Finding love after 60: ‘How I did it and you can too’
-Sep 6, Hannah Hargrave , Living -
Don’t let age excuse you from finding love. These first hand dating tips tips from a Lumity client who found herself single at 67 could help steer you towards years of happiness.
Mary Bennett never dreamed she’d be single in her mid 60’s, but when her husband of 45 years suddenly upped and left, she found herself contemplating the dating pool again. After initially swearing off men for the rest of her life, the grandmother of six reluctantly began looking for companionship. Now she’s in love with a man 20-years younger than her and says she’s never been happier that she dared to date again.
Here she shares her top tips to dating later in life.
“Being single in my 60s was not something I had ever even thought about,” Mary tells Lumity. “The kids were grown up and my husband and I had just finished building our dream home. We were all set for another 30 years – or more – of adventure and then one day he just walked out and started a new life with someone else. I was heartbroken and in complete shock.
“People would ask how I didn’t see it coming but I honestly had no clue. I spent a long time convincing myself he was coming back and so finding someone else didn’t cross my mind for many, many months.
“It was only when a man at the golf club asked me out on a date that it occurred to be that, there might just be somebody else out there for me.
“After that date – which was nerve-wracking, but ultimately lovely – I decided to push myself to meet more men and I’m so glad I did.”
Don’t worry about your age
“Getting older happens to us all,” says Mary. “It’s happening to the people you’re looking to date and it’s happening to you and there is nothing you can do about it. Why worry about something you can not change. Don’t look back, look forward and think about making the next two decades the best ever.”
“Do your best not to see the whole dating game as a chore. It should be fun and it can be if you do it right. You don’t have to just go out for dinner for a date, you could pick an activity instead. Something which will make you laugh, regardless of if there’s a connection with the person you’re with, is a winning game plan.”
“Like anything in life, dating will have it’s ups and downs,” she says. “With every date you go on try to walk away with at least one positive, no matter how small that positive might be.”
“Laughter makes everything more manageable. I had some truly awful dates but instead of crying about them, I would get together with my friends and regale some of the dating horror stories. They always sounded funnier afterwards and it made for great storytelling and conversation.”
Don’t give up
“It can be easy to throw the towel in and say ‘enough’ when you’ve either been let down by a bad date or you’re just done looking. But rather than quitting, just take a break. Dating can be full on – you’d be surprised by just how many people are looking for love at this age – and if you feel like you’re going on too many dates just take a step back and revisit it when you’ve caught your breath.”
Don’t worry about sex
“One of my biggest fear about dating was sex! I had only ever been with my husband and the thought of having to get between the sheets with another man in my sixties sent me into a mad panic. But with the exception of one man, it didn’t even come up. I was dating my now boyfriend for several months until we went down that path and by then we were comfortable enough with one another for it not to be awkward.”
Find an activity
“While there are loads of online dating websites to choose from – and I signed up for my fair few – you don’t have to go on the internet to start dating. Another way I met new people was to start activities. I joined a tennis and walking club so I could stay fit and social. I pushed myself to join a book club and I started going on holiday with friends too. I wasn’t constantly looking to land a man in these scenarios, but if I could keep busy, stay fit, keep learning AND meet lovely new people along the way, what’s the harm?”
If you’re inspired to get out and meet new people then you might also like to read about how you can make long lasting friends as an adult and find out why Dr. Rangan Chatterjee says friendship is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for good health.