You never thought about how this could happen to you, but you find yourself at midlife and alone. You realize that you have two choices: you can conclude that your life is virtually over since things have changed or you can create a new life for yourself that respects the past but is wide open with possibilities. You are ready to move on and want to recapture the joys of having a partner again. Then you realize it. You are a bit afraid to move on. You must conquer the fear factor involved in midlife dating.
Make no mistake about it. If you have been out of circulation for 10, 20, 30, 40 years, things have changed in the world – and in the world of dating. Aside from the hesitation you may have about pursuing a new relationship, there are other legitimate concerns you must be aware of around the corner and online. If you are ready to date, none of the concerns are deal breakers, but some degree of caution is in order. We will consider some of your “fears” over the course of the next few blogs.
Many of your concerns are “in your head.” They are real issues you need to work through, but once you get past the fears, you are ready to move on.
What are the emotional fear factors you might need to overcome?
Fear of trusting another. The older you get, the more you’ve lived, the more you realize that trust does not come easily. Were you married to your high school sweetheart, who knew you from the time you were 14? You may wonder how anyone else could understand you like that person did. Maybe you were in a relationship that was abusive or hurtful, so you fear that history might repeat itself. Even if you were in a garden-variety relationship that died of boredom or the classic “irreconcilable differences,” how do you prevent that from happening again?
All of these things are legitimate concerns best addressed by taking things slowly. No relationship comes with guarantees. If you don’t rush things, you should get some signs about the person that will either make you feel willing to start trusting them or make you run like the wind.
If you think back, you did not trade your trust for “hello” when you first met your former significant other. Your trust developed along with your relationship. Even if a former relationship took a bad twist, you probably did not see that coming in the early days. Trust (or even a good reason to distrust) takes time.
Fear of trusting again is a major fear factor in midlife dating. Follow my blog for other “fear factors” that can stand in the way when you want to move on.