Dating in middle age presents many of the same challenges as dating at any age: Where do you find someone to date? Once you’ve found them, how do you know if they’re the one? How do you protect yourself while remaining vulnerable enough to fall in love? You know the story.
Well, sorry to break it to you, but this article isn’t going to answer any of these questions. Instead, I’m going to share with you the three super groovy advantages of dating in middle age:
Advantage # 1: Traditional Roles and Relationships Do Not Apply
Women today are educated, professionals, and have the resources to provide for themselves. They enjoy having their own place and own space, and don’t need their lives to be centered on one person.
In fact, according to recent studies, more than half of older singles say the best things about being single are independence and personal freedom.
This freedom allows you to throw away the idea of a traditional relationship and co-create one with your partner that suits both of you. It could mean (re)marriage, companionship and fun, or physical intimacy—in any combination. You have the resources to choose.
Advantage # 2: You Know What You Want
There’s something about the wisdom of middle age that helps cut through the bologna and inspires authentic expression of desires, expectations, and feelings. There’s less fear about putting it all on the line because your wisdom tells you it’s better to find out now if you’re a good fit instead of waiting for later.
As Treva Scharf said in an interview with AARP, she knew her husband “…was the one because he drove the relationship without his foot on the brakes. He was direct, fearless, and didn’t play games. He knew what he wanted, and he proceeded with confidence…” His candor helped both he and Treva know where they stood from the beginning and solidified that the relationship was worth pursuing.
By directly expressing your feelings and expectations, you may find, as Michael Liberatore did, that the best thing about finding love later in life is “…knowing myself and what I will tolerate…I don’t put up with the stuff I did when I was young and didn’t realize I had to ask for what I wanted instead of just waiting and hoping for it”
And speaking of knowing what you want…
Advantage # 3: The Three-Date Rule Doesn’t Apply
You are grown. If you and your date are feeling it, then go for it. No one at midlife is going to think you’re cheap or easy if you give it up on the first date. You simply know what you want, aren’t afraid to get it, and have the wisdom to know that it doesn’t mean love, it means s-e-x. If you have a real connection with someone, it’s not going to end after one night. It’s going to continue and potentially blossom into something satisfying for both of you.
I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you to practice safe sex. In 2013, the CDC reported that 21% of new HIV diagnoses were in individuals over 50. And, from 2015 to 2016, there was a 20% jump in sexually transmitted infections among Americans 45 and older. Exercise Super Groovy Advantage # 2 and say no to anyone who isn’t willing to protect you or themselves. Educate yourself and be prudent.
Although dating at any age has its challenges, you, as a middle-aged dater, have three distinct advantages:
1. Traditional roles and relationships do not apply. You have the freedom to design your own relationship.
2. You have the wisdom to know what you want and the candor to ask for it; and 3. The three-date rule does not apply.
Celebrate your midlife, my friend, and stay super groovy!
Referenced in this article:
Baby boomers and sexually transmitted diseases (2018). Retrieved from https://www.stdaware.com/blog/baby-boomers-and-sexually-transmitted-diseases/
Emling, S. (2017, February). Never too late for love. AARP.
Kantrowitz, B., Raymond, J., Springen, K., Wingert, P., Kuchment, Al, & Kelley, R. (2006). The boomer files: relationships. Sex & love: the new world. Newsweek, 147(8), 50-60.
Lilleston, R. (2017, September). STD rates keep rising for older adults. AARP.
Watson, W. K., & Stelle, C. (2011). Dating for older women: Experiences and meanings of dating in later life. Journal of Women and Aging, 23, 263-275. doi:10.1080/08952841.2011.587732
Traci Clarida is an author, speaker, and coach whose vibrant energy spreads positivity, love, and compassion to the world. She inspires women to get stuff done through authentic living and embracing perfect imperfection. She teaches clients how to find freedom from self-judgment and provides proven strategies to guide them to overcome obstacles, complete goals, and execute solid plans for success. Follow Traci on Facebook and Instagram. For more information visit www.letsgetstuffdone.com