Falling in love after 55: How it's better the second time around
Oct 18, 2011, 5:04 p.m.
If you're 55 or over and you're divorced or don't have a spouse or long-term partner, you might feel like you'll never fall in love again. That's not true; there are many chances at love after 55, and it's often a better love than what you felt as a teenager. You're more mature; you've made most of your mistakes already and you know what you want and don't want in a partner. Because you more fully understand yourself, you can think carefully about what you want—and you can go out and get it.
Enjoying the time you have for love
After retirement, consider the free time you'll have to enjoy with your new partner. At this point in life, relationships are not burdened by the pressures to have children, to advance in your career, or to pretend to be someone you're not. Most of the games played by younger people looking for love are long gone before you reach 55, so you won't be involved in the drama that you could have seen when you were younger. Love after 55 is different than the first time, but it's often deeper, richer, and more solidified by a mutual understanding of how it feels to age, grow, and change.
Meeting new people
Whether you're living on your own or in an assisted living facility, there are many opportunities to meet people. You can talk with people online (on dating sites or other social networking tools), get a part-time job in an industry you've always wanted to be a part of, volunteer in your community, or even consider taking up a hobby you wouldn't have expected to be involved with. You'll meet people you would not normally have crossed paths with and you can engage people in new ways. After 55, it's your time to live. You've raised your children and you've done what you had to do to take care of a house, bills, and other people. You have a better understanding of how you want to live this portion of your life and how a relationship will fit with these goals.
Coping with moving on from another love
You might have expected to be with your partner forever, but accident, illness, or divorce may have taken that dream from you. It's never true that your capacity for love is over. Love a second, third or fourth time can be just as fulfilling, if not more, than the first. Allow yourself time to grieve and cope, but don't spend any time thinking that you'll never meet someone else. As you stay active and do the kinds of things you enjoy, you'll have many chances to meet the person you could fall in love with for the rest of your life.
It's time to dream again, and to look forward to the rest of your life. It doesn't matter if you're 55 or 95, you can still find love with someone who makes you happy. It's never too late for love, no matter what you've been through in the past or what you expected for your future. Don't give up on finding the right person. It's easy to get discouraged, but keep a good attitude and keep enjoying life. Be open to new experiences and ready to find the person that's just right for you at this time in your life.
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