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Below, our in-house sexpert answers a question received from a reader: “I’ve been living in this area for a year and am 55 years young. I’d like to know if love is possible at my age — and where do you find it outside of the bar scene and yikes, online dating?”

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Girl, it is never too late for love! Ever. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s gonna come easy, as I’m sure you know. Anything that really matters takes work. In the brief time we’ve lived here, I’ve noticed that there are two main demographics — young military families and older golf enthusiasts. So demographically, you’ve got yourself in a good location (unless you’re looking for much, much younger … then I recommend Fayetteville).

You mentioned the bar scene and online dating. Tell me, what’s YOUR scene? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? Now, if you could spend your days gardening or quilting, you’re going to have to expand your interests to those that involve actual people. Don’t let your life revolve around finding love. Open yourself to new experiences, activities and opportunities.

I don’t know the dating scene around here, but I do know there are endless ways to be involved in the community — volunteer, check out a church (many have singles’ groups), get active (gyms offer lots of group classes), join a country club (they do lots of social things).

When it comes to dating, if you’re a naturally outgoing, friendly, cheerful individual, it tends to be easier to meet people. If you’re not, then focus on one thing you’d like to change about yourself. It could be how you dress, how you do your hair, the amount of eye contact you give. Start small. Set small goals: Start a conversation with one person you don’t know at the gym.

Working with a counselor or life coach can also be really beneficial — maybe you’ve had a horrible history when it comes to relationships. Don’t run from that. Seek to understand it. Unfortunately, finding a counselor can almost feel like dating. You want to find someone you connect with, so please don’t give up if you encounter one or two that you just don’t jive with.

Finding a companion can become consuming, overwhelming and yes, defeating. Here’s what I want you to remember: Savor the solitude while allowing yourself to crave connection. It’s so easy to focus on the past.

Maybe you never thought you’d be 55 and looking for love, and that your life wasn’t supposed to be this way. Well, guess what, you get to control your future. So get out there and create the life you love. You got this.

Courtney Boyer is a mental health counselor and sexuality educator living in the Sandhills. Have a question of your own? Submit it anonymously here.

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THE LOCAL INTEL OF YOUR WILDEST DREAMS

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