About Last Night: Learning to love yourself will lead to making better choices 08-04-18

April 9, 2018

Q: At 60 I have decided to go it alone after 30 years of monogamous marriage. I would like to think there may be the opportunity for relationships and intimacy in my future. However, I feel more naive, inhibited and less educated than when I was a young woman. Can you suggest a starting point for re-educating myself?

A: You have decided to “go it alone”, so this is now your time. Begin this new life by falling in love with yourself. Give yourself the time, and space, to go through the upheaval of setting up your own home, and tying up loose ends from the past. Be kind to yourself, and cut yourself some slack. No matter how sure you are about your decision there will be painful moments disentangling a 30-year edifice.

You cannot fully experience love and intimacy with another until you love yourself. When you love yourself you will make better choices. You will make sure that you stay safe. You will have the resilience to survive rejection or difficulties.

Before you actively pursue new connections, take stock of where you are. You might get a health check, and make some decisions about your lifestyle so that you can get the most out of life. It is not necessary to look like a model to find romance, but you need to be well to enjoy life.

 This might be a good time to interrogate your wardrobe, and reassess your style. Sometimes, what suited you in your 40s no longer works at 60. Do not be timid. The aim is to reveal the vibrant and attractive older woman that you are, not to become invisible, so embrace colour, and avoid too much beige.

Many women carry off their naturally greying hair with grace and elan. However, if you are tempted to colour, do so. The same goes for manicuring, and wearing heels. If something gives you pleasure enjoy it, and ignore that niggling, self-limiting voice that preaches the virtue of the “natural”.

When it comes to sexual intimacy, you are your own best teacher. When you feel ready to pamper and explore your own body do so. Many women are embarrassed by the idea of masturbation, and that word does not help. What you are doing is learning what gives you pleasure. The majority of women are unable to give themselves an orgasm with their fingers alone, so consider getting a good quality, pleasure-enhancing sex toy. To help you with this exploration, read Betty Dodson’s classic book, Sex for One: The Art of Self Loving. Some of the toys she recommends are now a little dated, but the basic information is excellent.

Glowing with good health, stylish, confident, and owning your own pleasure, you will then be ready to look outside of yourself. You might enjoy exploring further by attending some workshops. Not only will you expand your education, you will also meet other, like-minded people.

Take a look at the wide range of classes offered by Curious Creatures (curiouscreatures.biz). If something looks intriguing, give it a go. I can assure you that there will be a range of age groups involved, and you are definitely not too old.

Another workshop is coming up in August that I believe is the ultimate learning opportunity for anyone seeking greater depth and understanding of relationships. The Human Awareness Institute offers a series of weekend residential workshops called Love, Intimacy and Sexuality. Level 1, Connecting in Love, concentrates on loving yourself. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Details can be found at Space Inc (space.org.au). You will join people from across the country for this life-changing experience.

The best way to meet people is to join a group activity that interests you. Whether it be wine tasting, bushwalking, or a book group, that is where you will meet people with shared interests. Check out Meetup (meetup.com) for groups in your area.

If you want to be more proactive in finding potential partners there are a myriad of dating sites that cater for a wide range of people. For purely sexual hook ups, look at Adult Matchmaker (adultmatchmaker.com.au).

Email: abtlastnight@gmail.com

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One thought on “About Last Night: Learning to love yourself will lead to making better choices 08-04-18

  • Thank you Maureen for another great column with excellent recommendations. Another book worth seeking is The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50 by Joan Price. All the best to your correspondent for an exciting time!

    Comment from: Dr Linda Kirkman

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