By Shela Dean | Dating advice & encouragement for newly single men and women who are grandparents |
When my grandmother was my age, she wore sensible tie-up shoes, a hair net to hold her gray-haired bun, and modest (frumpy) dresses. Although many years from death, she was downright old. So was my grandfather. How things have changed . . . and thankfully so. An increasing number of aging boomers and seniors find themselves single because of divorce or the death of a beloved spouse. Had my grandmother found herself single for any reason, the thought of dating would never have crossed her mind. If someone had suggested it, she would have been horrified. That, too, has changed . . . sort of. Despite today’s grandparents being vibrant, healthy, sexy, youthful, athletic, and hip, many harbor the notion that dating is for young people and that what goes with dating — flirting, for example — is a bit silly for anyone on the shady side of 40. What’s more, the mere thought of dating can be terrifying. But here’s the rub: Dating is a necessary step to finding the companionship and love that you may want and certainly deserve. So, like Tom Hanks’ Sam in Sleepless in Seattle, you just have to get back in the saddle again. Here are a few dating tips for newly single men and women of “a certain age”:
- Get out of the house. Prospective dates (and new friends) can be found at the community center, church, gym, through volunteer activities, and classes.
- Never mind the effects of time. Don’t worry that you look older than you did the last time you dated. The people you’re likely to date won’t look 21, either.
- Don’t take it too seriously. Dating may make you a bit anxious at first. Never mind; relax and have fun.
- Keep an open mind. Don’t be quick to assume that someone isn’t a keeper or wouldn’t be interested in you.
Don’t cheat yourself out of love, fun, and an active social life by telling yourself you’re too old or too out-of-date. It’s true: You’re only as old as you feel. As Frank Sinatra sang, “Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you / if you’re young at heart.”
Click here for other articles by Shela Dean: http://www.grandmagazine.com/2013/11/the-comfort-joy-of-intimacy/