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Dating for Seniors
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It was a lovely ceremony. The bride was 81; the groom was 86. Children, grandchildren and some great grandchildren were in attendance as my brother walked our mother down the aisle. Those of us who were bridesmaids wore black, because Mom read that black was the “in” bridesmaids’ color.

It was September, just a few months after my father’s passing following a long illness and a few months after my mother vowed she’d never marry again—but that was before the loneliness settled in and she found love and solace with my father’s best friend Rex.

Scenarios like that are commonplace. The reverse is also true, as more and more people face the golden years alone. According to the U.S. Census, more than 96 million Americans, 43% of adult U.S. residents, are unmarried, the highest percentage ever. This also parallels the growth in baby boomer singles (Americans born between 1946 and 1964) who are entering Social Security age.

There’s no law that says we all have to walk through life two-by-two; I know a lot of happily single men and women in their golden years. But if you think you’d like a companion and that a companion would add to the fullness of your life, here are some dating tips.*

Dating Tips

1. Don’t try to replace someone you’ve lost. Let yourself enjoy looking for someone who is a new adventure, at least in some ways that matter.

2. Let friends and acquaintances know that you are open to meeting someone special. Be honest about what you’re looking for. If, for example, you just want a companion for an occasional movie or concert or lunch, say so.

3. Consider online dating services as a way to enlarge your pool of eligible singles.

4. Be reasonably cautious. Don’t give out personal information until you’ve spent some time on the phone or chatting online.

5. Trust your instincts. You’ve lived long enough to sense when something is “off.” Don’t try to talk yourself out of it.

6. Someone who comes on too strong, who tries to contact you 500 times a day, or who threatens to hurt himself or you if you don’t return their ardor and devotion is probably not a good bet.

7. Stay realistic. Though you may be excited that you've finally met someone, don't get overly optimistic that this will be your true love. Date for a period of time before fully committing emotionally.

8. Don’t expect your adult kids to love your new love—at least not at first. They may be protective of you and suspicious of your partner. They may have strong loyalties to their other parent. They may be jealous of time spent with your partner’s family. They may worry that they will lose their inheritance. They may think you’re too old for love.1

When considering dating, remember that no one really “completes” you but God.

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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