Preparing for going into any decade can fill us with a mixture of excitement and dread – after all, it’s the unknown, but once you’re over fifty you may feel you have no idea at all what to expect. It can be especially difficult if you’ve recently become single – either through the end of a relationship or a bereavement - and are even wondering if you want to have any kind of celebration.

Nina Grunfield writes for Female First

Nina Grunfield writes for Female First

If you’re feeling a birthday has to be experienced with a partner, stop that thought right now and remember Carol (Mary Steenburgen) and her husband in the film, Book Club. A partner isn’t necessarily going to make you happy. No matter how old the relationship is, it can make you feel isolated and alone and it can feel very difficult to deepen what may seem like a dying union. Instead of focusing on the lack of a partner, be grateful to have those around who do love you, whether your friends who will be there to celebrate with you, or a wonderful sibling or colleague who will indulge you. You could even read 50 Shades of Grey together and see what happens.

If, above all else, you do want a partner, go for it. Be prepared for anything to happen – and stay open to adventures. As Book Club shows through Sharon’s (Candice Bergen) character, it doesn’t matter what age you are, there are many singles looking for love through dating websites. What’s important is to keep an open mind and not meet members of the opposite sex with a long shopping list of requirements (blond hair, thin, younger than me etc). Diane Keaton’s character, Diane, was far more willing to take on a new life with the handsome man (Andy Garcia) she’d just met than her younger daughters were for her. Getting older can make you more open to new experiences, not the other way round.

Sex too can be fun at any age. There’s no need, like Carol, to sneak Viagra into your husband’s drink, discuss openly what it is you like and want. Take joint responsibility for what you do and how you do it. Getting used to a stranger’s body can be more difficult as we get older and possibly more set in our ways in what we like, but we can forget that, even when young, first time sexual encounters were often awkward too. Take it slowly, focus on both yourself and the other, be honest in what you like and dislike and enjoy!

Book Club is out now to download and keep, and comes to Blu-ray and DVD on October 8.

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