Q: I am almost 65 years old and have never been married. My longest relationship lasted 10 months, right after I turned 40. Since then, I’ve done some online dating, and like the prospect of finding a partner. But I’m wondering if it’s possible to find a long-term relationship at this stage of life? (You should also know that I’ve had five years of therapy that has made a huge difference in my life, and that my two sisters have similar histories.)
Dr. Pepper Schwartz: It’s hard to know what is going on here – your story is unusual but not unique. There are many women who have had issues about relationships, or had timing that was all wrong, or had too long a list of what made someone right for them – and never made a long connection with anyone. But it ain’t over till it’s over, and I think it’s great that you’ve been dating – and also that you put a serious investment of time and money into therapy. Who knows when something pays off, but all any of us can do is try.
I would have to know you better to give you even close to reasonable advice, but I could make a guess that since your sisters have had similar romantic histories, there was something in your family that made it hard for you to connect to someone and maintain that relationship.
I would say to continue to do what you are doing – go out and meet people, but perhaps add activities to your dating menu: Join clubs, singles trips, help a campaign, etc. Meet men as friends, and get to know them long enough so you can accept their flaws if you stay long enough to see their good points – and they can do the same with you. Create friendships and then see if they can become more romantic. You might put more fun in your life and meet people in a new way.
Photo by Jamelah E.
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