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Advice from Dr. Stanwix – Too Old for a New Relationship

Advice from Dr. Stanwix – Too Old for a New Relationship
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Dear Dr. Stanwix

I am 51 years old and have not been in a relationship since my late 30s. For many years I was happy to be independent. After the debacle that was my last relationship, it was wonderful to be on my own and to do things when and where I wanted.

However, lately I have noticed an ever-growing void in my life. As my friends get more involved with their relationships and their families, I have fewer and fewer people that I can go out and do things with.

I am also feeling lonely when I get back to my apartment where all I find is an echo and an aloof cat to greet me. I sometimes wish that there were someone there to greet me when I got home from a long day of work.

My friends say I need to put myself out there. I need to register with some online dating sites or go to some Meet Ups so I can meet people with common interests. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned. That isn’t the way dating was done when I was on the dating scene twenty years ago. I guess I just figured that I could find someone through the channels I used to use.

They also tell me that I am too demanding and that I should not look for a knight in shining armor. Rather than looking for someone who is perfect for me, I should simply look for someone who I can have a good time with. They also tell me that I need to be more generous with myself when I am with others.  I realize that we have to give in order to get, but I really don’t want to give too much of myself until I know it’s worth it.

Am I simply too old for a new relationship? Could you give me some advice on how to find someone who is right for a woman who is a bit set in her ways?

Sincerely,

Too Old for a New Relationship

 

Dear Too Old for a New Relationship,

It is never easy to find the right person in middle age. We become set in our ways and are often too rigid to want to compromise. However, just because we go on dates with other people doesn’t mean we have to compromise anything. It all depends on our approach and how we treat dating and potential relationships.

As we middle agers didn’t grow up in the digital age, we may find that the dating methods of today just don’t sit well with us. However, you must consider these new methods a blessing rather than a curse.

Online dating services are certainly something you should investigate. They are not all the same, so don’t think Match.com is the same as AdultFriendFinder. It’s important that you research each of them to find out which one works best for you. From what I can find, OurTime.com seems to be an appropriate website for middle aged people. Match.com and Zoosk also have a variety of people you can connect with.

Regardless of what dating site or Meetup you choose, it’s important that you give one a try. They provide you with a lot of information about the person before you even physically meet him/her. This can help inform your decisions about whom to go out on a date with. This is something that took much longer back in the days before digital dating.

However, sometimes these dating sites provide us with too much information. Information that can help us to justify not going out on a single date with anyone. When perusing potential dates, please keep this in mind. There will never be a perfect match for you (or for anyone). What you need to do is see what commonalities you share with your potential date, and, if you share enough in common, take the plunge.

Even in the digital age, a person’s profile is still two-dimensional. Why not go out on a date so you can truly appreciate that third dimension which will only come with human interaction? It may take a few tries, but don’t get discouraged. There is someone out there for you.

Once you begin dating, please keep this in mind: We should be open to new people and new things (yes, even at 51). Therefore, don’t sell your potential date (or yourself) short. You may realize that after a few dates with him you’ll find that you don’t mind the interests that you don’t share. Those interests may even become things that interest you. That is the beauty of meeting new people.

You must also understand that a relationship is a give and take experience. If you are not willing to be generous with yourself or take chances on new and different activities, then you may find that your success with relationships will not be very high. Online dating services or Meet Ups are a great way to find new prospects, but, in the end, it is you and your personality that will make for a lasting relationship.

Best of Luck,

Dr. Michael Stanwix

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