Jan is an award-winning columnist, author, and popular emcee and keynote speaker at senior expos on “Finding Love & Romance at Any Age!”, “Keeping Your Dreams Alive”, and “Healing through Writing”. Her new book, Hot Chocolate for Seniors, recently won both national and international gold seal awards. Jan (center) is pictured here receiving her 2012 Next Generation Indie Gold Medal at ceremonies recently held at The Plaza Hotel, New York City, with Marilyn Allen and Catherine Goulet, co-founders of the event. Hot Chocolate for Seniors is available for purchase at hotchocolateforseniors.com or (909) 793-6419.
This month’s topic: When Family or Friends Say “No” to Your Dating
How wonderful it is when two people find love and romance in their senior years! Such blissful unions bless our world with storybook wonder and yet these stories actually do occur in real life all the time. Just think, Charles came to know Phyllis when he purchased a new townhouse from her three years ago and Marilyn met Hank at an afternoon holiday dance and potluck held at a local senior center. Come to think of it, my good friend Louise met Ed last summer when she lingered to buy a CD from him because she liked his guitar performance at an outdoor concert in the park. Such dreams come true for millions of people every single day, and you could be one of them! I was.
I consider myself very blessed because David and I met each other in a waltz and rumba dance lesson at a senior center nearly five years ago and have been together ever since. So I can honestly report from personal experience that it feels like pure magic when lonely days and empty nights are transformed into full happy rich ones seemingly overnight. In fact, to suddenly have someone special close at hand to talk to, go places with, and to share hopes and dreams for the future with feels like a miraculous life-changing event.
The human need for connection, attention, and affection does not change as we age. As a matter of fact, when it comes to our basic need for love and companionship we are all the same age inside regardless of the number of years which we have lived—a fact which our family and friends may not necessarily recognize and accept, however.
Let’s say you happen to be in your 60s, 70s, or 80s and have decided that life has become dreary and lonely without someone to talk to or go places with, so you begin opening yourself up to the possibility of inviting someone new into your social life. If you plan to share these hopeful intentions with others in casual conversation, please don’t expect family, friends, or neighbors to necessarily support you in your decision to date. They may feel jealous, threatened, or are still grieving the loss of your former mate. I suggest you not argue with them when they don’t see things your way. Remain respectful of their feelings and opinions of course, just don’t compromise your own decisions.
When children or friends raise issues with seniors who date, it may be due to a variety of reasons, including concerns which revolve around selfish motivations. For example, jealous friends may feel possessive of your time and close family members may feel possessive of your money.
The objection of others is only a minor drawback to senior dating, however, because most obstacles can be easily dealt with and overcome. How? Simply by neither arguing over the issues nor compromising your own desires. Respect the viewpoints of others, but don’t feel that you must yield to their wishes.
To have someone to share life experiences with is an ongoing human need. Whether it be the joys of grandparenting or the loss of a friend, we all need someone to talk to about whatever is on our mind. Besides, it’s a blessing to have a special companion to catch a movie with, share a bag of popcorn with at a ballgame, or to stroll next to at Market Night. In addition to which, going out with someone is just plain fun!
Everyone has the desire for love, companionship, friendship, and intimacy. So as long as we trust our instincts and use common sense, why not enjoy ourselves as much as we can? That means not allowing the objections of others to hinder a budding friendship or romantic relationship. Be polite, but stand your ground.
Please bear in mind that men and women meet potential mates everywhere they go, whether it’s the fitness center, a church outing, while serving Meals on Wheels, joining in the fun of a bus excursion, or while tapping your feet in a ballroom dance class at a local senior center. Sometimes a spark of chemistry and a few shared interests are all it takes. Which reminds me… David and I always love to tell others, “We are forever dancing in the direction of our dreams!”
Yes, as I’ve said many times before, if you’ve been blessed to live till now, then your dating life is far from over. May love and joy be yours today and forever!