In Consultation

In Consultation

Dating at Midlife

By Alexandra Solomon

May/June 2020

Q: I’m seeing more and more clients who want to date again after a divorce in midlife. Like them, I’ve been out of the dating scene for decades. How can I help them?

A: It’s understandable how our once-married clients who find themselves single again in midlife might feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle—as if they’d fallen asleep only to wake up in a wildly different time and place. Navigating the brave new world of online dating is challenging enough, but what can be harder is tolerating the risk of opening up again, particularly given the fast-paced way relationships tend to start and end these days.

My 46-year-old client Layla came to therapy several months after her divorce. She was proud of how she and her ex-husband had ended their marriage and were coparenting their teenage sons, but she felt ambivalent about the idea of dating again. She’d downloaded a dating app but was too nervous to create a profile. The prospect seemed exhilarating, utterly frightening, and entirely disorienting, all at the same time. In sessions, she’d talk about her longing for connection, companionship, and touch, but then she’d quickly move into a self-critical stance, saying things like, “That sounds too needy; I should be able to stand on my own two feet,” or “I need to just focus on my kids and my…

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1 Comment

Monday, July 6, 2020 11:45:17 AM | posted by The Mama
It is sensitive that our adult children will be impacted by whomever we bring into our circles. Some who have experienced death of a parent may be hyper-protective of the surviving parent. What's the best way to navigate that? --The Mama