening your outlook about yourself. While some people tend to think this is only true of women, it is actually true whether you are male or female.
Be sure you choose items you like and that are flattering on you. If you’re not sure, bring along a trusted friend to help you choose your new clothes. Make sure this person is someone who will tell you the truth honestly but gently if something you try on doesn’t work for you.
Update Your Look
In a similar vein, you may want to cultivate attractiveness by updating your look. While you may feel adverse to being over 50 and trendy, you can often make small changes that will give you more confidence.
If you’re not sure what look you’re going for or even what look you already have, find a good stylist to help you out. This can be as simple as talking with your hairdresser about what new cut might look good on you, or as complex as finding a personal shopper.
Whatever you do to cultivate your attractiveness, know that it will pay off in added confidence as you re-enter the dating world. And approaching a date with confidence plays a huge part in how it all turns out.
When you’re ready to start dating again, you will probably know. You will find yourself open to other people in a new way, and can even find yourself letting people you don’t know as well into your heart. When you see these signs, move forward with your dating plan.
Partners Can Come From Anywhere
While it’s good to have a dating plan, it’s also good to remember that things don’t have to happen according to that plan. The plan is a guide, but it’s not all-knowing or all-powerful. In fact, you could meet a future partner anywhere.
It may be counterintuitive for you to think about meeting a future partner someplace normal, like at the grocery store, a restaurant, or a friend’s house. Being open to people in each of these circumstances, though, can help you avoid missing a relationship that might be really good for you.
Note that you don’t have to flirt or hit on everyone you meet. It’s enough to be open and friendly and see if anything happens. If nothing else, you will make some new friends. If one becomes a partner, it’s an added bonus.
Anyone Could Be Your Next Partner
It’s easy to discount certain people by assuming that they will not be your future partner. Maybe someone reminds you too much of your ex, or doesn’t look a thing like anyone you’ve ever dated or considered dating before. While you might still be polite to these people, it can be hard to truly see them as partner material.
However, opening your heart to these encounters can allow you to find a gem where you might have thought there were only rocks and sand. Many people find that the person they end up with is not someone they would have expected to be with. If you are not open to these encounters, you could miss this kind of rich relationship.
It’s Easy to be Open
If you’ve been hurt badly or are grieving deeply, it may feel impossible to be open in the ways discussed above. There are some simple steps you can take, though, that will help you open yourself to other people even while protecting the injured parts of yourself.
Start out by smiling at people. A smile can go a long way towards communicating to another person that you’re interested in knowing more about them or that you’re enjoying their company. It can even help you meet people. If you make a practice of smiling at all the people you interact with over the course of a day, it lets them know that they’re welcome in your presence and encourages them to share of themselves.
If you want to, start saying, “Hi,” more often, even to strangers. This takes smiling a step further, and can help you overcome any fear or nervousness you might have about conversing with strangers.
It’s important to know that you don’t have to be open with anyone who makes you uneasy. If you’re afraid someone might hurt you or their manner is unclear, refrain from the openness discussed above. There are plenty of people to meet, so you don’t have to force yourself to meet someone who makes you nervous.
When you’re over 50, the prospect of re-entering the dating game can be scary. Most likely, you’ve been hurt. Whether your lover died or you’ve experienced a sudden breakup, your hart has been injured.
It’s important to pay attention to that injury and how it affects you, but it’s also important, eventually, to move on. Starting to date again, even if your heart isn’t entirely in it, is an important step in that process. It shows that you’re making an effort to put the past behind you, even when you don’t necessarily want to. More importantly, it shows that you’ve counted the cost and you know that finding love again is worth it, even if there is also pain.
You are Still Worth Loving
It will help you to be fearless if you remember your own value. Whether someone rejected you, you left a difficult relationship, or your previous partner died, it’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with you. Having something traumatic like any of those events happen can make you feel alone, which only makes you question your value more.
In times like these, it helps to remember that you should be loved not for any external characteristics but for the fact that you are a human being. There is something inherently special and beautiful about being human, and nothing that happens to you can discount that.
This truth can be hard to hold on to when you’re going through a difficult situation. It will help if you surround yourself with people who love you and constantly remind you of your worth. Even if you don’t believe them, it will sink it with repetition until you can claim it as your own.
You May be Hurt Again
In order to truly be fearless, you’ll need to come to terms with the fact that nothing can absolutely ensure that you won’t get hurt again. You can only control your own actions, so you can’t keep someone else from making bad choices that injure you.
Sure, you can stay away from people who seem prone to such choices, but even that doesn’t guarantee anything.
Coming to terms with this doesn’t mean liking it, but it does mean accepting that there’s a risk when you share your heart. Generally, the risk is worthwhile because the opposing choice is to spend the rest of your life alone. This seems, to most people, like an even worse situation.
However, you must make the choice for yourself, because you have to live with the consequences.
Mingle Without Pressure
If starting to date again makes you nervous, give yourself the chance to mingle with other adults around your age without the pressure that can come from locations and events specifically designed to help you find a date. While it may take some creativity on your part to come up with times and places to do this, it is worth the effort if you find situations that are non-threatening.
One of the great aspects of choosing to put yourself back on the market by mingling without pressure is that you will be more likely to act authentically and will be able to see others as they really are, too. When you add the pressure of dating to a situation, most people feel like they need to impress everyone in the room. When you’re working on something else toward a common goal, though, it’s easier to relax and be genuine.
Find a Place to Work With Others
One of the best ways to meet other people without pressure is to work toward a common cause together. Thus, rotary groups can be a great place to meet and befriend people with similar interests to your own. If that isn’t your thing, consider volunteering with an organization you do care about or working on a day-long project with a charity like Habitat for Humanity.
When you work together with other people, you have some automatic camaraderie because you have the same goals. This can open up the doors for conversations that you might have been too shy or scared to start otherwise.
In addition, when you’re spending several hours working on a project with someone, you can learn a lot about them. This not only happens when you ask them questions, but when you see how they work. You can learn about how responsible they are, how they deal with frustration, etc. All of this can go far toward helping you determine whether or not you might want to date the person later.
Take a Friend
If the thought of meeting people still makes you nervous, take a friend with you when go to mingle. This will lessen the pressure on you even more, because you will have someone to talk to even if you find that no one at the gathering interests you or is interested in talking with you.
Having a friend around can also help you be more at ease than you might otherwise be in the situation. If there is someone present who knows you well, it will be easier to relax and, therefore, easier to be yourself with the group.
Taking a friend can be helpful even if that friend is married. If you’re working with a group toward a common goal, there’s no reason that a married person shouldn’t be there, so your friend won’t stick out. Beyond that, your friend is there for you, not for anyone else, and that alone gives them right and reason to be with you.
When you’re ready to start looking seriously for a new partner, try including an online search in your activities. If it’s been a while since you dated, online dating might seem foreign and scary. However, it’s actually pretty easy to do and can take some of the pressure off of an awkward situation.
If you’re too scared to try online dating for yourself, at least poke around some of the websites that are out there. Many of them offer articles and tips that will help you in your search for someone special, even if you’re not searching online. These can be useful, and may even convince you to try the site, just to see how it goes.
It’s Not Just for the Young
Some people over 50 shy away from online dating because they think it’s just for younger people. After all, it’s the younger generations that are more familiar with and accustomed to the internet, so why wouldn’t online dating be mostly for them?
These assumptions, though, are false. While it’s true that online dating is more popular among younger people, there are definitely older adults who use it, too. This is particularly true among adult populations who are familiar with the internet or who spend most of their days in an office in front of a computer.
In fact, online dating can be a great solution for busy people over 50 who still want to find companionship. Instead of driving all over town to go to events, online dating allows them to meet people during their leisure time and from the comfort of their own home.
Online Dating Tips
When you’re choosing an online dating site, choose carefully. There are sites that specifically target adults over 50. If you’re looking for a companion your own age, these can be particularly helpful. Many of these sites screen potential candidates at least a little more robustly than some of the sites that target the younger population. They might, for instance, turn away people looking for a one-night stand or be unwilling to match those who will not reveal their actual names.
Once you’ve chosen your site, create an online profile. Make sure that you’re honest about who you are and what you like doing. It can be tempting to say that you are younger or thinner than you really are, but doing this only means that you will have a harder time revealing the truth later, when you meet someone you really like. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to state things positively, only that you should be straightforward about who you are and what you’re like.
Finally, choose the people you contact carefully. If someone harasses you or otherwise makes you uncomfortable, make sure you report them to the site administrators. And don’t stay in touch with them. Don’t hesitate to close a contact if you don’t want to continue speaking to or dealing with someone’s inappropriate behavior. You may offend them in the short-term, but you will be keeping yourself safe in the long run.
Whether you’re looking at dating in person or online, it’s going to be important for you to reach out and approach people who you’re interested in knowing. There are so many individuals out there that someone you notice may not notice you unless you say something. This doesn’t mean that you don’t stand out in a crowd, only that the crowd is so large they might miss you no matter how much you stand out.
Don’t Come On Too Strong
There’s a difference between approaching someone in a friendly way and coming on way too strong. Usually, all you have to do to get someone’s attention is say, “Hi,” and smile. You don’t have be any more flamboyant than that.
If you want to be a little more gregarious, come up with a list of small talk topics or questions that you can use to help you approach others. When you ask these, though, make sure you don’t pepper someone with them like with machine gun fire. Only ask questions or discuss things that truly interest you, and make sure you listen to the answers the other person gives. This will create a genuine connection between the two of you, which will go far toward putting you both at your ease.
Do you tend to come on too strong? If you know this about yourself or if someone else points it out, think about what makes you do that. Do you feel like you have to be different than you truly are to be noticed? Or is it just part of your personality to say things loudly and have fun? If it’s the first, make sure you are comfortable with yourself before you start approaching others. If the second, be yourself and eventually you’ll find someone who isn’t turned off by your approach.
Be Willing to Chat
Sometimes, it’s easy to avoid approaching people if you’re wanting to avoid small talk. However, small talk lies at the beginnings of most relationships. Think about it. Most people don’t start out getting to know each other by sharing their deep, dark secrets or talking about heavy issues. Instead, they find out about each others’ backgrounds, families, friends, occupation, etc., and small talk is the best way to get this sort of information.
Resist the idea that small talk is shallow and not important. While it might be shallow if that’s all you ever do, small talk is usually an important aspect of meeting someone new. How you handle small talk and how the other person responds can go far towards helping you both determine whether the relationship is something you want to pursue or not.
In addition, small talk can get you information that you might not otherwise have. How else are you going to find out what someone does for a living, if they’re employed, and what they like to do for fun? Since these are things that most people want to know about a potential partner, small talk can be a great tool for helping you decide who to pursue getting to know better and who you may not want to talk with again.
Flirt a Little
One of the most difficult aspects of beginning to date again for someone over 50 is flirting. Some of the silly things you used to do in order to attract attention from people who interested you and to let them know that you were interested in them can seem childish and out-of-date. Figuring out how to communicate those same messages in a way that feels mature, adult, and genuine can seem daunting, indeed.
However, flirting is not actually very difficult. There are some easy things that you can put into practice quickly that will help you communicate the messages you want to express without seeming childish or ridiculous.
You Haven’t Forgotten
It’s important to remember that you haven’t forgotten how to flirt. There’s a difference between forgetting how to do something and being out of practice. As a human being, you’re wired for connection with other people, and how to get that is a deep part of you. Thus, you have instincts you can trust when it comes to flirting, and you shouldn’t necessarily discount them before you’ve at least looked at them and maybe even tried them out.
If the very thought of flirting still makes you uncomfortable, try paying attention to your body language. When you’re with someone who you enjoy, make sure you smile and laugh. This helps the other person see that you truly like being in their presence.
Consider the rest of your body language, too. Look people in the eye, but don’t stare. Try not to cross your arms, as this creates distance between people instead of lessening it. Don’t yawn or roll your eyes, because these can indicate boredom or disinterest. If you need to yawn, mention how tired you are beforehand, and maybe even offer an explanation that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
Make sure you compliment people you enjoy. Let them know what you appreciate about them. Be as specific as possible in what you say, because this communicates to them that you’re looking at them long enough to notice little things, not just major ones, and it tells them that the compliment is specifically for them, not something you say to everyone you meet.
Be sure to put in every possible effort to be authentic, even if it means being a little more vulnerable than you might prefer. While you don’t want to sob on a date’s shoulder, shedding a few tears when you talk about something that really moves you can communicate that you’re truly entrusting them with your real self. Vulnerability doesn’t have to focus on negative emotions. You should also let your happiness, mirth, wit, and passion show.
Finally, and only if you’re comfortable, communicate how you feel through small touches. A squeeze of someone’s hand or even a light brushing of their arm can let them know that you’re aware of their body, that you’re enjoying that awareness, and therefore that their presence is something you’d like to continue having around.
If you do all or some of these things, you should be able to send the messages to your date that you want to send, and avoid sending ones that you don’t. Watch to see if they respond in a similar manner. If they do, the sparks may be flying!
You Might Even Enjoy It
As an older adult, dating can seem like an obnoxious process. Sometimes, it feels like a necessary evil, one of those things that you have to do to get what you want but that you really wish you could avoid entirely.
However, dating again does not have to be a painful process. In fact, you might find that you enjoy it a lot more than you would have expected to. There are some benefits to entering the process when you’re older that will help you avoid some of the [rollinglinks]dating difficulties[/rollinglinks] that may have plagued you in your younger years.
Age Brings Perspective
While this isn’t true of every older adult, it is generally true that growing older changes your perspective. The more of life you have experienced, the more you will be able to understand where other people are coming from. This will help you form deeper relationships with people who are different from you.
Perspective will help you as you date because it will allow you to better understand the people you encounter in the process. You may find yourself open to people who you would have dismissed in your younger years. Their differences will no longer turn you off, but will pique your interest.
Age Brings Gentleness
The perspective that comes with age can also help you to be gentler with those you encounter, including people you’re dating. This means that you may face fewer conflicts and difficult situations, because you will be able to handle those situations without getting as angry or scared as you used to. It will also mean that more people will be drawn to you, because they will know you won’t treat them harshly.
You Know What You Want
Being older also often means that you will have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a [rollinglinks]dating relationship[/rollinglinks]. There is a confidence in yourself that only age can bring, and this can help you choose who to date and how to go about doing it with more freedom than you may have felt as a younger person.
Maturity Makes Things Better
When all of these characteristics come together, dating as an older adult can be more fun than it was when you were younger. Because you are, overall, more mature, you will be able to handle some of the difficult situations that can arise in dating scenarios better. This will help you avoid feeling like you’re still in Junior High, and instead will make dating an adventure. The more you enjoy yourself, the more relaxed you’ll be, and the better chance you’ll have of finding a new significant other. So have a great time! To read more about this topic or more free eBook visit love advice