There were more than 40 million Americans over 65 in 2011, according to the U. Administration on Aging, an 18% increase from 2000.The administration also reported the number of Americans age 45-64 rose by 33% from 2000-2011.One day, however — trust me on this — the will to live fully again, and even experience companionship, will arise. It’s hard to throw yourself back in the dating game after 30, 40 years or more. I tell those I counsel to look at it this way: Cherish your old relationship, but don’t let it sabotage your prospects of forging a new one. More than merely a widow or widower, you are a person with opinions, hobbies, preferences, accomplishments, social values, political views and a unique way of looking at the world.But the pointers I offer below can help ease your pre-game jitters. And if your feelings of guilt persist, see a counselor; you’ll want to resolve these thoughts before attempting to date again. As you think about how to present your authentic self, be selective about which of those attributes you share right away and which are best kept private until you get to know a new person better. Take some time to think about the type of new bond you’d like to establish.
Learn more about today’s matchmakers for senior citizens.Many of the difficulties that we face when approaching love are based on expectations that love ought to be the same as it was during middle-age.Instead, it is important for older people to define new and authentic modes of intimacy and sexuality, so knowing where to find potential partners is important, and is, interestingly, more accessible than ever before for today’s aging population.Even when expected, the death of a partner is a shocking heartbreak.Weathering the waves of sadness — and building a new life without your mate — may pose the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced. Your partner would want you to be happy again, so banish the notion that you are somehow “betraying” him or her by seeing someone new.(Some higher-end department stores offer this service free of charge.) Or ask a close friend to be brutally honest about what your ideal makeover would include. Countless widows and widowers have met men and women of quality and intelligence online.And whatever exercise you once enjoyed, try to make it part of your daily routine. You’ll have to practice standard “Internet safety” — due diligence, public first meeting and so on — but there’s no reason you can’t use this tool as successfully as romantics much younger than you.For those who don’t have the option or simply don’t want to meet other singles through family and friends, here are the top five ways seniors are finding love in 2017 for those who are seeking friendship, intimacy or love: There’s one notable way in which the dating scene has changed since most seniors were last dating — the Internet.According to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center, 11% of American adults — and 38% of those who were single and looking for a partner — said they used mobile dating apps or online dating sites.In short, grant yourself the freedom to gravitate to a whole new kind of person. Visit a salon or barbershop and ask how you could best update your hairstyle. Everyone’s circle of close friends is necessarily limited, however, so mention your quest even to those you don’t know well.Seek out a clothing consultant or personal shopper — someone who can advise you on a flattering look and help you pick out items to achieve it. Research shows that many opportunities come through our “weak ties,” or people we know largely in passing: hairdresser, chiropractor, a neighbor’s visiting sister—even your seatmate on a flight! Most well-known dating sites have a large contingent of “seekers” in their 50s, 60s and 70s (and some in their 80s and even 90s), and several reputable sites are now completely free.