Dating and engaging in a sexual relationship with someone new can be scary at any age, but some women say it's even more so when you are over 50! Sexologist Pepper Schwartz talks with Gayle about her experiences in her late 50s as a single woman on the dating scene. She also offers advice from her book Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love and the Sensual Years.
Pepper says after she and her husband of 23 years divorced, she found love and a healthy sex life by dating men she met online. She says that getting back into the dating scene and finding a loving and sexual relationship was necessary. "I think it is a gift we have been given in life—to have a heart, to have sexual emotions, to have physical joy," she says. "And I want to tell people that they can have this."
Pepper shares advice for single women over 50 who want to date:
Don't be afraid of online dating! It is a great way to meet men and start a romance, Pepper says.
Be open to a variety of potential suitors. "What I think women do is they give themselves such narrow boundaries that there isn't anyone left," she says.
Take care of your appearance. You never know when you might meet someone new, so always look your best.
Believe in yourself. "If I think I am valuable and I think I am sexy, somebody out there is going to think so, too," Pepper says.
Be ready to face rejection. "If you are going to date, you have to imagine that not everyone is going to want you," Pepper says.
Not every relationship has to be a long-term affair. Pepper says sometimes a caring, short-term, sexual relationship is all you need. "You can enjoy it for what it is, and if it doesn't last forever, you never thought it would and it doesn't break your heart," she says.
Remember, at this age, you are not looking for someone to father your children. "So, I look for somebody that is giving me care and love and attention and sexual pleasure, which is important to me," she says.
If your heart gets broken, Pepper says it likely won't hurt as badly as it did when you were younger. "I think it hurts less," she says. "I think I am much more comfortable with who I am and value myself—when I was young [a breakup] destroyed me totally."
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 12, 2013