Returning to the Dating Scene
Don’t let fear prevent you from finding love again in midlife.
Adult Dating: Getting Physical
Assuming you and your date "hit it off," invariably the question of
sex will arise -- sometimes as early as the first date. What's important
to remember here is: It's your timetable. So, don't hesitate to slow things
down if your date is ready, but you are not. There are no "shoulds" when it
comes to dating at midlife and physical intimacy, and you have a right to go at
your own pace.
When the time arrives that you do feel ready, when, how, and where is less
important than basic safety. If you've been out of the dating scene for some
time, you may be unfamiliar with the essentials of safe sex. The message is
simple -- and urgent: Always use a condom. Whether or not pregnancy is a
possibility, you need to make sure you are protected from HIV and other
sexually transmitted diseases.
San Francisco relationship expert and writer Mera Granberg advises women to
carry condoms if there is any chance they will be having sex. "Many women I
talk to are afraid to carry condoms because they don't want their date to think
they are a slut," she says. "But it's your health we're talking about, and you
have to be a grown-up. If your date can't handle the fact that you want
to protect yourself, you probably aren't interested in him anyway."
If your relationship continues -- and it's an exclusive arrangement for both
of you -- unprotected sex might be OK but only after you both get tested for
sexually transmitted diseases -- and wait for reassuring results. Experts warn
not to take risks, no matter how convincing your partner may be. If you're not
certain about any aspect of protection, talk to your doctor, or ask a trusted
and well-informed friend.
Adult Dating: Things to Remember
Although most experts say dating is much like riding a bicycle -- you never
forget how - it also means that a bump in the road can lead to a nasty spill
when you least expect it.
To help ease the transition from newly single to coupling up again, here's
some additional advice that can help.