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Love later in life. Here, advice for entering into a new physical relationship.

Q. I’m 62 and I’ve been a widow for the past six years. Recently, I met a lovely man, and we’ve started dating. We’re attracted to each other physically, but I haven’t had sex since before my husband died, and I’m concerned that it’s going to be uncomfortable, physically and emotionally.  Any advice?

Tanys, Toronto


A. It’s only natural you’re feeling anxious. It’s been a while – we know at least six years – maybe longer depending on the kind of relationship you and your husband had before his death. And who knows how long it’s been for your new love interest. Chances are he may very well feel the same way.

So, your first piece of advice is take it slow. Second piece of advice: talk to him about your nervousness, but let him know that you’re also attracted to him and excited by him. That’s what Dr. Natalie Rosen, a Halifax-based clinical psychologist, researcher and sex therapist suggests.

On the physical side, she recommends starting off (yes, naked) with mutual massaging, touching, kissing, slowly adding different foreplay activities. Personal lubricants will likely also enter the picture at some point to help counter vaginal dryness, a very common thing with women of your age. “There’s this myth of quickies out there. Men and women need foreplay, especially as they age,” emphasizes Dr. Rosen.

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