The region of our brain involved in emotional experience appears to be devoid of chronological age or time. We can fall in love at any age. However, finding love later in life may look slightly different than finding love earlier in life. Here are some tips for love and dating for older adults.
Whether you are new to dating, recently divorced, or seeking a second marriage after the death of a spouse, take a look at some of the advantages and drawbacks of looking for love later in life.
Fears Are to Be Expected
It is acceptable and natural to be afraid about dating. In fact, this fear that you feel is not something that is specific to older adults. Remember how you may have felt afraid when you were younger too? The good news is, research has found that one notable distinction in later-life romance is that most people regard dating as a pleasurable activity.
Of course, dating as an older adult comes with its own set of challenges. People who have been single and living alone for a long time may feel like they are unable to change or compromise for their partner. For example, travel preferences and a desire to be near grandchildren/children can be deal-breakers. So, be sure to keep these things in mind and manage your expectations.
Set Your Goals
Before you step into the dating world, it is important to get off the self-loathing “who would even want to date me” mindset. You should set your goals from the get-go. Are you dating to get married? Or are you just looking for a casual date and companion? This way, when you do meet someone, it is easier to know if both of you have goals that are aligned.
Look Out for Personalities
When considering future partnerships, it’s critical to think beyond instinct and pay close attention to the personality and character traits—honesty, loyalty, kindness, or their opposites—of people with whom you’ve previously had connections. Determine what characteristics these people have in common. Keep track of how these different connections turned out. Then, consider whether these personality qualities are a good fit for you.
Do Not Look for a Substitute
Recognize that a new relationship will be unlike any other you have had previously. Do not try to project any of your past experiences onto a new relationship. Similarly, do not try to turn your new date into someone they are not.
In the same way, you should not change yourself too much in order to fit into somebody else’s ideal. You should respect the contrasts and differences between a current and a previous relationship, acknowledging that everyone has their own set of skills and shortcomings. Rather than attempting to be someone you’re not, allow yourself and your partner to be who they are and enjoy that.
Follow these tips and who knows? You might have a Valentines’ date for life!