NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

April 5, 2013

Boomer Talk: The Dating Game

Boomer Talk
Angelena Craig

---- — It is springtime and your thoughts may turn to “love,” especially if you are a single person and wanting, hoping for something or someone new.

Many Boomers and those beyond are looking for a mate or at least someone to date — maybe for the second or third time. But now, in this more evolved phase of our lives, dating may feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. It’s not like the old days when you could ask your friends to “fix you up.” Back then your life probably revolved around others your own age who were equally single and wanting to hook up. When we move up in age, many of our friends are already in marriages so it can be much more challenging, and even hard work, to find someone new.

My friend, Camille, typical of many women I know, tells me, “I’ve given up on ever finding a man I could fall in love with. I’ve left that part of my life behind; I’d rather devote my time to friends and children and grandkids.”

I respond to this by saying, “So, no more romance in your life? No more experiencing that fluttery, exalted feeling when you do meet someone you like a lot and want to be close with. Is that possibility over and done with?”

I could see her wavering a little at this suggestion. I took a risk and added, “And what about physical intimacy, loving touch, and you know, sex?”

“What about it? I just don’t care all that much to get involved and close to anyone ever again. I can live without it.”

Yes, we probably can live without it. However the medical experts tell us staying sexual is an important ingredient in keeping the body healthy and thus promoting longevity. There seems to be agreement that being sexually active, no matter what the age, is a really good thing for body, mind and spirit.

Aside from the possibility of renewing physical touch, there are other reasons to put yourself out there, hoping to meet a mate, or at least try a date. Companionship seems to be a strong argument for conducting an active mate search.

Of course, many find substitutes for company by developing important relationships with their beloved animals. While it is true there are far few complications and little drama with an affectionate cat or a loyal dog, there is still a definite advantage in having a good friend who is human and available to accompany you, sharing time and interests, someone you can lean on little. Having a partner can bring more emotional (and sometimes financial) security.

Being intimately connected to another may give a sense of belonging, knowing you are of primary importance to them; therefore, they are in your corner as a support, and more.

Is it idealistic to have these desires at our advancing age? Like any other game you want to win, dating does have its perils and sometimes bad, regrettable choices are made. Still it is good to recall that old adage, “No pain, no gain” when moving through this dating process.

So how do you find a soul mate?

It is often suggested to set the intention of what you are hoping for, write it down and think about it (but don’t let your desire consume you). If fate is on your side you could meet your future mate anywhere, like at the supermarket, especially if you are an extrovert and can easily strike up a conversation with someone you find attractive. Or, you can meet someone of worth at a bar, a place where many available singles can be found. You can definitely meet someone online, but be wary of the “game players” who are in it for unsavory reasons.

Internet “meet-ups” are a great way to be introduced to new people. You can easily join one or more established groups. When you follow your own interests, you are more than likely to meet others with things in common. There are many types of “meet-ups” specifically for singles. They range in all sorts of categories from dining out or hiking to dog play groups. Or, you have the option to start a new “meet-up” yourself.

One thing you can pretty much count on: no new and potential mate will be walking uninvited through your door looking for you. Therefore, you might ask yourself, are you someone who wants to end their single status? If so, are you willing to take a risk and go outside of yourself, and beyond your normal comfort level?

It is finally springtime; a time to unfold, open, bloom.

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Angelena Craig of Newburyport is the director of The New Aging Movement and a professional-level yoga instructor. Visit her website at www.thenewagingmovement.com or e-mail angelenayoga@verizon.net.