How to Find Love After 50

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Author Francine Russo shares great tips on how to find love after 50. You’ll gain new insights and more hope after listening to this episode!

Francine Russo is the author of Love after 50 and They’re Your Parents, Too! Armed with a PhD in English literature, she became a journalist focusing on psychology, relationships and social trends. Having cut her teeth at the Village Voice, she’s gone on to write for virtually every publication from the Atlantic to The New York Times. She covered the Boomer beat at Time magazine for over a decade, and her cover stories have appeared on Parade, Scientific American and New York Magazine. 

In this episode of Last First Date Radio:

  • How Francine found love again after being widowed twice
  • How to stay hopeful when you’re searching for love after 50
  • The biggest challenges to dating at this age
  • What it means to do the ‘headword’ before dating
  • How to get a reality check in dating
  • Different ways people make love work at this stage in life
  • How to reframe rejection
  • How to make sex work well later in life
  • And more!

How to Find Love After 50 With Francine Russo

Tell us your story of finding love later in life.

I was unlucky enough to be widowed twice. But, I was lucky enough to find love three times.

In my first marriage, there were a lot of issues. In the next ten years, I learned a lot. I healed after dating the wrong people. Over time, I learned from my mistakes and grew a lot. I stopped being so needy and desperate. I rediscovered my childhood love of cycling, which made me feel great. I was okay alone.

What are some of the biggest challenges to finding love after 50?

The biggest challenge is being inflexible, thinking you can only be with a certain type of person. There are really more opportunities rather than challenges, as we know who we are and what we want. We know what’s important.

Having a bad attitude or limiting beliefs can put blinders over you. People need to be realistic. Also, don’t live in fantasy. Be open and hopeful, and be resilient. You will have many, many first dates. Be realistic about love taking time.

You say ‘do the headwork’ before dating. Can you explain what that means?

In the book, I talk about how to be okay alone, and how to make yourself a more interesting and self-sufficient person. This is what helps you find love after 50!

How can you determine which emotional traits to look for in a partner?

List the negative and positive traits in your ex. Look for the positive traits in the next partner. Some of the traits people look for are a lot of physical contact, and others look for more independence. It’s very personal. 

Explain LAT, or living apart together.

Research has shown that people who live apart but are together are just as happy as other couples. It’s about what works for you. If you have different lifestyles, and living together wouldn’t work, this could be a great option.

You have a chapter on dating as a ‘realist’. What do you mean by that?

Get rid of all your nice-to-haves, and focus on your must-haves. Be open about long distance dating, and broaden who’s appropriate. If ‘likes to travel, athletic, income level’ are on your list, date outside of that list. Focus on the traits that are most important.

What about sex after 50?

You both know what older bodies look like. If you turn the lights down low, you will enjoy each other more. Sex is not only about intercourse at this stage in life. Be open about exploring and communicating. You might be pleasantly surprised at the new types of pleasure you can experience.

How can you weather the ups and downs of dating, including what you see as rejection?

Redefine rejection, especially online. There are so many reasons someone isn’t interested in a second date with you. Make a list of what it could be. 1. He was dating someone else and decided to be exclusive. 2. He only likes cold women. 3. There was a crisis at work. It could be anything. And it could be something you’re doing, and in that case, get support. 

What are your final words of advice for anyone who wants to go on their last first date?

Go into dating feeling open and hopeful and willing to take a chance. You’ll have many first dates. Feel free to take a break when you need one. Keep trying, don’t blame yourself, and the more you grow personally, the more likely you’ll be to find a partner.

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