You might think dating after age 50 is hopeless, but new findings suggest that couldn’t be further from the truth. According to a survey of 2,000 singles — half who were ages 21 to 49, and half who were over age 50 — in November 2016, 72 percent in the older group reported being open to finding love in the future. And when it comes to sex, half in that group agreed the biggest misconception they face is they’re not interested in sex.
“It’s evident that people are feeling younger, longer,” Dr. Robi Ludwig, relationship expert, author of “Your Best Age is Now,” and spokeswoman for OurTime, the dating site that conducted the survey, told Fox News.
So, is 50 the new 20? Not quite, Ludwig said. But here are six other myths and truths about dating in midlife.
Myth: In midlife, people aren’t interested in sex.
Truth: Everybody is interested in sex. “This [myth] definitely is not the case according to 50 percent of them, which is a good thing because having sex-positive attitudes and having a satisfying sex life is one of the most important ways we can continue to feel young,” Ludwig said. Sex doesn’t even have to come with a relationship. “Many 50-and-over-singles are open to having a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship and even dating multiple people at a time.”
Myth: People 50 and older have too much “baggage.”
Truth: What some consider “baggage" — like children or divorce — others may consider a package deal or simply rich life experience. “All of our experiences help us to see life through a more multi-dimensional lens. These experiences are often assets, not limitations, that help us to navigate our world from a more empathic and kinder place,” Ludwig said.
Myth: Midlife singles are closed-minded.
Truth: The OurTime survey suggested 63 percent of people over 50 are more confident now than they were in their 20s. And, 25 percent say they have a much better outlook on life. Ludwig says: “Part of this can be explained by the changes that happen in the brain. This change helps mid-lifers to see life through a more optimistic lens. There is a general acceptance of the vicissitudes of life now, as well as the flaws and limitations that exist in all relationships. This has a positive impact on their relationships.”
Myth: Singles age 50 and older aren’t in good health.
Truth: People in their 50s and beyond are feeling younger longer, thanks to the advances of modern science. “In fact, it's taking us all a little bit longer to grow up. Culturally outmoded and ageist ideas are no longer valid or represent the mid-lifers of today,” Ludwig said. While natural changes in one’s health do occur over time — like menopause, impotence, wrinkles — that doesn’t stop 50-plus singles from being open-minded and ready and willing for love.
Myth: People age 50 and older aren’t looking to commit.
Truth: While this age group is open to having casual fun and may just be looking for companionship, there are those that still like the idea of marriage. “The survey shows that almost half of people in their 50s agree that they are still looking and want to get married. They are looking for true, meaningful connections. Being divorced or reaching midlife does not deter them from this goal,” Ludwig said.
Myth: In midlife, singles don’t have standards.
Truth: They may be open minded, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they want. Many 50+ singles have a list of desires and deal breakers. “The majority of daters over 50 admit to being pickier now compared to when they were younger,” Ludwig explained. “One of the biggest turn-ons for this group is optimism. It turns out this is a big aphrodisiac. Popular deal breakers include smoking, pessimism and poor financial affairs.”
Now that we’ve debunked some of the myths associated with dating in midlife, Ludwig advised those looking for love at midlife to stay positive and know that there are people out there looking for someone just like you.
“It's important not to waste another day,” she said. “It's time to get back out there, dive in and see what the universe has in store for you.”