Ask Natalie

Over 60, She’s Dejected by Dating

DEAR NATALIE: I read your column about the man who wants to find love again in his 60s. I'm a woman in my late 60s who has struggled to find anyone to date. Everyone is already in relationships, young enough to be my grandson, or just plain miserable. Is it crazy to think that it may be easier for men to date than it is for women of a similar age? I feel alive and want to share experiences with someone but have been so dejected by dating that I don't even bother. I feel depressed. Does an older woman have any chance of finding love again, or should I just stop dreaming? -- LOVE SICK

DEAR LOVE SICK: I absolutely believe in love, and I absolutely believe that you can find happiness at any age. Our youth-obsessed culture does favor men when it comes to dating. Women seem to have a narrowing window in which they are allowed to feel sexy and attractive as they get older. But that's nonsense. You cannot let those negative stereotypes about what women "should" be at any age fill your head.

If you want to find a partner, or just a new friend, you have to believe that you deserve it. Then, start speaking what you want. Ask your friends if they know anyone single, get out of the house and do things that make you happy, and while you are looking for a companion, have fun dating yourself. Go to a movie solo, take yourself to dinner, read a book in the park. Once you release the fear of being alone and recognize that you don't need someone to fill the time, you may just start finding that letting go of expectations is not the same as letting go of dreams. In life possibility abounds. We are the ones who put limitations on ourselves.

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Are you over-scheduling yourself? Think of what your intent is with every meeting. If you cannot state in a sentence to yourself why you are meeting with someone, then you need to re-evaluate your process of networking and recognize that saying yes without intention may fill your time, but won't necessarily improve your situation.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to nbencivenga@post-gazette.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

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