Relationships don’t last forever and death, divorce or separation are challenges that many people have to manage during their lives. While they might not have expected to be single again in their 50s or 60s, it does happen to a lot of people. For many, this situation involves having to make the choice of staying single or getting back into the dating game after your previous relationship has ended.
It’s not a decision to be made lightly as there is a range of emotional and financial issues you should consider. You can suffer as much emotional pain at 58 as you did at 18 and a failed relationship at this stage of life has the potential to be financially painful as well.
With that rather depressing warning hopefully considered, if you decide that you’d like to try dating again, it’s probably a good idea to think about the following points before you start.
Can you leave past relationships in the past?
It’s important to grieve after a relationship has ended. You may go through the stages of shock, denial, anger and sadness. It’s only when you reach the stage of acceptance that you are ready to start dating again.
Have you learnt some valuable lessons?
Can you identify what was good about your past relationships? Can you identify what was not so good about your past relationships? Have you identified what are the warning signs/ danger signals?
Do you trust your instincts?
When you feel uncomfortable or have nagging doubts about a situation or person will you have the confidence to ask questions and clarify? Can you set clear boundaries?
Do you know what qualities are important to you in a partner?
What do you value: honesty, trust, independence, reliability, affection, outgoing personality? Think about what’s really important and what’s not.
Do you have balance in your life?
Do you have a good mix: friends, work, and family, hobbies, interests, exercise and community involvement? Don’t go looking for a crutch.
Do you have a positive outlook?
Are you grateful for the good things in your life? Do you feel optimistic about life in general? Are you ready for new experiences? Can you live in the moment and not dwell on the past or project too far into the future?
If your answers to these questions make you feel pretty confident, then you’re probably ready to start dating again.
All of these issues are covered in more detail in our book “A Holistic Guide to a Happy Retirement”.
It’s available on this web site.