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10 Ways to Feel Sexier When Dating After 50

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

No matter how old you are, the key to successful dating is to feel good about yourself. After all, how can you expect someone to be attracted to you if you don't feel like an attractive, desirable individual? If you're reentering the dating scene, however, your self-confidence may be a little shaky. Outsmart your insecurities by applying the simple mind tricks that follow. Get ready to see your self-esteem rise and your sense of sexiness soar!

  • Remind yourself of your best attributes. No doubt you have dozens of amazing qualities, which is why you should keep a list of at least ten of them somewhere around your home (like on the fridge, a bathroom mirror, or your computer). At least five of the items on your list should be about your looks. For example, you can include "great hair," "kissable lips," "elegant hands," "long eyelashes," or "twinkling eyes." Look at this list every day so you remember that you boast a number of great characteristics — including your looks.

    Don't forget to include these same flattering remarks about yourself in your online dating profile, if you have one.

  • Pose for some portraits. Break out that shirt that makes your eyes pop or the dress that accentuates your curves, and plan a session with a professional photographer — or at the very least, a camera-savvy friend. Print the photos and pin them up on your refrigerator, in your home office, or in your bathroom. Whenever you can, take a moment to admire that good-looking person.

  • Treat yourself to a makeover. If you haven't treated yourself to a makeover before, now is the time. Sometimes, calling in a few experts is enough to help you look your best. Do a little homework and find out which salons do makeovers and which ones have great reviews.

    If you're a woman and have never had your makeup done by a professional, you may be unaware of the amazing difference it can make in your appearance. Both men and women can look quite different with professional help, even if it's just a simple change in hairstyle. Men may not have as many choices as women do, but you'd be amazed at how a few snips here and there can turn you into an exceptionally well-groomed person.

    Don't be modest and tell people you're only a creation of the makeup and hair artists. Yes, you're enhanced by their artistry — but it's still all you. Take that pleased vision of yourself and use it to feel secure and confident about finding someone to love.

  • Buy sexy evening clothes or lingerie. What you wear affects how you feel. A man may complain about wearing a tux, and a woman may whimper about how she looks in a sexy nightgown, but the fact is that the man is likely to look amazing in the tux and the woman is far more delectable in the nightgown than in old pajamas. Seeing your dressed-up self in the mirror makes you feel sexier than if you're in an old T-shirt and baggy pants.

    Moreover, if you wear something that feels sexy, you'll be more in touch with the sensual side of yourself. A silk shirt, a leather coat, cute boxers, or a super soft robe make all the difference in the world. You'll feel sexier, for sure, and you're more likely to want to share yourself with someone else.

    Invest in a full-length mirror — but get one that makes you look thinner rather than fatter (mirrors vary!). Seeing the thinner you in the mirror is a real confidence builder. Also, opt for soft white lights and a dimmer over fluorescent bulbs, which make everyone look lousy.

  • Pleasure yourself. One way to become more sensual and sure of your sexuality is to do some solo experimentation with what pleases you. Vibrators and dildos are great learning devices. They help you learn where you want to be touched and with what intensity — that's knowledge you can take with you into a relationship.

    Your body was meant to give you pleasure; by playing around with sex toys, you're just exploring how it works. Don't be afraid to fantasize, vocalize, and find the heights of ecstasy. No, it's not the same as doing this with a partner, but it makes you more, not less, at ease with a partner, and that's pretty darn sexy.

  • Hit the gym. Working out releases endorphins — those wonderful hormones that make you feel strong, joyful, peaceful, and full of positive energy. Even if you don't lose a single pound, going to the gym regularly will make you feel stronger, more disciplined, and better able to take on the world. When you graduate to putting on cool workout clothes (the weight lifting gloves are particularly sexy), the ritual of dressing for exercise, working hard, and taking that wonderful hot shower afterward makes you feel like the king or queen of the world.

  • Take a dance class. Whether you try ballet, ballroom, tango, or line dancing, letting loose and cutting a rug helps you enjoy your body and how it moves.

  • Practice yoga. Yoga requires balance, strength, and focus. In return, it enhances your self-esteem, creates greater satisfaction with your body, and boosts internal peace and pleasure.

    You don't have to do all the difficult poses. This isn't a contest. Yoga can be a discipline, it can be a relaxation tool at the end of the day, or it can just be something you do to keep your body limber and your mind at rest. Whatever your motivation, practicing yoga helps you put yourself in a better, more contemplative, and more blissful place.

  • Embrace massage. Massage is a great way to reconnect with your sensuality. When someone massages your body, you realize how natural and right it is to be touched. You understand the pure, sensual pleasure of touch. Likewise, learning how to give a massage helps you feel more at ease about touching someone — especially if you haven't been with anyone in a long time.

    If you're receiving a massage, go "whole hog": Do aromatherapy and luxuriate in a bath or hot tub afterward. Indulge your senses and feel all the more ready to be with someone else.

  • Find a coach to help you concentrate on your strengths. If you still feel shaky about why someone would want to be with you, get some direct help before you take that ego on the road. Spend a few hours (or more, if necessary) with a coach who can help you believe in yourself and work through any confusing or dispiriting aspects of dating. You can also use this person to help you put your sensual, sexy self out there instead of the frightened and insecure version of yourself. (If you can't afford to hire a professional coach, ask a close and valued friend to help.)

    Ask your friends or other people whose judgment you trust whether they've ever used a coach and, if so, ask them whether they'd recommend that person. A personal reference is best, but if you can't find a coach that way, find some psychologists who have good clinical or academic positions and ask them to recommend someone. Some states also license coaches, and you may be able to find members of those associations on the web. A good peer-to-peer group is Voice Dialogue, where trained people use a specific method to help you work on the things that bother you about yourself.

    The core idea behind coaching is that you have someone who is rooting for you and giving you inspiration, courage, and ideas about how to proceed. Your coach is someone whose opinion and wisdom you value, and he or she can be an extraordinary support and booster. Having that person in your corner can make all the difference between being resilient and staying the course until you find the right person or getting discouraged and opting out when you feel overwhelmed or doubtful.

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