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Courage to Date in the New Year

Magic at Midlife: Your Relationship Roadmap for Romance After 40

Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck, PhD and Charles Peck | Jan 5, 2015, 6 a.m.
Northwest authors Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck, PhD, a psychologist, and her husband Charles Peck are write a weekly column on midlife relationships. They are working on a new book, "Magic at Midlife: Your Relationship Roadmap for Romance After 40."

You may be blissfully single; more power to you. You may be in a relationship, budding or established. Or you may be looking for your special someone in the New Year. If you are seeking a partner for a committed relationship, we'd like to give you a little encouragement.

No, it's not easy when you are over 50. When your mother told you, "There are lots of fish in the sea," she probably wasn't thinking of the over-fished oceans of middle age and beyond. There are still some good people out there, and (assuming you are not into "Big Love"), you are only looking for that one special individual to be your partner.

If you have been contemplating dating but are hesitant, now is the time to venture out. Consider your options for meeting people - everything from online dating to joining a kayaking club. Once you have done everything you reasonably can to feel as self-confident as possible, try really hard to forget what others may be thinking about you, and just go out and enjoy yourself. There is nothing as attractive as someone who is honest, authentic, engaged in life, reasonably self-assured, and interested in others. While of course you want to put your best foot forward in the dating world, you also want to find someone who truly likes you - the real you.

We've talked in previous columns about how to meet people (online or in person) and how to prepare yourself emotionally for the dating world. Today we are talking about having the courage to take a risk. Yes, you may kiss a whole bunch of toads in your quest for true love. But if you want a life partner, that motivation can help you to overcome your fears and insecurities. Just take things slowly, if that feels right to you, and trust your instincts.

Watch the messages you give yourself. You would never tell a friend, "You are too old and too fat to be attractive," but you may be saying negative things like this to yourself. Don't predict doom, either. Just because you have had some bad luck in the relationship arena, that doesn't mean you can't find happiness. You may have to do some soul-searching and make some changes, but past disappointments don't inevitably lead to a bleak future. We have talked to many boomers and seniors who, despite past heartbreaks, have found great happiness with the right person.

So give yourself a pep talk, find a supportive friend to help you on your journey, get out and do what you love to do, and keep a positive and hopeful attitude. Chances are that you will be sipping champagne with someone special next New Year's Eve.

Northwest authors Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck, PhD, a psychologist, and her husband Charles Peck are write a weekly column on midlife relationships. They are working on a new book, "Magic at Midlife: Your Relationship Roadmap for Romance After 40."

Previous Magic at Midlife Columns:

Moods Are Contagious

Friends and Lovers: A Balancing Act

The Power of Small Caring Behaviors

Accepting Your Aging Body

The Perils of Gift-Giving

Telling Your Love Story

Older Hearts Break, Too

Reimagining Your Life Together

Memory Loss and the Midlife Couple

When One of You Retires

Money - One Pot or Separate Accounts?

Falling in Love Later in Life

To Marry or Not?

Conversations About Death for Midlife Couples

The Couple That Laughs Together, Stays Together

Vacation Time! Leave Your Baggage at Home

Your Place or Mine? Moving In Together

How to Help Your Partner Calm Down

Creating Shared Goals

Having the “Senior Safer Sex” Conversation

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