Dating again at 35

If your date can't handle the fact that you want to protect yourself, you probably aren't interested in him anyway." If your relationship continues -- and it's an exclusive arrangement for both of you -- unprotected sex might be OK but only after you both get tested for sexually transmitted diseases -- and wait for reassuring results.

Experts warn not to take risks, no matter how convincing your partner may be.

The important thing to remember, however, is that almost every woman shares at least some of that same anxiety.

Moreover, if you do want to start dating again, you won't have to look far to find companionship!

"And there is no more efficient vehicle than the Internet." "Remember that you are looking for a good fit, not validation," Rosenfeld continues.

"Many people make the mistake of putting out a generic profile that will attract a lot of people.

"Many women I talk to are afraid to carry condoms because they don't want their date to think they are a slut," she says.

Once you've made a connection -- either online, through friends, or by striking up a conversation with someone in the grocery store -- and you've arranged to get together, there are some important things to remember. If you have made a connection online and know nothing about your date, you may want to be extra cautious by letting a friend know where you will be meeting and at what time. If you don't seem to be hitting it off, it's easier for both parties when there's a quick escape route!There are no "shoulds" when it comes to dating at midlife and physical intimacy, and you have a right to go at your own pace.When the time arrives that you do feel ready, when, how, and where is less important than basic safety.Moreover, to help ease the anxiety of a first-time date, Rosenfeld suggests you "sandwich" the meeting between two other activities you really like."Before you meet your date, do something that puts you in a positive frame of mind; then, after the date is over, meet up with a friend," he says.

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If you've been out of the dating scene for some time, you may be unfamiliar with the essentials of safe sex.

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