General Interest

Relationships After 50 – 5 Realities to Consider

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Ok so, yep, I've been out there in this After 50 relationship world on and off for a few years. Much of this is written from my own first hand experiences along with the help of some friends. “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

If you've found yourself single After 50 whether it be by choice or not, the online world is a great place to meet people. Just be smart about it.

Here are some things to be aware of whether you are just getting started or not.

1. VISIONS OF GRANDEUR:  

If I am paying an online site, I want to get what I want. And then the Visions of Grandeur begin!

MEN: Unless you look like, act like, and have a bank account like George Clooney, you will not attract a gorgeous, successful, YOUNGER woman like Amal. So … get real! Find women your own age, give or take a few years.

WOMEN: A man’s bank account or the car he drives does not make the man. (It can’t hurt, but it also can’t give him a personality or the relationship that you seek.) I am not saying that successful men can't provide that for you but don't make that the sole criteria.

I also want you to seek someone around your age. If you are curious about this “cougar” trend, GO FOR IT and do it for the sex. Be aware, it is likely not going to develop into a loving relationship (unless you are Demi Moore or J.Lo.!). When you are ready to get real, then find a man in your own age range.

BOTH SEXES: Dating someone around your own age allows you to talk about the same music, TV shows, movies. You have so much more in common and a better chance at love lasting. Do NOT lie about your age! Use current pictures! I assure you, you do NOT look like that photo from 10-20 years ago. None of us do.

2. PRIORITIES: 

Dating ain’t what it used to be. We used to go out with friends, meet one of their friends or someone in a bar/club and the deciding factor to whether we’d date them again was if we found them attractive.

Hopefully, at this age, your priorities have changed. You are not looking to make babies so you no longer need to pick a mate (consciously or subconsciously) based on whether they have a good gene pool.  Many of us were married to people that we had nothing in common with but we were SO attracted to them when we first met. It doesn't matter if you are divorced or widowed this can still ring true. If we had the chance to re-marry those people at this age, many of us would probably choose not to due to the lack of commonalities. 

After 50, look for the 3 “C”s: Compatibility, Companionship, Chemistry. Notice the order. Yes, chemistry is important. I want you to be open-minded and BE REAL – it doesn't have to happen upon that first meeting and it can develop over time. Many of us are still actively seeking a physical relationship – don’t date for sex ONLY (unless you are not desiring a relationship).  Seek both the physical AND the cerebral. When (or if) the physical ability to have sex fails (for any number of possible reasons) you want to be able to enjoy the person you are dining with or watching a movie with or not having sex with!

3.  SADIE HAWKINS

Women must often take the initiative. 

It might feel uncomfortable at first and yes, you will get rejections or unanswered messages (so do the men), but do not give up. Sad but true, available women outnumber available men. Not sure if it is because the average American woman outlives the average American man or if men are more reluctant to join a dating site. (I think it's both!) Another factor is that some men don't seem to need that kind of relationship as much as women. They are happy getting their companionship by hanging with the guys for some “male bonding” or simply being by themselves. Women tend to want more interaction and love being with their man over being with the girls.

4. SAFETY:

You would think at our age I wouldn't have to tell you this but the stories I hear about made this detail necessary. Women need to hear this more than men but there are some crazy ladies out there too! NEVER EVER give out your home number or address. Use your cell. If you prefer using your land line then dial *67 (in most areas) and then the man's phone number. That (*67) will block your number from appearing in their Caller ID. Conversely, women like it when a man gives them their land line. Yes, it is a double standard. We ladies might still have a child at home or live alone. 

Be smart, not sorry. Always meet your date at a public place (like a restaurant) and be sure it has a well-lit parking lot and parking near the entrance.

5. CATFISH: 

” catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they're not – using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

One would think that this is another topic that doesn't need discussing. Who on earth would send money to people they've never met? Or “fall in love” with a voice and a photograph? Sadly it happens.

What you should do: Set up an email address just for dating with no identifying names as to who you are. Have a few chats via an online messenger or via text and a few phone calls and then decide whether to meet that person or not. Do not fall for sob stories about dead or dying relatives, car accidents, and any number of 'tragedies,” as  reasons for postponing a live date. Of course accidents can happen with a real person but 'catfishers” are chronic. Catfishers prey on older women, particularly widows (life insurance money) but men are victims, too. Young foreign girls feigning interest. Get real guys – look in the mirror!! Do you really think that a 26 year old would want you? NO!! If that inner voice is talking to you, LISTEN!!

6. GRAVITY: 

Getting naked! (I know I said 5 items, but I had to add this one for, uhm. good luck!)  The scariest part of it is at first. None of us are built the way we were the last time we dated. Women have had babies, men have had food. No one can escape gravity. Our boobs and butts sag a little (this goes for both sexes) and we are afraid. Afraid we are no longer appealing. Afraid he or she will be turned off. The good news is that these fears afflict both sexes. Whoever you are about to 'get naked' with is experiencing the same insecurities. This is why it is important to build a relationship on Compatibility first!

Have fun. Enjoy. Smile. Laugh. Leave your former spouse out of the date. AND most of all – DON'T GIVE UP!

___________
Editor’s Note: AFLs Love 'n Life Pro, Carol Ziegler, is an After Fiftier who spent almost 10 years as a professional matchmaker. She also experienced separation and divorce around the time she was turning the big “5 – 0.” With her divorce finalized, and her experiences as a professional matchmaker serving as a backdrop, she entered into the world of online dating, as the industry was just gaining a foothold. “It was probably easier for me to jump into online dating than for many others. I also find that my background makes it easy for me to talk with the men I meet online.” She has experienced many, if not most, “relationship” issues both first-hand and as a matchmaker. “Helping people” helps her to recharge her psychic battery – and we're confident that she can help you!

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