Dating After 50: Concentrate on Your Strengths - dummies

Dating After 50: Concentrate on Your Strengths

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP All rights reserved.

Some people are insecure about dating after 50 because they focus on the qualities they used to have. Maybe you just aren’t as strong, athletic, handsome, beautiful, muscular, or thin as you used to be.

You can concentrate on those changes and get depressed or you can focus on your current strengths — strengths that you may not have had when you were younger and that can do a lot for your attractiveness in today’s dating market.

The best ego builder is to make a list of your strengths. You’ll be surprised at how long that list is! Then review your list and think about people who would appreciate those strengths. Here’s the list of a woman who hasn’t worked in a long time outside the home but has been a community activist:

  • I build strong and lasting friendships.

  • I have the respect of people I’ve worked for and of people who’ve worked for me.

  • I’ve raised children I can be proud of.

  • I think I’m wickedly funny. I usually crack people up.

  • I play the piano extremely well, and I know a lot about music.

  • I’m flexible, low maintenance, and easy to get along with.

  • I’m a strong swimmer.

  • I plan great vacations.

  • I can make a dollar go far.

  • I’m a charitable, compassionate person.

Doesn’t this sound like someone quite a few people would respect and like to know? Make your list of current strengths and you’ll probably impress yourself! You’ll surely feel better about putting yourself into dating mode, and the list will also give you even more direction about what kind of person is likely to appreciate these strengths and want to know you better.

After age 50, you have new things to brag about. Qualities you took for granted are in scarce supply and are suddenly nominated for your strengths list. Being economically solvent may be attractive, even if you aren’t rich.

General health or a good job may not be flashy, but they’re still things people are attracted to. And it really is a strength to have good eyesight as you age.

Even the fact that your children are financially independent or that your extended family has no drama may qualify as something worth pursuing if someone has come out of a situation where family drama killed the relationship. See how many of these apply to you:

  • I drive well and safely, day or night.

  • I have a good retirement plan and take care of myself financially.

  • I have good friends and an active social life.

  • I’m in good health.

  • I participate in active sports.

  • I can have intercourse (even if I need lubricant or an erectile drug).

  • I have the ability, money, and desire to travel.

  • I have a nice place to live.

  • I have children who aren’t in trouble and are nice, supportive people.

  • I don’t have extensive debts.

  • I’ve had a happy life and have an optimistic attitude.

Before you reject someone quickly, make a list of his or her strengths. This exercise may stop you from making too hasty a decision.