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Puzzled About Dating After 50?

Our relationship expert answers your questions

Question from Catherine: I'm too busy to actively date. A teenage daughter, a 60-hour-work week, a full slate of volunteer/local board responsibilities, and a garden that still hasn't been planted. Yet I can't defer romance forever. Would love some advice on how to prioritize my love life. Thanks!

PS: Let the garden go — it can come back next year. There's always a little bit of time if you look for it and prioritize. For example, clean up the house every third day instead of the second. See one less friend for lunch. Once you prioritize, other things just have to come second and third. You can go online late at night and you can use your lunch hour to have coffee with the people you meet. Just remember, if something terrible happened — let's say you had to go to a funeral — you'd find the time for it. So let's find time for happiness, too.

Question from Denise: I'm in school, working and a mother of 7- and 15-year-olds. I'm trying to find someone who will accept me and my kids. Any thoughts on this?

PS: Look for a guy who has kids. Or a girl who has kids if that is your preference. The important point is that people who have kids learn pretty quickly that they need someone who also has kids, and guys are going to look for that, too. They want someone who has the capacity to understand children's needs, just like you do.

Question from Betty: What attracts a mature male to a mature woman once the hormones have stopped?

PS: He likes her wisdom, her energy, her self-knowledge, her acceptance of him. He likes the fact that she knows who she is, and he loves it when their interests overlap. He likes that she takes care of herself and is willing to try new things, so he gets the same kind of energy he might from a younger person with the similarities you can only share with an age mate.

Question from Guest:  Did you have to learn how to date after 50? What would you suggest we don't do.

PS: I surely did. I left a marriage of 23 years and had to figure out what I wanted now, and who, and who would want me. What I suggest you don't do are the following:

  1. Don't whine about past husbands or wives, or about children.
  2. Come to the table with happiness and a positive attitude; don't bring your worries.
  3. Don't feel you have to tell this person every bad thing about yourself. They don't need to know until there's enough evidence that things could get serious.
  4. Don't get discouraged right away. I've had people go out on three dates and say they aren't going to do it again. That's nuts. If you go on enough dates, you will find somebody, so don't quit too soon.
  5. And most important, don't forget to listen. You don't have to do all the tap dancing. She/he should get a word in edgewise.

Next: Is it OK for a women ask a man for a date? »

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