After 40 dating tips

After seeking the same sort of partner for years, it can be difficult to tell if we are attracted to someone for the right or wrong reasons.

One helpful approach is to enlist the help of friends.

Try taking your friends' advice on who you should date.

If you're looking into online dating, try going out with someone your friend suggests.

A 2003 AARP survey of 3,501 single men and women aged 40-69 showed that 63 percent were dating.

We can resist falling into a relationship based on form or familiar dynamics, choosing a real connection over what my father psychologist and author Robert Firestone refers to as a fantasy bond, an illusion of fusion in which two people seek a feeling of safety and familiarity by choosing people who fit with old identities.

An important concept to keep in mind when dating is that we aren't always attracted for the right reasons.

Relationships tend to fail when we seek out and pair up with people whose defenses and negative characteristics perfectly complement our own.

And a generation that refuses to take on the stigmas of old age and give up vital aspects of themselves in the process? One of the worst of these stigmas is that a person can be "too old to fall in love." The 2009 census showed that of the 96 million Americans who are single, 17 percent of them are over 65.

Imagine these 16.2 million people writing off the possibility of spending the rest of their days with someone they love.

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