Okay, you've been through adolescent crushes, college flings, and experienced more than your fair share of painful breakups. Now that you're "between relationships," you want, even desperately need some brass-tacks guidance on getting into the swim again. Clinical psychologist Judith Sills (Excess Baggage; Loving Men More, Needing Men Less) doesn't avoid hard truths; she knows, for example, that older women have to work harder than men to find reliable partners; but she regards midlife dating as a wealth of possibilities, not a terrifying minefield. A realistic primer on a touchy subject.
Known for her psychologically perceptive relationship books, Sills (Excess Baggage) turns her attention to dating for women of a certain age, particularly those recently out of long marriages. The author advises older women how to get back "out there" and how to contend with the anxiety that can ensue after a long period of celibacy. While Sills addresses the ugly truths that older women have to work harder than men to find eligible partners, she argues that courtship, companionship and sex are all available, especially if women remain "open to a wide variety of partners who are not necessarily prospects for love. They are practice, stimulation, and possibly even pleasant company." Sills's clinical psychology background comes to the fore when she dissects the scenario of a suddenly single woman who has been used to socializing with a group of couples but now may be perceived as a threat by other women, or an opportunity by the men, suggesting behavioral strategies for keeping boundaries clear. Sills also addresses transitional relationships, the heartbreak of rejection or of premature attachment to a new partner and includes welcome male perspectives. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Courting again as an over-50 retread raises psychosocial and sometimes physical challenges. Sills (Biting the Apple: Women Getting Wise About Love) focuses on the psychosocial for both women and men readers. Internally, one must permit a change in identity, from attached and not looking to alone and looking. Externally, one must play a no-longer-familiar game again but now with different rules. Clinical psychologist Sills has logged 35 years of interpersonal insight, and it shows in warm and witty advice that's simultaneously protective and permissive. Also, she talked to 100 newly dating singles aged 50 to 80, and her quotations from the field are apt and memorable. Sills is a superb writer and a real pleasure to read. The only drawback is the lack of a resource section. For example, she gives no information about aging and sexuality regarding biology or techniques. That's fine-other books do-but she should suggest some, like Robert Butler and Myrna Lewis's classic, The New Love and Sex After 60, which all public libraries should have. Sills's book is recommended for public libraries.
From the Publisher
"Known for her psychologically perceptive relationship books, Sills turns her attention to dating for women of a certain age, particularly those recently out of long marriages... [her] clinical psychology background comes to the fore." -Publisher's Weekly (starred review)"
I love the honesty, compassion and useable common sense that Sills gives out on every page. Finally, a smart dating manual for adults!" -Pepper Schwartz, PhD, author of PRIME