When it comes to dating, everyone has strong opinions on what’s right and what’s wrong. There are also a lot of dating myths out there that are pretty easy to internalize. It can be super easy to feel discouraged from dating because these myths have convinced us that there’s something wrong with us. But the truth is, most of these myths are completely baseless — and they tend to get a lot worse when their targets are people over 50. Here are 5 of the worst over 50 dating myths that you might think are true (but are totally false):
- People who have kids have more baggage. Completely false. The truth is that we all have baggage, regardless of whether we’re parents. You can’t know how much baggage someone has when you first meet them. There’s no easy way to find out what someone’s “baggage” is — they could have elderly parents they need to care for, or emotional issues they don’t wear on their sleeve. Since we all have baggage, let’s just try to be understanding about each other’s situations. If you’re understanding and respectful, baggage never seems like too much of a burden.
- People over 50 are not as interested in sex. Aging changes certain aspects of our bodies and libidos, but the truth is that sex is just as important now as it was in our 20s. In fact, according to a Gallup survey of the North American Menopause Society, “the majority (51%) of the postmenopausal women surveyed reported being happiest and most fulfilled between the ages of 50 to 65 years.” Younger women didn’t even compare! Only 10% of women in their 20s felt fulfilled, and things barely improved for women in their 30s (17%). The same majority of women who reported feeling more fulfilled said their sexual relationships remained unchanged.
- Men and women dating over 50 are looking for a partner to financially support them. Most people our age are actually looking for a partner at a similar financial level. They’re looking for someone who can carry their own weight and who’s interested in a similar type of lifestyle. They’re not looking for a sugar daddy.
- After 50, people are only dating because they want to marry. This is another one of those over 50 dating myths that’s totally untrue! Where did this even come from?! For those of us who were married before, and we may just now be deciding to get back out there. Some of us are simply looking for companionship and even love, not necessarily a marriage. Studies have shown that over 70% of people aged 50-64 claimed they were in love, with 46% going so far as to say they’re passionately in love. Why wouldn’t everyone want to have that?
- Men don’t desire older women. Men over 50 care a great deal about a woman’s enthusiasm, interests, and enjoyment… and not nearly as much about her appearance. So while you may be afraid that you no longer have the body you had when you were 20, rest easy. You no longer need it.