Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries – Finding Love Again


People of all ages are finding love again. There’s no reason you can’t too, but first you have to make room for someone new – physically and emotionally

Q. I’m 69 and was married until 11 years ago when my wife’s parents died and left her a lot of money and her own house. We still talk but she has no interest in ever being with me again. I do okay living alone, but I’ve become somewhat of a hoarder since I can fix almost anything people bring to me. I haven’t even removed my wife’s things. I go out to dance or play pool and I bike ride in the summer. I’d like to find someone to go traveling with and partner up with, but I’m embarrassed about my living conditions even though I have a nice large house in a middle-class area and have no financial problems. What do I need to do to find a partner to live with?

Ole, Edmonton

A. The first thing you need to do is clean up your house and get rid of all your ex-wife’s things. “If your home life is a mess, you’re going to have a love life that’s a mess,” says Julie Spira, the U.S.-based online dating expert and best-selling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

“Think of it as spring cleaning your personal life. And once you open up your personal life so it’s not cluttered any more, your love life will open up and there’ll be room for a relationship.”

Any woman you bring to the house will notice very quickly that you’ve held on to your ex-wife’s things. You can say whatever you want and try and explain it away, but the fact of the matter is the stuff is still there. And that speaks louder than words.

“It says you’re living in the past and bringing your baggage to the table, when in fact you need to leave that baggage behind,” says Julie. “You’re just going to sabotage a potential relationship and send the message you’re an unavailable man. No woman wants to be lower on the totem pole than an ex-wife or an ex-girlfriend.”

I imagine you feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to tidy up your big house by yourself, so Julie suggests you get serious about it and hire a personal organizer to help get the job done. Once that’s accomplished, you might consider hiring a dating coach. After all, it’s been a long time and this could help get you ready.

“We teach people how to date better and how to make a really great first impression, because if you don’t make a good one there are no second chances.” Coaches like Julie can help give you conversation points to break the ice – things to talk about, as well as things not to talk about (think ex-wives for starters).

“And you’ll read these points and study them, like you’re preparing to pass a test,” she says.

Be assured that people of all ages are finding love again. There’s no reason you can’t too, but first you have to make room for someone new – physically and emotionally. After that, you never know what might happen.

A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Diane Sewell has written for some of the top newspapers and magazines in Canada and is a Baby Boomer herself.