Red hearts, cupids, flowers, and chocolates. All the trappings for St. Valentine’s Day celebrations, encouraging us to re-affirm our love for that special someone in our life. Lots of hype, presenting images and promotions typically targeting younger adults, while failing to recognize the need and legitimacy of later-life love. How did we ever get to the belief that love is only for the young?
Our need for relationship and companionship stays with us throughout our lifetime. Some even suggest that this need for affiliation actually increases with age, and when this connection is present and positive, contributes toward not only to our quality of life but to our longevity as well. Speaking of longevity, with the average life expectancy now creeping into our 80s, and the average age of widowhood 56 — there is the potential for many to be living 20-30 years on their own.
The reality is that finding love again in later life can have its challenges.
· Uneven playing field for heterosexual women. According to US Bureau of the Census, 1998, 45.2% of women over 65 were widowed, while only 14.9% of men over 65 were widowed.
· Putting yourself ‘out there’ in the dating scene can be intimidating, especially when it is likely that mature adults haven’t dated in many decades.
· Online dating requires a familiarity with the technology and a comfort with initiating digital relationships.
· Fear of potential exploitation and rejection.
· Adult children may discourage the pursuit of new relationships, feeling that this is a betrayal of their other parent, or a threat to the existing family, social and financial arrangements.
Here are some tips for re-entry to the dating scene:
· Let friends and family know you are ready to start to meet others, and ask them to introduce you to those who may be compatible with your personality.
· List interests and hobbies, and get involved with local groups, classes and events.
· Attend a class reunion.
· Consider on-line dating sites that serve the age 50+. Be cautious, and never provide confidential information about your finances, accounts, and passwords.
· Arrange to meet in public places while you get to know your new friend.
Most of all, have fun, be smart, be safe, and manage your expectations! There will likely be some disaster dates and disappointments. Laugh at lot, cry a little — you may be one date away from your next great love!
Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Chocolate Almond Bites
Makes 10 Bites. These little nuggets of tastiness are perfect to enjoy with coffee and share with a loved one during this intensely chocolatey month.
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) water
- 1 cup (250 mL) canned no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) natural almond or peanut butter
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 oz (30 g) bittersweet 70% cocoa chocolate, melted
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) ground almonds.
Directions – In a microwaveable bowl combine dates and water; cover and microwave on High for 1 minute or until softened and water is absorbed. Scrape mixture and beans into food processor with almond butter and cocoa powder. Puree until very smooth; stopping and scraping down sides a couple of times. Scrape mixture into a bowl and stir in chocolate and vanilla. Chill in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes or until slightly firm. Using a mini ice cream scoop or tablespoon, roll into balls and place on small baking sheet. Roll into ground almonds and keep refrigerated.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 bite) – Calories 47, Protein 1 g, Total Fat 2 g,
Saturated fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 7 g, Fibre 2 g, Total sugars 4 g,
Added sugars 0 g, Sodium 2 mg, Potassium 101 mg.
Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. Reprinted with Permission from ©Heart and Stroke Foundation 2016.
“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved”.