Starting to date again in your 50s, apart from possibly feeling daunting, is quite different to dating three decades earlier. Most of us probably wouldn't say that it was part of our life plan to find ourselves back in the dating game and you might be feeling pretty vulnerable but we have 3 tips that can help you find love again.
Former punk rocker Viv Albertine's shares with readers of her new book due out this month her experience of dating again in her 50s after her marriage ended in 2010. She explains how when she found herself looking for love again, she wasn't prepared for the new-look singles landscape. First off, you have to retrain your eyes and brain to find older men attractive! In our own eyes we might be a good deal younger than we really are, and it's just not going to work comparing everyone to those we were dating in our twenties or thirties.
Our advice is to approach dating differently to how you did when you were in your 20s and early 30s.
Tip #1 Don't judge only on looks
However youthful and in-shape you feel, potential partners are going to look older than when you were last dating. It's important to be ok with who you are today and to lose the old vision of yourself. Don't judge just on looks, work out what's important to you as it's shared values that will make for a strong relationship. Isn't it better to look for a partner who will be a great lover and friend, someone to make you laugh and to be there for you through the ups and downs of life? Look for three things you like about them - maybe their smile, the way they talk about their children, their attitude - it will keep you open to someone who you might not consider to be "your type".
Tip #2 Love or lust?
Falling in love is fantastic, amazing chemistry and you can feel like you're on cloud nine, but those rose-tinted glasses can make your new lover seem perfect for you, as if the two of you were always meant to be together. But... it's so important that you like each other too. However sexy and wonderful chemistry is, if you're looking for a long-term partner you want someone who you can communicate with, someone who will be with you through thick and thin, and someone who you actually like and know will be there for you.
Tip #3 Don't have a negative attitude
So many single people tell themselves there's no-one out there for them, or that they're just too busy to fit someone new into their life. Take control of your love life as you do the rest of your life, be kind to yourself and avoid spending time with negative people. Choose instead to surround yourself with fun-loving, positive people who make you feel good. That good old Law of Attraction! You are never too old to fall in love and it is definitely possible to find love after 50.
To read The Times' exclusive extract from Viv Albertine's new book To Throw Away Unopened, click here