In the Boomer and Beyond years many of us find ourselves single, having lost our partner in one way or another. Still others have never, ever married and are happy enough with the status quo, staying single and independent. But, as we get older, some of the over-55 year olds, may change their minds and now find themselves with a growing desire for a partner, a best friend and a helpmate. And why not? Is this not the best of all possible worlds? As long as we find the ‘right one” having someone you love at your side is a preferable road than walking it alone.
If you do want to find a meaningful and committed relationship (what may well be the last and best love of your life) it usually requires going through a process called dating... as a way of checking out the field and hopefully finding what it is your want for yourself.
You may be a bit rusty in your social skills when you begin the search for someone new, especially if you have been in a long marriage that started when you were young. Back then it was less challenging to find someone to love. They were just there, easily crossing your path. But now, meeting someone appropriate is not so automatic.
How to begin? Start by asking your friends for referrals... however know this has a low rate of return. But it is a start. And listen to their advise which may be:
“The best place to find a new relationship is to do what it is you love to do. Through an activity, you will meet similar people”
However, this is not necessarily true. Just because you meet someone who shares your hobby, perhaps at the local bowling alley, does not necessarily mean you have anything more in common.
Your friends also tell you, “You have to go out, circulate, see and be seen. They are never going to just walk through your door.”
Currently the most popular way to find or be found , if you don’t want to go out looking, is online dating. Huge amounts of singles have turned to the internet looking to date or to find a mate, and there are many success stories you will hear.
If you are too afraid to post your pictures or in anyway reveal who you really are, then you probably should not be doing internet dating because it does take some risk. The best attitude for on-line dating is be careful, go slow and know there are “players” out in cyber space. They are just playing with you, hoping to catch someone to have a little flirtation, especially if they are already married. Or, they may be prowling for sex or money. It is good to remember that “players” lie. They can be dishonest about their current photos, age, married status, criminal record, weight or employment.
However, that said, there are many good candidates for a relationship you will find on-line. If you like how someone sounds by their descriptive words (knowing professional writers can be hired to put convincing words together), then chat a bit through the dating site and soon, if it feels right. start using an email address or the phone. Should you then feel comfortable enough, take a risk and agree to meet at a public place for a cup or a glass of something.
Finding someone through the computer may not what you want to do so what are your options? Many report they have met someone they liked at a bar. (You don't have to be a drinker of alcohol to sit at a bar). There IS something to be said about people feeling more relaxed after a drink or two, and the lights are dim and maybe there is a band playing music that makes you want to move your body, and you feel flirty and have an attraction to someone you just met. You may then be interested enough to set up a future date.
Perhaps the best way to approach in dating again, at our age, is to have high hopes (that you will meet some wonderful person just right for you), but at the same time have low expectations. knowing what often looks like the prince or princess turns out, in time, to be the frog.
Consider the balance between being too eager by jumping right in, without giving it time to develop, or the opposite of being too fearful to let someone get close to you, someone who might change your life in a better way. If you, as an aging boomer, think trading in the single life to become part of a couple would be a good thing, you might want to remind yourself, “If not now, then when?”