Somehow "reinvent yourself" has become one of the mottos for the later stages of life, and it can be a time to do new things and know yourself outside of decades of work and parenting life. Reinventing doesn't have to mean becoming some kind of "newer" and "better" or "more exciting" person, though. It can be about doing what you want based on being who you are apart from being a worker, head of household, or mother and caregiver.
Despite the statistics about the shrinking pool of available men and marrying women over 65, approaching dating as if there are plenty of fish in the sea isn't a bad idea [source: Brody]. Don't try to fit someone else's mold but trust your instincts about whether you are a good fit for the person or just a likeness and a project that would need to change and accommodate in order to satisfy a relationship.
A 2003 study of midlife singles found that the top two reasons for dating were to have someone to talk to and do things with and "to simply have fun" [source: Montenegro]. Being yourself, the same person you are at home with friends as you are out on dates, will lead to more fun for both people on a date. Trust your instincts, and if the man or woman you meet doesn't seem to like who you are, keep looking until you find someone who does.