I’m a 78-year-old woman – how can I find a lover?

I am a 78-year-old woman and would love to have an active sex life (as well as a relationship) but I do not know how to meet a man of similar age and interest. Do you have any advice – not on meeting men, necessarily, but on encouraging them to see me as a potential sexual partner?

There are online dating sites for people in your age group. Such platforms can be useful for evaluating people before considering meeting up in person. They are also helpful because there is no ambiguity about why you are conducting the search. Joining local clubs and attending community events can be useful ways to meet potential partners, but you may have to be brave enough to initiate. Being “forward” is no longer considered a negative thing. Invite someone who strikes your fancy to coffee or some other tête-à-tête. Ignore anyone who acts surprised or makes an ageist remark; they are old-fashioned and not worth the trouble. Just plough on and take bold steps to get your needs met.

  • Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

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