Lesbianing with AE! Lesbian Dating After 50 (and after a dry spell)

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Dear Lindsey,

I am a 56 year old lesbian who hasn’t dated or had sex with anyone (other than myself) since my last ex broke up with me about 11 years ago. It was pretty traumatic, because I thought that she was “the one” and also because of something that happened the only time that we tried to have sex. I am highly empathic, so I know that it wasn’t just my imagination when I felt this intense wave of fear come over her when I was about to touch her pussy, and then suddenly, she hopped off the bed, put on a robe and started chatting animatedly as if nothing unusual had occurred. A couple friends who had been molested themselves say that this sounds like she was molested and either doesn’t remember or doesn’t share it with her partners. It was never discussed, and I didn’t know how to bring it up in a way that was respectful. I kept sensing something was up, but I had recently learned that I get anxiety, so I thought it was just that. She broke up with me about two months later, and right after that a series of really intensive life events occurred (Master’s degree while working full time, dad’s health eroded and he died, I bought a home, cat developed diabetes and she died), which basically interrupted any usual process of getting over the loss of what I thought was going to be a  great relationship. While I see that it was for the best, over time, between not getting over the loss and being really involved in other areas of my life, I have become pretty disengaged from my lesbian identity and the community, and need some advice about how to  get involved again. I came out when I was about 37, and this process was incredibly freeing and exciting for me. I am wondering if perhaps just diving in as if I were out for the first time again might be the way to go, but I haven’t the slightest idea where to start, particularly since I am not in my thirties anymore. Any ideas for me?

Need Ideas

Hey Need Ideas,

I applaud your desire to get back out there and enjoy all of life. If you had an “incredibly freeing and exciting” coming out experience at 37, then why not repeat it?

If you had an “incredibly freeing and exciting” coming out experience at 37, then why not repeat it?

Sure, society has changed, and if your coming out process involved things like softball teams and ladies’ night at the gay bar, those might not be available or desirable experiences the way they were 19 years ago. But to the extent you can relive those youthful indiscretions, do it and have a blast!

But you asked me for my ideas for you, so here we go. If I were in your shoes, I would:

Sign up for ALL THE APPS. Let yourself explore. Get a idea for who is out there near you! And don’t be shy about putting yourself out – there at your age, with your anxiety, with no relationship in the last 11 years. No bullshit excuses. Live boldly.

Vacation in a gayborhood. Go to a Melissa Ferrick concert. Spend time around gays and lesbians. Soak up that culture you remember. If you feel cut off from the lesbian side of yourself, it can help you remember what that’s like and give you the momentum you need to build a connection.

Reach out to your local SAGE or OLOC chapter. You’re a little young to join up with LGBT elders – seriously, they age-check – BUT some chapters may be more flexible. If you explain some of what you told me and ask them for suggestions of lesbian events and activities, they should connect you to what’s going on locally. You can also show up to any local lesbian events regardless of age range. Where to find out about said events? The internet, Meetup, your local indie coffeeshop, community bulletin boards, etc.

Bottom line: Get out. Meet people. Show your face. Be open to the opportunities around you IN ALL THE FORMS THEY COME IN.

Connect with your passions. What else did you like to do at 37? Go do those things. You’ve lost some of the fire in your life. By reconnecting to the things you loved you can become a happier and healthier person who is also way more interesting to eligible lesbians. This is really my biggest tip for you.

Connect with your passions. What else did you like to do at 37? Go do those things. You’ve lost some of the fire in your life. By reconnecting to the things you loved you can become a happier and healthier person who is also way more interesting to eligible lesbians.

Rediscover who you are, have fun getting back out there, and trust that when you work on yourself and on making yourself fulfilled and happy you will attract healthy, happy women who are equipped to partner you — and pleasure you — the way you long for.

You seem trapped by what happened – which I think you know. You are still coming to terms with this ex — you went into a lot of detail here about the bad-pussy-juju experience and the breakup and it seems like you define where you’re at by this experience.

But eleven years have gone by between now and then. Let go of the past. Stop telling yourself that story (and DO NOT tell it on a date, seriously). Grieve and be done. Really, and I say this as one who has nursed loves lost for many, many years, you will feel empowered once you cut those cords and leave the past in the past.

Put down those bags! How to do that is material for another week, friends.

So. Onward and upward. Or in your case a return to who you were before life went sideways. Best of luck and enjoy the ride!

Do you need Lindsey’s advice? Write to the editor at memoree@afterellen.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line! 

 

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