What are some strategies for dating after age 50?
The following Q&A originally ran in HuffPo’s relationship newsletter “The Good Life”
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Reader Lene writes, “I am a 50-year-old professional woman. My last relationship of five years just ended. Prior to that relationship, I had been alone for 10 years after my divorce, raising my kids and going to graduate school. How to begin again at my age? How to find someone who allows me to be the intellectual, professional person that I am?”
Washington DC-based psychotherapist Elisabeth J. LaMotte, founder of the DC Counseling and Psychotherapy Center, is here to answer Lene’s question. Here’s what she had to say:
“First of all, 50 is the new 35! It is important to experience yourself as worthy of a relationship rather than over-the-hill. Having raised your children and received your education, it sounds like it is time to focus on yourself. Before you enter the dating world, make sure that you are able to enjoy your own company and appreciate yourself for the mature and accomplished woman you have become. If you like who you are and feel grounded in your independent self, you will experience dating from a place of strength rather than a place of desperation.
Rather than thinking about dating with respect to chronological age, consider the importance of emotional maturity and be on the lookout for men who are emotionally mature enough to appreciate your authentic self. Make time for activities you truly enjoy: join a hiking group, sign up for a language class, or volunteer for a cause that matters for you. This approach increases the possibility that you will cross paths with like-minded individuals who will be exposed to your strengths and will be more likely to appreciate who you really are. I know this is easier for me to write than it is for you to do, but putting yourself out there makes a difference. Even if you don’t meet someone through activities of interest, these experiences will enrich your life, impact your sense of self, and may even influence how you navigate social situations involving potential romance.
You’ve already had your children, so you don’t have to worry about a ticking biological clock. Instead, enjoy your own company, make your life as full and interesting as possible, and be open to kind, emotionally mature, available men. I promise, they are out there!”
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