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Senior Dating: Strengths of Mature Singles

Think your accumulating years as a mature single are working against you? Think again.

The playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” He meant that young people have everything going for them—good health, sharp minds, unbridled energy—but they fail to recognize and utilize all of their advantages.

To these thoughts, most mature senior singles would offer a hearty, “Amen!” After all, many people would admit that the dating process gets more complicated and challenging for those who see their youth receding in the rearview mirror. The older people get, the more “out of it” and left behind they feel in the pursuit of romance. “Dating is a young person’s game,” they say, “and that’s probably why I feel benched.”

Not so fast. If you ever start to think your years are stacking the odds against your romantic possibilities, it’s time to review the benefits that being senior bring:

You know yourself better now.
At the heart of wise dating is a clear understanding of who you are. You must know your needs, temperament, strengths and weaknesses before you can select a partner who will complement you. If you try to select Mr. or Miss Right before you figure out your own identity, you may end up with a fine person—but not the best match for you.

You are better equipped to assess potential partners.
How people present themselves often is not an accurate gauge of what’s going on inside. As senior daters, we become more skilled at figuring out what makes others tick. We look for clues about their true character and makeup. We watch for signs of emotional health, spiritual commitment, and sound decision-making.

You have a clearer sense of what matters.
By the time we’re well into adulthood, most of us understand that lasting love hinges on heart-and-soul qualities. Kindness, unselfishness, compassion, joyfulness—these are the qualities that enrich relationships over the long haul. We know that these internal characteristics are far more significant than external factors.

You have clarified your dreams and goals.
Life has a way of issuing us reality checks at regular intervals and making our dreams more realistic. Not that any dating senior should ever stop dreaming, envisioning, and aiming high. But as time goes by, seniors become more focused and clear-eyed. We release many of the things we might like to do and concentrate on what we feel called to do. That’s important because a great marriage includes two people whose goals and dreams overlap. As you have become more selective about the ambitions to pursue, you are better able to evaluate whether your goals complement those of your potential partner.

You have more realistic expectations.
Have you been roughed up by life and relationships? Those experiences, though painful at the time, have an upside: they provide valuable lessons and create a more reasonable, sensible view of love and marriage. Older singles know that any kind of romantic relationship, however wonderful, will have problems to work through. With maturity comes the acknowledgment that life is not a fairy tale or a romance novel. A long-term relationship can be fabulous, but it will never be flawless.

If you cringe at the thought of your years piling up, do yourself a huge favor: tune out the negative messages about age and focus instead on the advantages. Your years on earth have prepared you—now more than ever—for a fulfilling and lasting relationship.