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Returning to the Dating Scene

Don’t let fear prevent you from finding love again in midlife.
By Constance Matthiessen
WebMD Feature

Whether you're bouncing back after a divorce, or recovering from the death of your life partner, returning to the dating scene is never easy.

Indeed, from the challenge of meeting someone new, to wondering if he'll call again, to those inevitable questions about sex and intimacy, the prospect of getting back in the groove can seem downright daunting.

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The important thing to remember, however, is that almost every woman shares at least some of that same anxiety. Moreover, if you do want to start dating again, you won't have to look far to find companionship!

According to the online dating company, Match.com, baby boomers are its fastest-growing group of members. Indeed, many in this age group are divorced, single, or widowed, and now find themselves back out on the dating scene for the first time in years.

Now, if you have a happy and fulfilling life without dating, you shouldn't feel pressured into a social scene that's not right for you. At the same time, if you're craving adult companionship and maybe even a little romance, don't be shy about filling those needs -- and the dating world is an excellent place to start!

To help you along the way, WebMD offers these tips from the experts on how to get started.

Adult Dating: Taking the Plunge

You've decided you want to try dating -- now what? How do you meet eligible people? Should you try online dating or do it the old-fashioned way, finding dates through friends and acquaintances?

San Francisco psychologist Jonathan Rosenfeld points out that dating is a numbers game: You're probably going to have to meet a lot of people before you find someone you really like. "If you are a busy adult with work you're committed to, and children at home, then you have to make dating efficient," Rosenfeld says. "And there is no more efficient vehicle than the Internet."

"Remember that you are looking for a good fit, not validation," Rosenfeld continues. "Many people make the mistake of putting out a generic profile that will attract a lot of people. But if you do that, you're going to attract a lot of people who aren't a good fit, and that can be exhausting - and demoralizing."

Instead, says Rosenfeld, when you are creating your online profile, "Avoid generic likes and dislikes, like walking on the beach," he says. "Don't be strident or negative, but don't hesitate to state strong beliefs. Don't be shy about saying who you are. You may get fewer responses, but you're likely to be more compatible with the people who respond."

Whether you're dating online or not, it can't hurt to also let friends, family members, and acquaintances know that you're available and want to meet people. There is no guarantee that you are going to like your sister-in-law's newly divorced first cousin, of course, but the connection ensures that your date is not a complete unknown.

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