Falling in love after 50 is really really surprising to men and women. How I know this is, I’ve gotten countless emails from readers who are getting divorced and they write that a huge fear for them is that they will never find love again.
Then, the same people email me 6 months or a year or 2 years later and tell me they have fallen madly in love. I swear, I could write a book. It’s that predictable! (in a wonderful way) I also personally experienced love after divorce and can express my feelings on what it is like to fall in love after 50.
While 50 sounds really old to someone who is in their twenties and even thirties (at least it did to me when I was young), someone who falls in love after 50 feels as young as they did when they fell in love at 16 or 22 or 30. Falling in love at any age feels giddy and heart stopping and scary and all consuming. Let’s be honest. It feels effing great!
What is it like to fall in love after 50?
Here’s my story. At age 49, I found myself facing the end of a six-year relationship. At the time, I was very relieved to be out of a situation that I had felt in my heart for a long time wasn’t right. I felt immense sadness, but my gut spoke to me that I did the right thing.
Although fearful of being single again—this time on the brink of 50, I felt strongly that it was better to be alone than to be with the wrong person.
I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would never again find love, and was actually at peace with it. I had had a romantic wedding and two beautiful kids and thought maybe that was all that was meant to be for me.
I decided that this was a great time in my life to have some fun by engaging in some online dating. I figured I’d go out with a few guys, have some great stories to tell, and post them on Divorced Girl Smiling. Perfect, right?
What I never expected was that shortly after the breakup—before I had even gone on one online date, I would end up going out for dinner with a man I knew from my gym who was recently single. He and I had become friends over the years, and would talk while working out.
It was crazy, but after our second date, I thought, ‘Am I in love?’ It was so totally unexpected, but the new relationship had all the components one needs/wants for love: respect, trust, likability, attraction, chemistry and a lot of laughter. I felt like he just got me, and there was something about this whole thing that felt very very right. Over 7 years later, those same components are not only there, but they are stronger.
What it is like to fall in love after 50 truly is wonderful, and here are the reasons why:
1. People over 50 have learned from our mistakes and are putting our best selves forward.
2. We don’t have unrealistic expectations or get easily disappointed. We have nothing to lose.
3. We are more open-minded and less judgmental.
4. We aren’t looking for a husband/wife. We just want to love and be loved.
5. We are willing to be more vulnerable, therefore making the relationship deeper and more meaningful.
6. We are more self-confident and care less about what the other person thinks. We therefore show our true selves in the relationship.
7. We have gratitude for the relationship, respect it, value it and make it a priority.
I’m not going to say that love under 50 can’t be good. I know many, many people over 50 who say they had many fulfilling relationships in their younger years (which includes marriage for some). But I think falling in love after 50 tends to offer a connection that can be the best love yet.
When you fall in love after 50, it’s like you’re taking everything you’ve learned in life and pouring your best self into your new love. And he or she is doing the same right back. The ingredients that make falling in love over 50 truly wonderful are: self-awareness, maturity, vulnerability, authenticity and appreciation for every day.
If someone asked me, “How do you know if he/she’s the one?” here is my answer. When it’s right, you like everything about yourself and how you are—both when you are together and apart. The person brings out the best in you. The person makes you laugh. You’re not afraid to be yourself with the person. You will do anything for the person—not just say you’ll do anything, really mean it. And that advice goes not just for those falling in love after 50, but for anyone at any age.
So, if you are over 50 and you’ve kind of given up on love because you feel too old or jaded or scared to get hurt, think again. If you’re willing to take everything you’ve learned, have confidence and be your authentic self, keep an open mind, and forget any expectations except for living for today, over 50 might just turn out to be the best years for your love life!