Dear Dr. Faizal,

I am in my mid-fifties and have never had a serious or significant love relationship. Wanting a serious relationship with a woman is what I’ve wanted my entire life. I’ve always wondered “what’s wrong with me”. I’ve spent lots of years improving my self-esteem and learning to like myself. I just don’t want to end up “old and alone”. Any advice on what else I can do besides wishing I were just someone else?

– That Is Not My Name

Dear That Is Not My Name,

It’s wonderful that you are searching for a special romantic relationship with a significant other. Most of us – at any age – would like to share our life with someone we form a loving bond with, someone we value and someone who values us.

For this to happen, you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop “wishing [you] were just someone else.” You first need to value yourself. Why do you believe that there’s something “wrong” with you? Just because you’re in your fifties does not mean you have limitations in the dating arena. While it may be true that the media portrays the ‘ideal’ male to date as young, viral, athletic, etc., there’s a lot to say about older men, who can offer much to women.

Think about it, being in your fifties, you are probably financially independent and can, therefore, enjoy the material perks of dating. You, undoubtedly, have experience with people and with life, in general, and such knowledge adds to your value in sharing these experiences with the lady you choose to date. As I see it, you need to accept yourself so that others will accept you for who you are.

Be confident. At your age, you have much to offer the right lady whom you would like to begin a nurturing relationship with. During men’s groups that I’ve had the honour of speaking at, when men have asked me what I think is the best way to begin a relationship with a lady, my response has always been the same: help a woman feel like a woman by showing genuine interest in her – as a person.

One way to do this is to take the time to learn about her and her upbringing. Ask her (with her permission, of course) about her family when she was young – about her mother’s and father’s personality, about how many siblings she has; about who she was closest to growing up, about her parents’ marriage and if they were affectionate, about how strong feelings like happiness, sadness, anger, and fear were expressed, and about what messages about her worth was communicated by others.

Such questions – and their responses – could lead to deeper discussions and sharing, which could be the beginning of a relationship that is ‘ageless.’

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