This post is sponsored, but all thoughts and words are my own.
There you are, tucked up in bed. It’s late at night, you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, and everyone appears incredibly happy and more together than you thought possible.
Where on earth are people finding this togetherness?
Suddenly you’re seeing what feels like absolutely everybody – not just old school mates, but younger friends and even younger family members – getting married, settling down and finding someone special. And suddenly you’re blanketed by an unshakeable feeling of loneliness.
Wait. Did I miss my opportunity for love? For friendship? Am I going to be alone forever?
And perhaps, like me, the pessimist in you would give you the short answer: yes. Yes you are.
But maybe that pessimist in me, and you, is wrong.
Though we may often try to convince ourselves otherwise, everybody wants to connect with someone special and find their perfect partner, no matter their age. And just like learning a new hobby, getting a new job, or even embarking on an adventure, age is nothing but a number when venturing into the universe of dating and friendship.
There are just just two preparatory steps you need to complete before you dip your toes in: open yourself up to the idea of meeting new people and stay positive about the notion of love.
But really. It’s so easy to become consumed by dating apps and convincing yourself the every swipe right might bring you closer to finding love. I’ve lost myself down that rabbit hole so many times, telling myself that my future love must be on at least one of these apps, and ultimately admitting defeat when it doesn’t happen.
And yes. Numerous times I have resigned myself to fact that I’m simply destined to be the cool, drunken, travelling auntie and nothing more.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that being a Negative Nancy will simply disperse your internal negative energy outward, subconsciously shunning people away before even giving them a chance.
So maybe it’s time to stop looking for love, and instead looking for people.
Stop. Looking. For. Love.
Sounds counter productive, right?
But love is the result. Not the start. An artist doesn’t go round looking for a completed piece of art. He’ll look for paint, a canvas and stumble across inspiration in somewhere he might not expect it. The artwork comes afterwards.
And you should start doing the same.
Take time away from your home office and try going to a coffee shop to get work done. Or even just to chill out and enjoy the world continuing around you. Go somewhere new where there will be new faces. There’s no point going to the same coffee shops and bars you’ve been going to for the past twenty years; you’ve probably met everyone there is to meet there.
I know, I know. The mature dating scene can be daunting – downright terrifying for some – but scrap the end goal and think of it for what it is in that moment. A date isn’t an interview process to determine whether the person opposite you is going to be the parent of your children. It’s an opportunity to meet a new person, to learn new things, and to enjoy yourself in that very moment. Stop pressuring yourself with plans of the future, and enjoy the company of your date, even if it’s only for that one day or night.
With that in mind, maybe it’s time for you to throw out your dating rule book too? And that little list of requirements that you want your ideal partner to have. Instead, start to think about things you need to make you happy, and consider sharing them with someone new. There’s a perk that comes with age, and it’s experience. You know more about yourself; what makes you happy; what makes you sad. Use this knowledge as a filtration system, but try not to be too strict. Finding someone with the exact same interests, passions and hobbies as you might seem perfect on paper, but do you necessarily need that in a partner to be happy?
Because guess what’s better than finding someone who shares your passion for skydiving? Taking someone you’ve connected with on their first ever skydive!
Side note: I’ve actually never skydived in my life, but you’re picking up what I’m laying down, right?
Go out there. Believe in love. Meet new people. Just enjoy the moment. And I promise you, you are not too old to find love.