How To Start Again
By Genie Joseph, M.A.
“The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love."
These are the words of W. Somerset Maugham, and they are as true today as the day he said them.
Some older people have the idea that love is for the young, so they don’t consider senior dating. While the young certainly deserve it, so do the young at heart. And how do you stay young at heart? I believe that love is a muscle. It is not just something that “happens to you." It is something you need to make happen. Daily!
Love is not just something you do once, and then assume it will last, like a delicate orchid, it needs just the right nurturing. No matter what age you are, it is a good time to start dating again! Get started with senior dating.
The Love Muscle – it’s not what you think…
We have clients who wouldn’t think twice about going to the gym to keep their muscles toned, but are surprised when we tell them that their “love muscle" needs exercise. It needs to be used if it is not going to be lost. It revives very quickly even if it hasn’t been active in a long time.
“But I don’t have anyone to love," Mary, one of our clients, in her seventies, said. When we talked to her about senior dating. Certainly it is easier if you have someone loveable to practice on, but there is plenty of “love potential" all around you. Make a list of things you love, everything from people, food, things, places, activities, and spend five minutes a day doing something you love. This is an important exercise because it gets your focus on love. It triggers the brain to release chemistry that makes you more open to loving feelings.
Mary made a list of all the things she loved. The top of her list was animals, and she no longer had any pets. I encouraged her to volunteer at a local animal shelter. She started doing two afternoons a week, and was very appreciated there. She added a third day and then a fourth. She started feeling happier, and began putting more attention on her body and health. It was having a cascade effect of happy feelings that showed in her face and her smile.
One day, Tom, a dapper gentleman, came in to adopt a dog, and she helped him choose the perfect mutt, one she herself loved. He loved her enthusiasm for the dog, and said, “I hate to separate you two, maybe you could come over for tea sometime." And the rest is history! They are talking about a honeymoon in Las Vegas. This is just one example of how senior dating can work - how it’s never too late to love.
How much of your day is spent doing things you don’t love? If the vast majority of your time is spent in non-loving ways, you need a change. You either need to change your priorities, or change your attitude. Just to be safe, maybe change a little of both.
“But I hate my job," Sam said. “I don’t feel appreciated, and I feel like I’m just going through the motions."
“Is there anything about the job that you love?" I asked.
At first he said there was nothing about it he loved, but I pressed him to take another look. He was actually able to come up with a few things, “I love the view out my window, I love the fact that for the most part I am left alone. And I love the fact that I don’t have to go on job interviews because I already have a job."
It was a start. It was a place where Sam could switch his perspective from what he hated about his job, to what he loved. In the long run, he may decide to look for something that is a better fit, but in the meantime he can switch his focus to whatever it is he can find that he does like about it.
Three weeks after he made this mental switch, his work performance improved, because he wasn’t fighting being there. He had more energy to devote to the tasks at hand, instead of being in resistance to it. His boss called him in to ask him how he was feeling about the job. Sam wondered if he was going to be shown the door, but he was genuinely able to give his boss a positive report. Instead of being fired, his boss gave him a raise.
“I want people with good attitudes to stick around," his boss said.
Spending some time, even five minutes a day, focused on what you love gives your love muscle a workout. It tones you up and magnetizes more positive experiences to you. There is a law of attraction, that what you focus on, you get more of. So why not focus on love?
Focusing on what you love puts that spring back in your step. It reminds you to direct your energy towards what is good, and helps you to recognize a potential opportunity for connection with another. Love, like any emotion, is contagious, to yourself and another person. Use someone or something you love to help you generate feelings of love, and the readiness to love to help motivate you to take senior dating action!
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it yourself. For the next thirty days spend at least five minutes focusing on whatever or whomever you love. It will strengthen your love muscle. You are never too late or too old to love! You deserve it! It is your turn, and miracles happen whenever there is more love.
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