"Welcome to Senior Dating - the site I created to help Seniors
find Love and Companionship on the Internet - the right way! You’ll find
reviews of the best senior dating sites as well as tips and advice to help you get the most from your dating experience and enhance your life!" Kathy Damer, Editor.

Are You Ready for Senior Dating Yet?

I recently had an email from a senior dater about her online dating experience. While everyone who embarks on this journey will have their share of stories – good and bad – what struck me as particularly interesting was what she said about finding herself newly widowed, long before she even considered the online dating scene.

It occurred to me that before we can talk about picking a site, setting up a profile and considering all the "dos and don'ts", we should look at this situation that many find themselves in and consider the major changes in our lives that eventually lead us to being ready for senior dating.

I have heard similar stories from other seniors I have known, so you'll know you aren't alone if any of this strikes a familiar chord.

Many of you were in long term marriages and had a circle of friends, usually couples that your social life revolved around. These couples you may have raised your kids with, travelled with, gone to parties with, played bridge with, belonged to supper clubs with, gone sailing with, lawn bowled with, or even just had a regular evening at each others homes.

All these years have passed and you suddenly find yourself alone. Your partner has died or divorced you and you may feel utterly lost. Your natural instinct is to find comfort in all your old friends, but slowly you realize your place in the group was dependent on your "coupleness", and you are made to feel like the fifth wheel.

The once happy welcome you used to receive isn't there any more and the invitations are dwindling. No one can seem to relate to you without your other half. They may find discussing your loss depressing or they don't want to face the fact that they may find themselves in the same position one day. Maybe some even see your sudden "availability" as a threat to their own relationships. It's incredibly unfair and selfish that "friends" could abandon each other like this. But they do.

So now what? Well unfortunately this is the bumpy part of the journey that brings you to a fork in the road. (We always hate these forks in the road because they usually lead to the thing we dread the most — change.) This is the point when all old friends who just aren't there anymore have to be put to one side (if they suddenly have a crisis of conscience, let them come back to you!) and new friendships have to be pursued.

Now you will be standing on your own feet and letting your own light shine. When you find yourself in new social situations remind yourself of your many qualities and talents and that you are complete as an individual — not just as a half of a couple. You have a lot to offer as a friend and do not let the bad experiences tell you otherwise.

One thing to consider if you find yourself in this troubling situation, and you cannot seem to shift the sadness, is a grief workshop. Here they can help you, not just through the grieving process of losing your spouse, but also adjusting to the incredible changes that you are faced with (including the loss of life-long friendships). Here you will learn the tools to begin the healing process which is where you need to start before you can ever consider another relationship.

Once you start to feel that you are beginning to come out of the darkness, consider book clubs, fitness classes (great place to meet friends — every seniors centre will offer them), garden clubs, lunch clubs, consider going back to school or go on a cruise or organized tour of a place you always wanted to see. There are so many places to make new friends — and sharing something in common is the best place to start.

Even if your friends have been there for you through your loss, you need to make sure you are ready for the next phase of your journey. Spending some time developing your interests and changing the way you have always put others first (spouse, friends and kids) to putting yourself first for a change, will help to refocus you.

Believe it or not this will be an incredible time in your life where it's all about you now! You have done your work raising your family and being a good partner. You get to choose the people you want as friends and your time is your own, so spend it wisely to find out what makes you tick and associate with people who make you feel good.

This will boost your confidence tremendously and when you are ready, you will be able to embark on the senior dating journey.

3 Responses to “Are You Ready for Senior Dating Yet?”

  1.  Julie Phelps says:

    I thank you for having this site. Even though online dating is more acceptable now than even 8 years ago, it is still unfamiliar and scary territory to many singles. Couple that with being a SENIOR single, computer savvy or not, and it is obvious many of us need a place to share and learn about the whole thing. And here you are.

    I agree that jumping right into a dating site without being "ready" should be avoided. By ready I refer to being over a divorce, a death or other lost relationship there was, and then taking the necessary time to become the new you! The new you needs to feel secure in her own skin, and should have taken the time to rebuild or reinvent what her life now is about.

    There is that old saying about "love yourself so you can really and honestly love another". That task requires time, perhaps a year or more! Once at that point you will know more about yourself since the focus really can be on YOU. Knowing yourself and being comfortable with what you know allows you to be more wise about who and what you really want in a new partner.

    For most of my life I was not able to envision myself living without a man. Yes, I love men, a lot. But underlying it all was a fear that I could not stand alone or be happy without another to love me, to approve of me, to help me make decisions, to support me. It was a fear that resulted in making some poor choices. I finally realized I needed to know that I COULD support myself in all ways and that I could create a life alone and find out how to feel happy in that life.

    Once I no longer had any issue with living alone, I had some surprising "Ah hah moments". It seems I am now reluctant to jump into a relationship. That would involve compromises in all directions. Oh my! I realize I no longer have to feel irritated at how someone dribbles toothpaste on the side of sink, wants to arise later than I, wants to view different TV programs at night, wants to shop at a different grocer, and so on. These are all small things that probably matter not in the overall scheme of things. I am sure they don't. Such things are absorbed into daily life without notice when one finds love. Love conquers all, including so many small annoyances. I am ultimately easy to get along with and not normally prone to being nit-picky, so am rather surprised at myself. But still those thoughts creep out and dangle at me. This is the first time in my life that I don't feel I NEED to find a partner. I am basically fine just as I am. I am happy with so much freedom. But I also enjoy the company and bonding that comes with having a person to share love with. So I am ready for the compromises again.

    This new realization is empowering! I want every single person – but especially senior singles – to enjoy the same sense of independence and self awareness. They would then have a much better platform on which to build a new relationship. Do your internal work before trying to merge your life with another. You will choose more wisely. It could lead to the best phase of life ever.

    Posted on 04-Jun-12 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
  2.  Kathy Damer says:

    Thanks for all your personal insight Julie. I wholeheartedly agree and I'm sure your comments will resonate with a lot of my readers. All the best to you!

    Posted on 03-Jul-12 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
  3.  Lorina says:

    I am 65 and have been alone now for 10 yrs after my husband death. I have had the feeling that being alone was ok. I was fine with that. Then I met someone online 2 yrs ago and a spark came. I know that friendship of 2 yrs isn't going anywhere. I need now something more. My problem is – how do I start getting myself out there when I don't do the bar scene. What is my first step. All my friends are telling me to go and get a life. But they can't tell me how to re-start my life – how to get that life. I definitely do not want marriage – I know that for a fact – I want a friend and companionship. Please help me find that first step. Thank You

    Posted on 09-Dec-12 at 5:46 am | Permalink

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About This Site

Kathy Damer studied Sociology at University and has worked as a marketing executive in the Retirement and Senior care industries for many years. Kathy has a deep understanding of the issues unique to senior dating and relationships and has been featured on the radio.

Kathy founded senior-dating.org as a way to provide free advice and resources for anyone looking to enter the world of senior dating. Please feel free to send Kathy your questions, comments and suggestions for topics that you would like to see covered.

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