If you’re in your 50s and feel like giving up on the quest for some romance, think again. Whether you’ve found yourself single again at midlife or you’ve simply never settled down, love can always be on the agenda. And if you’ve decided that being single is fantastic (which it is) dating can be lots of fun and doesn’t have to mean marriage or moving in together.
These uplifting love stories from Lumity clients aged over 50 will give you some romantic inspiration this Valentine’s Day.
Margaret never dreamed she’d be looking for love in her 50s never mind her 60s but when her husband of 40 years left her unexpectedly she was thrown back into the dating scene at warp speed.
Instead of settling comfortably into retirement in the house she’d just finished building with her husband she was forced to relocate on her own and build a new life for herself.
Now though 10 years after her marriage meltdown she’s found love with a man 18 years her junior.
“I wasn’t looking for romance as such, but I did want companionship,” she tells Lumity. “When you’ve spent that long with someone there’s a void that needs filling and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t do that with my hobbies and friends. I went on several dates with men I’d met on dating sites and they were very nice. It boosted my confidence if nothing else. But I actually ended up falling for someone I’d known for years. A romance blossomed from a friendship and at first I was tentative because of the age gap but then I thought screw it. What have I got to lose?
“It’s a completely different relationship than my marriage was and that’s ok. Once I stopped comparing what we have to what I used to have with my ex I could relax and enjoy it. My other relationship broke down for a reason so why would I want to recreate that?
“We did keep our romance a secret for a while because I was concerned what people would think about me dating a younger man. But it turns out everyone knew about us anyway, and they were all delighted for us.
“When you’re going through a break up – at any age – you don’t think you could ever love again and you may feel like you don’t want to. But don’t close yourself off to it. Life is too short and you never know what or who could be around the corner.”
Linda had vowed that she would remain single for the rest of her life when she was swept off her feet. At 55-years-old she was more focused on going through the menopause and managing her social life than dating and that’s when it happened.
“I had resigned myself to being single and had decided that I loved my life that way,” she says. “In my 30s I decided thatI didn’t want to have children and throwing myself into my role as the best auntie possible was the best of both worlds, all the fun and none of the stress. I spent my money on my nieces and nephews, on holidays, evenings out with my friends and family and I convinced myself that I didn’t want or need a man.
“I’d stopped online dating too because I’d become too stuck in my ways. When I did go on a date I found myself getting irritated if it went on too long because he was eating into my ‘me-time’.
“Then one day I was out on an early morning bike ride. I stopped for a cup of coffee at a place I’d stopped at a hundred times before only this time my cappuccino turned into something a lot more.
“It was busy and this guy moved his bag so that I could sit down at his table. What was supposed to be a 10 minute stop turned into a two hour session where we ended up putting the world to rights. We kept arranging to see each other again and eventually, without even realising it, we had become a couple. Of course we argue and all relationships take work. I see him as a very good friend whom I also happen to share my bed with at night,” she laughs.
Emma had been so focused on trying to have a baby with her husband the fact that her relationship was falling apart had gone unnoticed. So when she did get pregnant in her 40s they ended up raising their child as a divorced couple and she put any idea of settling down with someone else firmly on the back burner.
“I’d spent a very long time trying to have a child so I told myself it would be selfish to try to find another partner too. I’d been there and we’d made a mess of it and I thought I needed to concentrate on my son now. That’s what I did. For eight years he was my male companion and I was ok with that. I didn’t go on a single date. I barely looked at another man.”
“Then last year I was introduced to a single dad from my son’s school. It felt like such a cliché and when he asked me out on a date I very nearly cancelled. The thought of getting back on the dating bandwagon was terrifying. But my mum was the one who made me go, telling me sensibly, ‘life’s too short and you can always make use of an extra friend.’.
“The last time I’d been on a date was with my ex-husband in my early 20s. I panicked about it, but I didn’t stop to think my date would be in the exact same boat as me. He was sweating it more than I was. The whole date was so much fun that it felt like talking to an old friend. I hadn’t laughed that much in ages.
“We had so much in common and not just a broken marriage and a child – he has a teenage son. We’ve been together for almost two years now and just bought a house together. I’m not sure if marriage is on the cards, we both feel it’s a bit of an old-fashioned concept now. But I’m looking forward to us spending the next half of our life together. He’s my soul mate.”
Charlotte felt lucky to have found a man she wanted to marry in her 40s. In her own admission her love life had been hit and miss until then, but it turns out her heartache wasn’t over.
Two weeks after her lavish wedding to her husband, he walked out on her – leaving eye-watering debts which he had ran up behind her back.
“I went from having a husband and what I thought was a future with him to having nothing. He simply said he’d changed his mind and left me high and dry. Worse, a lot of the money he said he had turned out to be credit cards and joint bank accounts in both their names with overdrafts that she knew nothing about.
Not surprisingly Charlotte swore off men and spent several painful and costly years dealing with unresolved finances and agonising over why this had happened to her.
But shortly after her 50th birthday at a little bar in Perpignan in the South of France, a Scottish man who was also there on holiday with friends struck up a conversation with her.
In a bizarre turn of events they had mutual friends in common in the UK, and lived just over one hour’s drive from each another.
“It was definitely fate,” says Charlotte. “It became clear my marriage fell to pieces for a reason. My ex is NOTHING like the man I’m now married to. It used to be all fast cars, expensive holidays and materialism with him. Now I couldn’t be happier than when we are in our own back garden and cosying up around a campfire. My life is absolutely perfect and the best thing about it happened after 50.”
If you enjoyed this article then you might be inspired to get back on the dating scene. If so, Lumity have the best dating sites for women over 50 and here’s how to love yourself this Valentine’s Day.