Dating after relationship

Maybe you just stopped believing in the kind of naive love that you can only trust when you're young. Embrace your new reality For every 20-something entering the gay dating scene full of wide-eyed wonder, there's a 50-something (or a 60-, 70- or older-something) man back on the market after a relationship ends. Your next romantic partner will benefit from all of that, and from your passions for the life that's in front of you. Give up trying to be perfect, too, especially if that's a code word for "young." Yes, it's important to take care of your body and your health, but no need to obsess.

But what about the deeper, more mature love that allows for the wide spectrum of experience and truth? One is learning the rules; the other has "been there, dated that" and wonders, "Now what? Instead of trying to be 25 again, get comfortable in your skin. That way, when someone touches you, they'll really feel you, and not a bundle of self-critical tension.

Or you're miserable because there's no prospect on the horizon. Don't settle for anything less than chemistry, shared values/lifestyle/goals, trust, and a growing and abiding friendship.

"Within the gay community, negative stereotypes reinforce the belief that gay relationships are based solely on physical attraction, and that once youth starts to fade, we are unlikely to have any real or lasting relationships," says Rik Isensee, author of Are You Ready? And remember that the most important characteristics — loyalty, humor, intelligence and compassion — are ageless.

If you think you're too old for love or you stopped believing that you can find someone to love who'll love you back, think again. Focus on what you've gained — rich experiences, accomplishments, survivor skills and wisdom.

For example, if you like the outdoors, join a gay hiking or walking group, and meet men while you get fresh air and exercise.

Focus on smaller parties, events centered on hobbies and interests, and volunteer opportunities.

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