Ask Beatty: Finding Love Later in Life

finding love can be a challenge at any age
finding love can be a challenge at any age
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Dear Beatty,

I am a 65-year-old never-married, attractive, professional woman and CEO of a major national company. I have social and business connections all over the world and am fortunate to have an apartment in New York City and homes in the Hamptons, the South of France and Palm Beach. Although I have been very successful professionally and financially, I have yet to be able to find a healthy, happy, long-term relationship.

I recently sold my company and now have a lot of time to contemplate the next chapter of my life. The truth is I’m really lonely. Although I do have a strong support group of women, when I come home at night to my empty apartment or house, I realize that what I am really longing for at this stage of my life is a loving relationship. Someone to share my life with, someone who I really love and who loves and cares about me. I think that my friends and even my family might be surprised to hear me express these kinds of feelings, since people are used to seeing me as this confident, highly successful, independent woman who has lived her life on her own terms — not needing a man to be happy.

I have been razor focused over all these years on building my business. Personal dating/romantic relationships were not a priority for me. Although I have had a few meaningful relationships over the years, nothing ever lasted. Perhaps it was my choices. Or perhaps I was simply too consumed with my business successes and the bottom line. I recently have tried to meet men on a number of dating sites. However, to date, I have yet to have any success.

I was wondering if you have any ideas that might be helpful or do you think that I should just enjoy my successes and friends and forget about finding love at this stage of my life? –Samantha

Dear Samantha,

I completely understand your desire to find love and truly empathize with your feelings of loneliness. As we all know deep down, houses, material baubles and money are not substitutes for love and connection. I really don’t feel that you are too old or that it’s too late to find a partner. Many friends and patients of mine have found love at later stages in life. So why not you?

I do feel that it’s important to take an honest look at your relationship history. Who were the men that you were involved with? What were they like? Did you only date highly successful men like yourself? Did you or would you consider meeting and dating men who were not as successful or as wealthy as you? Why do you think that your past relationships didn’t work out? Was there a pattern that you can identify? Were the men unavailable in a variety of ways? Were you perhaps unavailable emotionally, physically or sexually?

This kind of initial self-assessment is a good first step to begin to understand your past. How do you presently go about meeting men? Do you belong to any nonprofit or political organizations? Do you belong to a church or synagogue? Have you thought about volunteering? Are you interested in taking up a new hobby? Do you belong to a gym? Have you thought about going to a matchmaker?

Even though these days people are increasingly meeting and working from home, there is still a world outside of our living spaces to be explored. Are you in a good place emotionally and psychologically? Have you kept yourself in good physical shape? Do you mostly like what you see when you look in the mirror? How do you project and what do you think that you project to the world?

I once treated a patient who, like yourself, was looking for love. I suggested that she ask her friends how they felt that she came across when she was out socially. To her astonishment, they told her that her demeanor communicated a message to stay away. This feedback was a game changer.

I would suggest taking some time to ponder these questions. Your answers may help you to figure out what your next step(s), your game plan in searching for love, might be. Please let me know if I can be helpful in any way.

Beatty

Beatty Cohan, MSW, LCSW, AASECT is a nationally recognized psychotherapist, sex therapist, author of For Better for Worse Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love, columnist, national speaker, national radio and television expert guest and host of the weekly Ask Beatty Show on the Progressive Radio Network.  She has a private practice in New York City and East Hampton. Beatty would love to hear from you. You can email your questions and comments to her at  [email protected]. For more information, go to BeattyCohan.com.  

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