Dating After 50: How To Make It Work For You


Rebecca Perkins

Author and success coach Rebecca Perkins gives the lowdown on dating in midlife.

You’d be forgiven for believing that dating in midlife is something to be avoided at all costs if you wish to keep your sanity and heart intact. You just need to open a newspaper or type keywords into Google to uncover the latest thwarted midlife love story. You really don’t have to believe this my friends. Remember, misery sells papers.

I began online dating in my mid 40s following the ending of a 20 year marriage. I learned a lot about myself in the process. It took me several years of good and pretty rubbish dates to work out how I could make it work for me. And then with my head in the right place I met him…

I’m here to let you know that dating in midlife can be extremely rewarding. Dating in midlife will work for you too but let’s get some things straight first.

  • Don’t even think about dating until you’ve unpacked some of your baggage. You don’t want the mindset that’s probably been hanging around since your divorce to be accompanying you into a possible new relationship.
  • Having the right attitude is absolutely key to successful dating post 50. Are you going into dating looking for a successful connection or are you waiting to prove all they naysayers right? Be honest with yourself. Listen in to your self talk and clean it up if necessary. You might be amazed what you learn about your current attitude. Are you sabotaging success by expecting failure?
  • Get yourself to a place in your head where having a partner is something you want rather than feel you need – there’s a huge difference. Once we realise we don’t need anyone else to complete us we’re much more likely to find love.
  • Be curious and look for the positives in each connection. Look for the similarities rather than simply focussing on all the differences and being judgmental. Enjoy the chance to meet people from different backgrounds and with different life experiences. It’s all life-enriching.
  • A date is just that. It’s a date. It’s not a marriage proposal. Equally one bad date doesn’t mean it’s time to give it all up. Learn to manage your expectations and keep a sense of perspective. You’ll feel better for it.
  • Go into dating when you’re ready and only then. Your friends, family, children might all be ‘worried’ about you becoming lonely. Don’t do it for them. Only start dating once you’ve fully let go of your past relationship. Do the work you need to do to move on from your experiences in the past.
  • Spend time thinking about your values, those things that are really important in your life. Once you know what they are you’ll be in great position to know when someone else’s values are a match for yours and equally when they aren’t aligned. Learn to lean into and trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t right.
  • And finally keep in mind the quote from Steve Jobs, I think it works beautifully as a reminder for us in midlife, “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”


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