I went for a check-up at my doctor’s office recently. She asked me, in the course of conversation, why I had waited so long to have children. When I told her that I hadn’t met my husband until I was 36, she breathed a sigh of relief and said “so there’s hope for me?”
I hear this sentiment all the time. Especially from women “of a certain age.” That fear that it’s too late or that “all the good ones are taken.” All your friends/co-workers/family members etc. who are dating, getting engaged, getting married, and having children are evidence that this is not the case. So what are they doing that you’re not? Here are some tips for finding the right partner for you after 35:
- Give dating a chance! If you’re not dating at all, you’re not going to meet someone. Period. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people who “really want to get married someday” are not doing any dating. Netflix loves you, but not “like that.”
- Go on a million dates. Ok, so maybe not a million, but don’t go out once, have a meh date and then give up. You might have to go out with 15 different people before you meet the right one. Sometimes it’s just a numbers game. Online dating gives you access to lots of different people and makes it easy to connect with them.
- Don’t go out with the same person a million times. Take a look at the people you’re dating. Do they have problematic qualities in common? A friend of mine kept dating guys who were going to be really successful musicians someday. I remember her saying that this was really attractive when she was 22. Not so much at 42 (not for her at least). These qualities differ for everyone. Sometimes they are a little less obvious. Do you keep dating people who can't commit? Or who make you feel bad about yourself? Become a dating detective and sniff out where you are getting stuck.
- Be willing to try something new. The 20-something ways of meeting people are less realistic after you “grow up.” Clubbing until 1am tends to be less fun when your hangovers last two weeks. Try online dating. Try a new yoga class or gym. Another friend of mine met her partner at a cooking class.
- Do things for you! Yes, you have to put yourself “out there” to meet someone, but don’t forget to enjoy your life. Don’t focus so much on meeting “the one” that you forget that YOU are “the one!” Your relationship with yourself is the one that matters the most (and a healthy one will only make you more attractive to others).
- Talk to a therapist (of course I would say this - nudge) if you feel like you have some issues that are creating stumbling blocks. We all have them. A good therapist can help you work through them and figure out where you’re getting stuck.