Advice for Dating Over 50

Seniors-Dating

Advice for Dating Over 50

If you are over 50 dating can be a whole different world. Most people are independent at this age, perhaps with adult-age children who are hopefully out of the house by now. These are the divorced empty nesters. They don’t take any guff and know exactly what they are looking for. Today, it’s much easier than in the past because of the internet. But even then sometimes there’s no one that strikes our fancy. A lot of singles in this age group don’t want to be alone but don’t want to feel as though they are settling either. It isn’t easy but a lot of people get in their own way, too. Here is some advice for those dating over 50. First, consider the law of attraction. What you focus on in your life is what you bring into your world. If you are focused on the idea that there are no good men or women left then that is the situation you will dwell in. But if you are secure and happy, entering into each situation in an open-minded and lighthearted way then perhaps the right person will find you. That’s because this newfound positivity will sooner or later attract those who are also secure, open and happy, the exact type most of us would like to date.

Consider how you feel about dating. It often fills 50-somethings with anxiety. Sometimes we just have an unlucky streak. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to put dating aside and later on try again. When you come back to it in a week or two with fresh eyes, take a look at your meeting and selection process. Consider reworking your dating profile. What does it say about you? Who does it attract? Perhaps freshen it up with a new photo, an anecdote or insight and then ask a friend their opinion on it. A lot of people at this stage are afraid. They’ve lost out in one or more serious relationships. They may be bitter or carrying baggage. Perhaps they feel as though they’ve been through the meat grinder and don’t want to do it again. This idea that there is no one of high enough quality is a projection we use to protect ourselves from certain fears about love, while also protecting our status. Here, it isn’t us that have the problem but the available dating pool. Sooner or later those that say these things start to sound like a broken record. It becomes a battle worn, thin piece of armor other minds can easily pierce. Instead, jettison excuses. Deal with whatever interworking makes you feel negative or reticent. Talk it out with someone and work toward a new perspective on your life and your love life, one that’s positive and edifying.

Dating at this age is not easy. We often run in the same circles. Start to break out. Explore new hobbies or old ones you put aside in the days of yesteryear when the demands of kids and career got in the way. Read articles and books about dating at this age. Attend singles events. Try a different website or app for meeting someone new. Pursue interests that are social through Eventbrite, Meetup, a local civic organization or a charity close to your heart. Network with friends and others to see if they know someone who is single that would be a good match. Those who are friends will have other friends who you might have things in common with. Another thing, don’t so easily cast others aside. Some people make their wants and desires in a mate so extensive that they price themselves out of the market. Everyone is imperfect. But judgment has to be set aside for an exploration of who exactly the other person is. A first date is like an initial interview. Often it tells you little of the person before you. Give it until the third date before you say no for sure. Some of the happiest couples weren’t so hot for each other when they first met. It takes time for anxiety to wane, understanding to grow and love to blossom. For more advice for those of the female persuasion pick up a copy of, The Winning Dating Formula For Women Over 50: 7 Steps To Attracting Quality Men by Lisa Copeland.

Handling Divorce as a Lady at 40 Plus

divorce-after-50

Handling Divorce as a Lady at 40 Plus

Divorce for women forty and over is different than for women under forty according to Erica Manfred, author of the book, History; You’re Not: Surviving Divorce After Forty.  The sheer difference between handling divorce as a lady at 40 plus is that you have less opportunities than at earlier times. Some women have to re-enter the workforce. But if she’s been home caring for the house and children, or had a gap in employment, she may be in for a rude awakening when hitting today’s job market. If she hasn’t had a family yet and wanted one her chances are diminished.

The difference today from years ago is that there are plenty of single, available men who are also divorced. But the herd is a bit thinner than what women encounter at a younger age. If you need to reestablish your career consider attending college, community college, nursing school or some form of higher education. Civil service examinations are good avenues for employment. Networking with friends, family, acquaintances and others are good ideas as well, both for employment, and career advice.

Many people stay married for the sake of the children. They wait until the kids have grown up so as not to injure their psyches. But according to Ms. Manfred, “The kids are never grown.” What she means by that is that children are distraught by the divorce of their parents no matter what age they’re at. The kids begin to question their childhood, whether they grew up in a happy household for instance, or if it was all a lie. Now holidays are also separated into two. This will be quite awkward. Problems soon creep up in their own relationship. And they worry about who is going to take care of one or both parents once they get older and can’t take care of themselves. If you need to break the news, no matter what age, both of you should tell the children together according to Manfred. Deliver the news with empathy and understanding. Make sure the timing is right.

Surprisingly, 66% of over 50 divorces are initiated by women. This is because often the man has had bad habits, which she could ignore when he was out and about. But now that he’s home all the time it becomes a problem. There’s infidelity with younger women. And there are those men who recede into themselves and just sit on the couch and watch TV, while she still wants to live an active lifestyle and social life, go out, do things, meet people, and so gets tired of having no connection with him. It may not seem easy but for many divorce makes them much happier.

What Makes a Man Happy?

happy

What Makes a Man Happy?

It’s oftentimes difficult to make a woman happy. But good guys never stop trying. For men though it’s usually thought to be simple; sex and mild appreciation. If a woman is nuanced she knows that she needs to massage his ego here and there. Even men get insecure from time to time. She has to support him emotionally as well. But is that it? What does it really take to make a man happy? Researchers at Harvard University have just finished the longest study, starting in 1938, on human development ever to answer just that same question.

Researchers looked at biological, anthropological and psychological traits to determine what makes men happy over the course of a lifetime. Researchers uncovered every rock from drinking habits, relationships, IQ, even the “hanging length of the scrotum.” The researchers were exhaustive in their pursuit. The study followed 200 undergraduates from Harvard starting in 1938.  Since people are living much longer around the world, researchers found that fulfillment can reach even into the golden years of life. Participants reported on all parts of a man’s life including politics, religion, coping strategies, relationships and alcohol use. Alcohol abuse the study found was the single biggest determinant in happiness disruption in terms of health and overall happiness.

Another interesting finding was that those who do well in their elder years don’t exactly do well in middle age. Getting over a terrible childhood is possible. However remembering a joyous childhood can give you resiliency throughout life. After age 70 marriage brings more satisfaction to life. Aging after 80 years has more to do with habits formed up to age 50 than with genes.  In fact we have more to do with how we end up in our golden years than our genetic background. The biggest finding was how destructive alcoholism was. It was the biggest contributor to divorce. Cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse were the topmost causes of death according to this study.

In terms of sex life, the most liberal men had sex well into their 80s, while the most conservative stopped having sex somewhere around 68 years of age. One giant correlation that arrived from this study was the connection between happiness and health in later years to the love and support a good relationship provides. Those men who measured warmth in their relationships were far more successful and earned more in life. It was the single most contributing factor. Another interesting finding was how a man’s relationship with his mom affected him later on in life. Men who had a good relationship with their mothers when young earned substantially more. Those who had poor relationships with their mothers were more likely to suffer dementia later on in life. To read more about this study read the book, Triumphs of Experience by the study’s lead author George Vaillant.

Divorce Rate among Older Americans Increased Significantly

GRAY-DIVORCE

Divorce Rate among Older Americans Increased Significantly

A new report by sociologists at Bowling Green State University, found that since 1990, the divorce rate among Americans 50 years old and up has doubled. For those over 65, it has more than doubled. While other age brackets have seen a leveling off or even a decline in divorce rates, 25% of those getting divorced today are 50 and up. 10% are 65 and over. Susan L. Brown and I-Fen Li are the authors of the report. What these researchers found is that this trend stands in contrast from the majority of divorces that take place. 50% of divorces by younger people are among those who have not acquired a college education. But for older people, education level is not a factor. In younger generations, primary marriages last the longest. Second marriages are generally not as stable. But in older Americans, primary marriages have a 50% chance of ending. 55% of divorces take place between those who have spent two decades or more together. Brown said, “We found that flabbergasting.” Many of these older marriages do not come to divorce over constant arguing. They quite simply have grown apart. What researchers have failed to pin down in the document is why the older generation is filing for divorce in such record numbers. Still, no matter what demographic, the majority of those asking for a divorce are women.

Brown said, “It’s not as if marital quality has suddenly declined. Instead, I think we have higher expectations now for what constitutes a successful marriage. We expect spouses to be best friends and marriage a source of happiness and fulfillment.” She added, “As women achieve more financial independence and autonomy, frankly, they can afford to get divorced. And after you’ve launched your children and retire, people may realize, ‘Boy, we don’t have much in common, and I could live another 20 years.’ That’s a long time to live with someone you may not be that into anymore.” Since the social stigma has worn off in most places, people are not likely to stick together for tradition’s sake. As a consequence, there has been tremendous growth in the number of older Americans cohabitating. A multitude of new dating websites targeted toward older Americans has cropped us as a consequence.  For those in a good financial situation and strapping health, a divorce could mean a new lease on life. It will allow more independence, freedom, and opportunities. For those who lack resources, a divorce increases their chances of becoming impoverished. Older married couples have 80% more wealth on average than the older divorced. The financial well-being of the widowed 50 and over is double what these sociologists have dubbed the “gray divorced.”

“Now that they no longer have a spouse, divorced older people have less social support. Relationships with their older children could be compromised as a result of the divorce,” Brown said. “As they age and experience health declines, who’s going to take care of them? Especially if they’re not able to afford the level of care that others with more economic resources have?” This is not only an American phenomenon. According to a senior researcher at the Paris School of Economics, Elena Stancanelli, the same thing is happening in France. Brown wonders if the trend occurring now with the baby boomer generation will hold true when their children, Generation X and Millennials, get older. “As marriage becomes more selective, and more tied to education than in the past, that could help stabilize marriages,” Brown said. She believes these latter generations might save a little time for their partner rather than throwing all they have into career and child rearing, and so be more connected when they get older, rather than not recognizing the person they married, when the couple becomes empty nesters. If you find yourself divorcing and in the upper tiers of life it may be useful to pick up a copy of, Divorce After 50: Your Guide to the Unique Legal & Financial Challenges by Janice Green.

Young People aren’t the Only Ones Cohabitating but not Getting Married

 

OLDER-COUPLE-ON-DATE

Young People aren’t the Only Ones Cohabitating but not Getting Married

Young people aren’t the only ones cohabitating but not getting married. Believe it or not seniors are doing it too. AARP recently took a survey of 1,670 people over 44. 78% didn’t find non-marital sex wrong. In 1999 the number was 59%. Americans have let go of the idea that martial sex be the only socially acceptable avenue. According to the AARP findings, single people have more sex than married couples. And singles are more satisfied with their sex lives. What could be the motivating factor when it comes to seniors? Financial considerations are certainly part of it. Seniors certainly don’t want to stop receiving social security or retirement benefits. They worry about what their children will inherit once they leave this earth and don’t want a marriage making that process more complicated either. Another consideration is the family one. Often even adult children have a hard time accepting their parent’s remarriage. Perhaps they don’t want to give their adult children any trauma.

They may feel that they don’t want to get married and make a big social occasion out of it. They feel that they don’t want to be the center of attention. They had their wedding in their youth and that was enough for them. Women also outlive men. So heterosexual women of a certain age may only find so many available men in their vicinity. Men do often seek younger partners as well. Being practical and open-minded may be the best option if she desires a love life. Cohabitation is much easier for empty nesters and seniors. If they live alone, or in a community of people around the same age, who is to know really what is happening in whose love life? But the point is, no matter what age you are, seek happiness. Weddings are great. But there are far more important things in a relationship than a piece of paper, a party and recognition by the state and perhaps a religious institution. What really matters is how the couple feels about one another and treats one another. Do they support and love one another? Is there a closeness and intimacy? Is there affection? Do they hold each other up or hold one another back? These are the important things. Love is an active state where each participant decides its course moment to moment and breath to breath. Whatever your state, make it a good one from one moment to the next. For more advice on cohabitating read, Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple by Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller.