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It's never too late to find love!

Tracey had just begun dating after divorcing her husband of 18 years. With two teenage children in tow, she decided that it was time to find love again.

Cheryl had never married, at 52 she believed it was too late. She was terrified of navigating dating apps and had given up on love.

Pam had been in an unhealthy, unfulfilling marriage for 32 years and was afraid to leave because the thought of starting again was too daunting. Her sentiment was, 'I've made my bed so I'll have to lie in it'.

All three women were clients who believed that finding love over 50 was not an option for them.

According to the ABS, nearly 10,000 people over 50 tied the knot in 2021 with 207 doing so over the age of 75.

There are no stats on the number of people on dating apps but we do know that these are still the most popular way for women in midlife and beyond to meet prospective partners.

By the time we reach our 50s, we've had many experiences including losing jobs, businesses, and relationships. For some of us, loved ones have died through illness or old age. The experience of loss often has a grounding effect on our character as we are less likely to take people and things for granted. This can make us more open-minded and release the expectations that relationships have to be perfect in order for them to be happy and fulfilling.

In her article, The complicated puzzle of finding love in midlife, author and columnist Kerri Sackville reminds us that a relationship in midlife is nothing at all like a relationship in your 20s. For one thing, there is so much to discuss! We each have 50-plus years of stories to tell, of experiences to share, of opinions to impart.

The truth is that too much pain and disappointment can make us closed off and bitter. On the other hand, years of raising children and living with another adult can have the ability to soften us, making us more tolerant of each other's eccentricity.

Meet Jody Webster, the new addition to the Silver Sirens team. Jody met and married her love at the age of 52. Jody shares her inspiring story below.

A man, a mop, and a marriage

My youngest daughter Annalise and I have a very special relationship. I had raised her alone since divorcing her father and my husband of 21 years when I was 39 and she was two, and being single was the way I liked it. I was happy to date but had no intention of ever getting re-married.

When she was 11, Annalise was offered a spot at an elite boarding school in rural NSW. The only problem was it was 250km away from our home.

So, like any good mother, I made the best decision for her future and sent my daughter to boarding school – then packed up my house, rented it out and went with her.

When Annalise was almost 15, she got a part time job at the local shopping centre, in a pizza restaurant.

I would go and pick her up every Friday and Saturday night, after her shift, and either drive her home, or back to school, depending on her plans for the weekend.

As I would pull up in the carpark each night, Annalise’s boss Dale would appear at the counter of the glass-fronted shop, with a mop, do a cursory swipe at the floor and then come out to my car for a chat.

He was a friendly bloke, and I didn’t think anything of it, until one night, Annalise said “You should go out with Dale, Mum. He is a really nice man. He makes us all laugh at work – he’s such a clown – he’s perfect for you!”

I basically laughed at her (after I noted the thinly veiled insult) and told her not to be silly, and he was probably married anyway, and I had NO intention of ever getting married again. I was 52 by then, and it was all just too hard. Finding love was for young women – men didn’t want someone my age!

The following weekend, my determined daughter informed me that her boss, was in fact single, and that the other staff (both in the restaurant and the greater shopping centre), had decided that he must be keen on me, because the only time he EVER picked up a mop was if he knew I was coming to pick Annalise up, and pretending to mop gave him the perfect opportunity to ‘spot’ me and come out for a chat.

I digested this piece of information slowly. I wasn’t sure I wanted the whole shopping centre knowing about, let alone discussing my love-life, but I still laughed it off and contemplated driving to the next town when I needed to shop.

Our routine continued; I would pull up, Dale would appear with his mop and come out for a chat. Two things started to dawn on me – number one: Dale was a really lovely man; and number two: I had never seen him actually mop anything!!!

A couple of weeks later, Dale appeared at my car window, mop in hand, and asked me out to dinner. We have been married for nearly seven years now and it is our running joke that he didn’t just sweep me off my feet, he mopped as well.

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