As soon as you become a divorced Baby Boomer, you get a lot of advice about how to get back into the single life. You hear from friends about how to get your “mojo” back and how to successfully join the dating world. (Or, why you shouldn’t even bother with dating after divorce.)
Unfortunately, much of this advice is misguided, and some of it is just plain wrong. So, in the interest of providing my fellow Baby Boomers with good advice, I have put together a list of the worst dating advice—and the biggest lies told to single Baby Boomers.
1. Dating after divorce is a waste of time because there aren’t any good single men/women in our age group.
Wrong. When I was writing Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet, I wanted to put this myth to rest on page 1. Literally. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 15.7 million divorced Americans between the ages of 40 and 64. Add in those who were never married and who are legally separated and the total is 30.8 million. So, don’t let anyone tell you that there aren’t any good single men or women out there. That’s just nonsense. (After all, you’re now out there, aren’t you? What are you—chopped liver?)
The real truth is there are plenty of fish in the Older Single People Sea. Sure, not all of them are the “catches” you want, but it only takes one great man or one great woman to prove that “there aren’t any good ones left” is a self-limiting myth. My advice? Go fishing.
2. You are a divorced loser.
Really? Just because you didn’t stay married ‘til death intervened you’re a loser? If you believe that, even for a second, you need a serious attitude adjustment. There are a million reasons why people get divorced, but putting all the blame on yourself is not productive—plus it’s just plain wrong.
It’s the 21st century, we really need to get past the “shame” of divorce. You’ve survived a less-than-perfect marriage, and you’ve decided to move on. Use your new singlehood as a launching pad for personal growth and self-improvement. You’re not as young as you once were, but so what? Life experience and age brings wisdom. You’re a whole lot smarter that you used to be. Appreciate all of the good things in your life and move forward.
3. Dating after divorce is really hard—especially when you’re older.
Who says? When you were dating in your 20s, you were clueless. You didn’t know what you wanted in a life partner (except maybe in the “hot body” department). Your bloodstream was surging with so many hormones that you could barely think. You had no money, a crummy job, and online dating hadn’t even been invented yet.
Compared to that, dating now is way easier. You don’t have to rush into anything. Your mother isn’t pressuring you to get married. If you just relax you can enjoy the process of meeting and getting to know new people. You can even search for dates online in the privacy of your own home. Or you could learn something new (photography, painting, chess, cooking) and meet new people. If you’re not careful, this whole middle-aged-dating-after-divorce thing could even be FUN. And you know what happens when you’re having fun? Things get easier—not more difficult.
4. A good relationship is impossible after divorce because of all the old baggage.
Sure, at our age we all have a little “baggage.” We’ve got ex-spouses and some emotional dings and scars. But we also bring many positive elements to a new relationship. We’re seasoned veterans in relationships, and if we’ve been paying attention we now know how to demonstrate love, kindness, compassion, strength, understanding and companionship. Those are the pillars of a great relationship.
Granted, if you carry your old baggage around like trophies to prove what a poor, poor pitiful soul you are and how crummy the world has treated you, you won’t find anyone to love. But if you check your baggage at the door when you show up for a date, you’ll find that your past isn’t going to haunt you—as long as you have your attention on the wonderful future ahead of you.
5. Time is running out—so don’t even bother with another relationship.
Are you kidding me? You’re over 40, 50, 60, or more—so you’re just going to give up? That’s pathetic. History is filled with people who hit their stride late in life. Benjamin Franklin charted the Gulf Stream when he was 63 and signed the Declaration of Independence at age 70. Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book at age 64. Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize at age 69. Grandma Moses didn’t even start painting until she was 76.
You could live another 50 years. You’ve got plenty of time to find someone new, fall in love, and live in relationship bliss into your platinum years. So what are you waiting for? You know what they say—old age isn’t for sissies. So don’t turn into a wimp now. We Boomers are tougher—and smarter—than that.
Read this next: The Keys to a Great Relationship
Chad Stone is the author of the critically acclaimed The Love Magnet Rules," which contains 101 tips for meeting, dating and keeping a new love. He shares his own personal brand of dating and relationship advice on his website at www.chadstone.us. In addition to writing and speaking on love, dating, and relationships, Chad Stone owns a successful marketing and public relations business. He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.