Whether you have spent your life shuffling through a string of short-lived romances or you recently lost your long-time partner to death or divorce, you might be facing middle age or even your twilight years conspicuously single with no prospects for love. And what’s worse, you may think that the dating game is over (and that you’ve lost). But it’s never too late to meet then next great love of your life, a person that you can continue to grow old with in a state of mutual respect and romance. After all, you’ll have a lot of free time on your hands once the kids are off to college or you’ve passed the age of retirement, and you don’t want to spend it alone. Most of us crave companionship at the very least, but more than that we want someone to be our partner and our equal – physically, mentally, and emotionally. And believe it or not this dream is not beyond your reach, whether you’re 55, 65, or even 85. So here are a few tips to get you on track for love.
The first thing you need to come to grips with is that you have to get out and meet people if you want to make a love connection. Although it is true that modern technology allows you to communicate with others from the comfort of your own home thanks to dating sites and chat rooms, love doesn’t happen over the internet. You can get to know someone pretty well through correspondence and video chats, but until you meet in person you won’t know if that spark of romance can be fanned into a flame of passion. So while online dating isn’t a bad place to suss out your options and find a few dates with less pressure than, say, going to a bar or a club, it’s really just a crutch that keeps you from facing up to the inevitable: interpersonal interaction.
Luckily, you don’t have to stoop to hitting up the local watering hole in search of a decent date. There are all kinds of ways to meet new and exciting potential mates that will deliver more than a drunken one-night-stand. For example, you could try taking some classes at a local college or through the community (or senior) center. You might be surprised how many singles your age turn up looking for a new hobby or continuing education once the kids have flown the nest or a spouse has left the picture. You might also seek out fun activities in your area like book clubs, karaoke nights, or even athletic groups if you’re into jogging, hiking, biking, or other sports. And of course, you can always join volunteer efforts as a way to give something back to the community and make new friends.
Just because you tried everything (from marriage counseling to the Kama Sutra) to save your marriage and failed does not mean you must resign yourself to a loveless future. And if your spouse recently passed away you have to remember that he/she would want you to go on living and be happy rather than wallowing in your mourning garb until the end of time. Even if you are a perennial playgirl or a self-proclaimed spinster that has long since given up on real love, it’s not too late to change your attitude. By simply making the decision to invite love, and then giving yourself every chance to find it, you can have the romance you crave, even later in life.
Sarah Danielson is a freelance writer and part time student. In her spare time she likes to go hiking and help with an animal rescue out of Los Angeles, California.