The thought of dating (again) in your 50’s can feel unsettling, but don’t let that stop you. My interview with NPR’s Life Kit host Tanya Ballard Brown shows you how to make this new chapter exciting and enjoyable. #datingat50 #NPR

Here’s our interview:


Tanya writes, “Contemplating dating when you’re 50, older and more “seasoned,” can feel daunting, especially if you ended a longtime marriage or other relationship and never thought you’d be back out there looking for love again. Perhaps you know more than you did in your salad days, but after a divorce, death of a spouse, or the end of a long-term committed relationship, you may have more accoutrements, such as children, mortgages, eldercare and other responsibilities. Not to mention, while you were boo’d up, the dating landscape likely changed — fewer phone calls and emails, more texts, dating apps and social media.

But, as cheesy as it sounds, love is a wonderful thing! It’s just that, to get to the love, you usually have to date.

Before you swipe left or right

If your instinct is to just run out there and leap at the first available person you see, Bela Gandhi, a professional dating coach and founder of Smart Dating Academy, advises that you first take a little time to get yourself together. “You need to do some work on yourself,” she says.

Gandhi and relationship expert Susan Winter recommend asking yourself a few key questions:

  • What do I want this time around, another marriage, a committed relationship or something else entirely?
  • What kind of partner is going to make me happy?
  • What do I need in a partnership to be happy and successful? How do I want to feel in this new relationship?
  • Have I done the work to grow myself so I know what I contributed to the breakup of my last relationship? How am I better?
  • How would it look and feel in the real world?
  • How do I see my daily interactions with this person?

It’s important to know what you want because marriage for a mature person can get a little complicated.

“Now you’re talking about children, blended families, inheritance,” Winter says. “You’re talking about financial concerns. So there’s a lot more to it. Maybe you want to rethink how you’d like to participate with your partner to get the best out of the closeness and the intimacy and to minimize any of the downside of the risk or, you know, hurt feelings from kids that don’t really know how to process your being in their parent’s life.”

It’s OK to be a little afraid

Even after doing that work, you may still be apprehensive about dating again, which is understandable. It’s hard to put yourself out there and face possible rejection. But Winter says fear is a part of the process. Don’t let it stop you.

“You have every right to be nervous. You’re not good at something you haven’t practiced in ages,” Winter says. “So start with allowing yourself the ability to explore, be curious and learn. You don’t have to know what you haven’t done.”

Look at the dating process with new eyes and change your perspective.

“When you get excited about the possibility of what could happen in your life, how you could create a new story, a new chapter, it will automatically override your resistance,” Winter says. “Making the effort to get back out there — even if you don’t find love right away — is a positive thing.

Continue reading and listening: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/13/1036793960/dating-over-50-guide-advice-tips