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Dating isn't always fun — it can even be heartbreaking if you are entranced by someone and it isn't mutual. But if you have reasonable list expectations — for example, you want to meet a good person who is fun to be with and who shares your values and goals — you'll have an easier time.

But if you are resilient and assume it takes a while to find a match, you will find a wonderful person.

Meeting new prospects before you're emotionally prepared can feel infinitely worse than sitting home alone every Saturday night. If you agree with all of them, go forth and conquer.

Even when expected, the death of a partner is a shocking heartbreak.

Weathering the waves of sadness — and building a new life without your mate — may pose the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced. Your partner would want you to be happy again, so banish the notion that you are somehow “betraying” him or her by seeing someone new.

Someone who has a chronic or life-threatening illness, for example, might feel compelled to talk about it, even during a first meeting.

But this goes against the first rules of dating: Keep it light, and let your date see your most attractive characteristics first.

En español | In the course of my work as a sex and relationship educator, I frequently run workshops about dating after age 50.

My audiences are people who are motivated enough to show up at such an event — but scared silly about diving into a dating world they hadn't even thought about for decades!

If you've been out of the dating pool for a long time, starting up again can be frightening.

But you'll be pleased to know that things have gotten a lot easier since you were going to high school dances and college bars.

That doesn't mean you don't honor your 40-year marriage that ended with the death of your spouse, but it does mean that you won't be constantly comparing new women to your late wife or new men to the husband who left you for his secretary.

The grief of losing someone is genuine and legitimate, but if you are still grieving, you are in no shape to meet someone new. "I am not bitter about the past." When dating, most people want to avoid a person who comes with too much baggage.

Sure, it can be dispiriting to have a series of coffee dates with guys or gals who just aren't right for you.