Finding Your Perfect Match...After 50
By Dr. Pepper Schwartz
Like hundreds of thousands do annually, I recently went to my college reunion. It was great fun. I was fascinated talking to and seeing people I hadn't been around in decades. In the course of these conversations, my former classmates talked about their careers, marriages and/or children. Sadly, some spoke of their divorces or death of a spouse. Listening to the newly, or suddenly single, I was interested by how many middle-aged people are now on their own.
During the reunion, some colleagues wanted to know more about my involvement with PerfectMatch.com and its relationship-centric focus. In fact, they pressed me to explain how it worked. Some had tried other dating sites, and came away disappointed. So, they challenged me to tell them why they should try PerfectMatch.com. Some wanted to know why they should try again, period.
Well, my answer was simple and honest. I firmly believe online dating is exactly right for older people searching for love and a committed relationship. PerfectMatch.com, in particular, is unique because its very foundation, from day one, was to encourage and promote relationships - not hook-ups. Sure, there may be the occasional member who just wants someone for a Saturday night here and there. However, they are, by far, the exception.
In my new book coming out this year, Prime: Adventures and Advice about love and sex and the Sensual Years (Prime), (HarperCollins) I describe my own experiences into the online dating world; looking for love, finding it, losing it and finding it again. I describe in realistic and graphic language my experiences and the expectations of the men I met, including emotional negotiations in and out of the bedroom. I think having used the online technology myself makes me a wiser and better qualified, hands-on counselor. In writing Prime, I wanted to share with women my mid-life dating experiences in a way I hoped were not only real, but also inspirational.
I can truthfully tell women they're wrong if they think there're no good men out there. I can also state categorically not all men want younger women, or that men in their 50s and 60s are only looking for 35-year-olds. Likewise, I can tell men without a doubt there're vibrant, attractive and actively engaged women available at any age. And lastly, I can absolutely testify you can find true love online, because I have found it myself.
In your dating life, you'll meet a wide variety of women or men. Generally, they'll enlarge your life and you'll learn something from knowing them. Sometimes, sadly, it doesn't work out. But you should never feel it wasn't worth your time. Remember, finding someone does require effort. Usually, there're going to be some false starts: Women or men who don't return your email; and/or people you like, who should like you, or are your type, but who just aren't attracted to you. Yes, it hurts your feelings, but you can't let those kinds of interactions (or lack thereof) shut you down. There's no reasonable excuse to give up on love. And being "too old" is one of the weakest excuses I've ever heard.
I've talked to women and men in their mid-70s who're now dating…and enjoying it! I've talked to women and men in their 60s who found life to be as passionate at that age, as it was 20 years earlier. In both of these numerous examples, it didn't mean they found it with someone much younger then themselves. These women and men I've talked to in their 50s, 60s and 70s went looking for a companion in their own age group. They were looking for someone of their generation, someone who understood what their life had been and shared fundamentally important experiences.
Love absolutely isn't dead after 50. Neither is passion or commitment. Also realize love doesn't come looking for you like it did in your 20s. You have to go after it, with determination, clear headedness and resolution there's someone out there who's waiting for you.
For those of you out there who are older, who are restarting the search for a relationship and aren't too sure you should be doing it, or if you can even find someone, listen: Believe in yourself and work hard at this most significant phase of your life. Utilize PerfectMatch.com's leading edge tools and you'll find someone to love. And most importantly, you'll find someone who'll love you equally in return!
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