With age comes life experience and often mid-life can bring jolting change. Separation, divorce, or the unexpected loss of a spouse can cause a chain reaction of what feels like the unraveling of a life you spent years building. But once you’ve processed the past and are ready for the next chapter why does dating seem so challenging?
The Kelleher matchmakers field this question from fantastic fifty-somethings on the regular. “I get it. At first glance, it doesn’t make sense,” says matchmaker Sonya Robinson. “You still feel thirty, but you’re dating at fifty. The harsh reality is that the dating pool is smaller. There are fewer options even though you look and feel fantastic.”
So there are fewer people to date, but there is plenty of love to go around. We encourage you to do these four things to experience a whole new freedom in dating and set yourself up for relationship success in your fifties.
Unpack Your Baggage
We’ve all experienced a person bringing negative energy from a previous relationship into our orbit. It's uncomfortable and unattractive. The truth is we all have some baggage, but the key is being smart enough to unpack it, so you’re free to explore somewhere new.
“Finding love in your fifties can be the best time,” exclaims Patty Russell, Kelleher matchmaker. True, it can be challenging, but you are a collection of your past experiences, and at fifty there’s a sureness in who you are that less experienced people can’t fake.”
Knowing yourself and honoring your values creates the space to unload the baggage you’ve collected over the years: the burdens and grudges, negative feelings, fears, and unrealistic standards that tend to plague young, romantic love.
Patty adds, “Many of the things that were once so weighty seem insignificant now. Through various romantic relationships or marriages, we get crystal clear of what we do and don’t want and need. Honesty is so much easier at fifty, too. Once you’ve unpacked your baggage, you’re not afraid to say what you think and feel.”
Welcome to freedom in dating.
Embrace Your Life Experience
Many fifty-something men and women have achieved significant life and career goals and are ready for the next chapter. Patty says, “At fifty, finding or being with your love is much more important than building a career or caring for young children. It’s important to honor and fully explore the stage of life you find yourself in.”
Older males tend to strive for significantly younger women. They want so much to cling to their youth, so they look for a younger woman to reflect that back to them. Often, a twenty plus year age gap can make for awkward conversation, lack of common ground, incompatible energy levels and mismatched attraction. We encourage our clients to consider potential matches that can meet them where they are and enhance their current life experience.
Because you’re swimming in a smaller dating pool, if you’re older and single, it’s vital to get moving and stay active. We have some amazingly fit 50-something-year-old clients, so much so that we joke “fifty is the new thirty.” When you make time for exercise and choose to be kind to your body, you’ll notice a difference in your dating life.
Kelleher’s Jessica Weale adds, “The most common thing I hear from our clients is they don't want to be with someone who is sedentary - there’s a fear of them becoming too “old” too fast. So stay active!”
Besides exercise, make sure to incorporate activities and people you enjoy into your daily life. Whether that’s sipping morning coffee on your back porch watching the sunrise, listening to your favorite podcast on your commute, or meeting your neighbors and their pups at the dog park - positivity, laughter, and socialization help keep us young at heart.
Choose your mindset.
It’s a scientific fact that our mindset determines our outcome. “If you think dating is "hard" and no one wants you because you're in your fifties then you’re going to have a rough go of it,” says Kelleher matchmaker Nahla Grafer. “Decide to be the fifty-something that confidently (not arrogantly) knows who you are, what you’re worth, what you want, and what you bring to the table. I believe those are attracting qualities, and it won't matter your age because who can resist a sexy, confident person who loves themselves and life?”
Let dating in your fifties be a freeing experience. And if you want a wing-woman to guide you on the adventure, give us at Kelleher Matchmaking a call. We have an experienced team of matchmakers, many who are in their fifties and have the life experience and know-how to help you meet your match.