Getting Married at 50

Getting married at 50+ is possible no matter what “they” say. They being statistics that are quoted in various articles and numerous conversations I've had, nearly all with women, about how hard it is to find a mate. (Although, come to think about it, I've had that conversation with women in their twenties, thirties and forties - same sh**, different decades.)

I got married for the second (and best) time at 50. Among friends and colleagues, a number of us have gotten married in our early fifties – many for the second time and a few for the first.

We arrived at these marriages by different routes:
* Some of us found mates who had been right in our backyards even if slightly off our radars.
* Two of us met and connected/courted through on-line dating sites.
Another married her best friend.
* One friend thought she’d never get married and was surprised when, in fact, she did at age 52.

Many of these relationships happened in that window of opportunity that opens when first marriages dissolve whether by disinterest, disarray or death of a spouse. I believe that many people, especially male people, who have had happy long-term first marriages are inclined toward marriage and, if you happen into their emotional space, a marriage may likely result.

One thing for sure, marriage at 50+ is a different thing than it is in your twenties and thirties Or at least it has been that way for me.

A 48 when I started dating my husband, I was fully and firmly formed (as was he). Both of our children were launched into independent adulthood. I was figuring out what my next decade would look like. I never saw him coming because I was literally planning to move from Boston and had stopped thinking of Boston as having any possibilities for me. Yet, when I least expected it, there he was.

I anticipated that we’d have difficulty living together, especially since I hadn’t lived with a mate in twenty years. I found it surprisingly and delightfully easy to cohabitate because:

* We bought a house together and so moved into a space that was a celebration of and reflection of us and no one else.
* We have enough room to have separate studies (on two different floors).
* We have no children-at-home and the drama that they can bring.
* We’re pretty compatible.
* We're just plain old cool people.

I have had to learn that marriage is not a roommate situation. Treating it more like a union with joint goals and responsibilities has been where my learning curve has been. I’m independent to a fault.

I am often asked by female friends a question that goes something like, how do you meet a man at my age?

Here’s my advice gleaned from my own experience and the experiences of the aforementioned friends:

* Make a list and check it twice of what you want in a partner.
* Tuck the list away (after meditating and/or praying on it).
* Advertise your interest and availability for love by living fully and telling people whose taste you trust that you are “single and ready to mingle.”
* Go out and about and date to date not to mate (until someone comes along that is worthy and ready).
* Go places where there are men (it is quite easy to live a females-only existence which is often fulfilling but won’t get you a man).
* Have a mixer where everyone you invite is charged with bringing an eligible single good-guy.
* Learn to flirt and follow-up on possibilities.
* Join affinity groups – like biking, hiking, investment and other groups – great ways to meet people.
* Believe in your desirability and the possibility of meeting a mate.
* Expand your thinking of what a mate for you will look like - he might be shorter, taller, whiter, browner, thinner, fatter - and so on, than you imagined in your younger years.

He is out there. Believe.

Related Links:

Women after 50 don't want to be a 'nurse or a purse' writes Jane Glen Hass. Her Haas Theory of Marriage concludes “that most women who are widowed or divorced after age 50 would like a companion but not another wedding ring…”

In the book, Late Love: A Celebration of Marriage after Fifty, Eileen Simpson interviews fifty women and men in mid-life and older about the nature of their late marriages. Simpson writes positively about these marriages saying that "such marriages can be among the best relationships we ever have. " She also finds that there's no formula for success in marriage after 50. Some people "return to long-lost lovers from their youth, while some yearn to find a different kind of partner from their first or early flames."

Number five in the blog post, 7 Ways to Survive Dating Over 50 by midlifemuse, advises women to: Lighten Up

"When I was young, I took the whole dating thing so seriously. As I think back on it, the end goal was to get married and have a family -- at least that's what I learned back in the day. Now I don't really worry about getting married again. So I'm less wedded -- not to make a pun -- to the end result and more to the journey in a relationship. "

Sharon Jayson, a correspondent for USA Today, wrote "Singles Find Love, Marriage After age 45." In it she quotes Carl Weisman author of So Why Have You Never Been Married? He conducted an online survey for the book and found that 48% of the 1,533 bachelors ages 40 and older who responded said they were afraid of marrying the wrong person.

"They'd rather go to the grave unmarried than marry someone wrong," says Weisman, 49. "The No. 1 fear is marrying the wrong person — more than not marrying at all — by 10 to 1."

We all have to learn to take a chance on love. In order to succeed at love (which for some of us means marriage or another form of committed relationship) you must risk failure. There's just no way around it.

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