There’s no better time to be “looking for love.”
Why? Because we’re finally to the point of admitting who we are and not trying to be someone else for the sake of “love.” When you’re honest about who you are and what you need, it’s a lot simpler to find it. Speaking your truth is one of the pluses of dating at this stage of the game.
But you don’t need to be a snot about it. If you want someone special in your life, insisting that person believe exactly what you believe will limit the field considerably. Identical doesn’t equal interesting. But you do need sincere respect for each other–opinions and all.
Real love is mutual, unconditional, positive regard. You like that person and believe in him—or her. Even when he or she doesn’t do the very best in terms of what you need at a specific moment, you hold true to the idea that this person is worth having in your life.
Finding someone who can hold that kind of respect isn’t likely to be a case of hanging out at the right bar. It’s not even a slam dunk if you hang out at the right church. Finding The One is far more likely to happen if you are not focusing on that at all. The way to find someone to love is the way to find your own best life—act on what you believe in and then take advantage of what presents itself as a result.
That may mean joining an organization that addresses an issue or cause that’s important to you. But it can also mean taking a class in something that intrigues you or joining a sports league or club to play a game you’re either already love or want to learn. There’s another teeny piece to this though. Do the things that are likely to involve both men and women (assuming you’re heterosexual). Think photography and hiking rather than quilting or a men’s golf league.
Get sober about what you’re looking for, too. By this point in life, we’ve had a lot of experience at this, both good and bad. Ruling out the prospect who has the same first name as your ex is shortsighted. Limiting yourself to a list of traits you already know you like is just that–limiting yourself. Try things you’re interested in and see what happens. And for heaven’s sake stop the silly “I’m really younger than my age, so I need someone way younger than me.” No. Not really. Official age is a terrible indicator of energy, activity level, health, and general suitability when we get this far. Look at energy level, breadth of interests, and how much that person engages with the world if you want to assess his/her vitality.
Patience is also essential. It’s not all sunshine and roses once you find “someone with potential.” Too often, we fall back into all the old “couple” habits that didn’t work before and then wonder when the relationship withers. We’re more aware of what we are “giving up” to get involved with someone than when we were younger, too. At this stage of the game, it’s “all about me” for both of you. That is going to take effort to work through. It’s worth the effort.
In addition to ditching the ideas about what “happily every after” looks like, we need to ditch the whole Prince Charming thing. (Put Cinderella on the bus, too.) Stop assuming your guy has to be a Hollywood hunk. And guys, June Cleaver has left the building so get used to the idea of carrying your share of the load if you want to live with someone.
With love after 60, we often give up too easily, too. We get turned off because he has bad breath (instead of explaining to him that he has that problem). We decide that she’s “not the right one” because she has grandkids and loves to spend time with them. We decide that because it’s not perfect it’s not “the right one.” We know more about what is “perfect.” Or so we think. Perfect is a con job.
The only way to find a perfect match is to be perfect yourself. If you still think you are, you haven’t learned much in 60+ years. There is no “perfect.”
If you want someone special in your life, get active living that life at its best. Take some well-thought risks. That risk taking will help you find people to date who like to do the things you like to do, who want to learn the things you’re interested in learning. From there you can find the one who makes you laugh and whose hand you want to hold for the rest of your life.
We want instant answers these days–and this is not a situation where that’s a good idea.