Love is for the young at heart, not just the young.
Soon after my divorce I decided to get back into the dating world. I did my best to ignore the naysayers who swore there were no good guys out there and set about dating in a way that worked for me. I knew I was vulnerable so I needed to be conscious of what I was doing and needed to move slowly. Since I no longer felt the panicked push of procreation, I had the freedom to take my time. I wanted to get to know myself in relation to men. I was ready to figure out what I wanted and needed from a relationship.
As is my way, if I was going to do it, I was really going to do it. I set a goal of meeting at least one new guy per week. I dated, and I dated. I had first dates, second dates, and the occasional third date. I learned more and more about myself with each date I went on. I became less nervous with each new experience. For years I have been advising my cleints that dating gets easier with time and low and behold, over time my confidence grew and I began to trust my gut over logic. Eventually I came to realize that what I wanted was reasonable. What I needed was important and I had the right to want what I wanted. I wasn’t asking for too much. I was merely asking for what I needed.
That is when I met Bachelor Number 12. We met on a rainy Friday night in February, the day I signed my divorce papers. We had the best first date of all time. The date ended with the sweetest goodnight kiss, a kiss that began a luscious love affair. It was love just like I remembered; we were inseparable, couldn’t get enough of each other, and began to feel as if we had invented sex. I lost 10 pounds, who needed food when I had love? I started to laugh out loud again, a sexy throw my head back kind of laugh. We survived on a few hours of sleep each night, and I glowed so much that friends started to ask if I’d gotten botox. I felt like a teenager again; invincible, immortal, full of infinite potential.
Like most of the first loves that follow a divorce, ours was not meant to last. It burned bright, then dimmed, brightened once more, and then went out. While I cried my fair share of tears when it was over, I wouldn’t trade one moment of that time for anything! Bachelor Number 12 helped me to feel lovable again – something that we all deserve to feel. Our time together reawakened not just my passion for loving, but my passion for living as well. It wasn’t what I expected on the eve of my 50th birthday but what a wonderful surprise.
I’ve come to realize that there are so many benefits to falling in love after 50 that I highly recommend it to anyone who is single ready to take a chance. Yes, it will move you out of your comfort zone but let’s face it; after a while comfort zones can start to feel like prisons. If you’re considering stepping into a new romance, here are three reasons to jump in!
• You will feel young again.
Research shows that falling in love will make your look and feel younger. Your body will do things it hasn’t done in years. You’ll stop focusing on your aches and pains, stop worrying about getting enough sleep every night, and start focusing on amazing, passionate fun! When was the last time you made out? Really made out? Like, for hours? Remember how high it made you feel? There is actual chemistry related to that feeling and it can be yours again. Boomers spend billions on anti-aging products every year but you can get it for free when you fall in love.
• Your health will improve.
At 50 we all start to understand our immortality more deeply than ever before and we value any opportunity to feel young again. Wanting to look good and be healthy for someone else is a big motivator. Getting active becomes easier and staying healthy becomes a priority. New couples in the early phase of a relationship naturally embrace the opportunity to try new things. Your happiness levels will rise as will your ability to take in new information and learn new things. Both falling in love and trying new things creates new brain cells and improves cognitive functioning. You won’t just feel young, your brain will act like a younger version of you.
• You’ll value love more than ever.
When we’re young we feel invincible and assume that we will always feel that way. Most of us assume that love will conquer all and that living happily ever after is everyone’s destiny. By the time we reach 50 most of us realize that none of that is guaranteed and we are more willing to bring our A game to a new relationship, recognizing our abilities as well as our limitations. Most of us value connection more having gone through a divorce or break up so we’re willing to put more into the relationship from day one. Over time this investment will pay off big time!
If you’re thinking about getting back into dating after a long hiatus, take the time to figure out what fits for you now versus what fit for you when you were in your twenties. Be open to trying new things and moving out of your comfort zone. And, if by chance the opportunity for a passionate romance, comes you way, I say go for it!
Kanya is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Private Practice in Paoli, Pennsylvania. She is a highly sought after Relationship Expert and author whose work has been syndicated by the Huffington Post and Fox News Magazine. Kanya specializes in coaching single women who are ready to create meaningful relationships and helping couples deepen their levels of intimacy and closeness. Find out more about Kanya and download her new e-book for women.
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