I’ve been widowed for 17 years. I’ve dated a few guys since, and have really been underwhelmed. They all seem to want one thing right out of the gate. I have trust issues. A few have tried to own me. My husband knew better than that. I won’t be treated like property.
My standards are this: treat me with respect. Get to know me before you grope. I am not a Barbie doll. I’m overweight, pretty set in my ways. But if the right person took the time to get to know me, they might be surprised. But even the guys who look like Homer Simpson or worse seem to want someone without baggage, without a lifetime of experiences.
Am I wrong about all of this?
Thank you, SB
I’m not really sure what your question is, but I’ll take a guess. You want validation for believing that all men are jerks? You want to know if all men dating in midlife only want to have sex and generally don’t respect women?
I get it. You’re pretty fed up with dating. Your experiences, though limited, have been pretty similar – men groping, wanting sex right away. You don’t feel respected or seen for who you are. You have ‘trust issues’ and standards.
The good news is that you were married to a man who respected and loved you, all of you – life experiences, baggage and the few extra pounds you mentioned. You were lucky to have had a great marriage.
I’m truly sorry for your loss. It must be difficult to date after being widowed. But here’s the deal. All men are not jerks. All men don’t disregard women and just want to use them as sex toys.
There are quality men out there who are looking for relationships with bright, interesting, multi-layered women like you, but you’ll need to take care of a few things before you are able to attract them.
Here are 5 Steps to Attracting a Quality Guy in Midlife
- You need to date regularly How? If you’re over 50, you’re not meeting many datable men in your everyday life like you did in your twenties. You need to become proactive and create opportunities for meeting men. A few dates in 17 years are not enough for you to be able to make a fair assessment about “all men.” If you’re not dating online, sign up for a dating site today. Not next week or next month or after you’ve lost 10 pounds. Do it now. (I know how scary this can feel, and it’s easy to put it off.) Online dating works. You just need to understand the difference between effective vs. ineffective ways to date online. More on that in future articles. For now, just write your profile and put up some flattering photos. Do a search for the type of man you’re interested in, and email a few a week. Get crackin’! You can always tweak later. It’s important to get started. Now.
- Go to a Meetup or two (or three) Have you heard of Meetup.com? This is an incredibly valuable website for meeting people in your community who are like-minded. Choose from an enormous array of activities, such as museums, hiking, biking, travel, and cooking, and you will soon be connecting with people who share common interests. Make sure you choose a meetup that attracts men, not one for knitting where you’ll meet lots of lovely ladies. Even if you don’t meet Mr. Right, you’ll be meeting people who know people who know people. Get out and network with those people, and they might introduce you to a great guy. Hey, you never know until you try.
- Change your attitude If you think all men grope, all men you meet will be gropers. “Like attracts like,” as they say, so if you want to attract respectful men, respect yourself even more. If you want to meet men who are trustworthy, don’t go into every date with the attitude that he’s a liar, cheater, or sex fiend. I advise that you go on each date with the intention to have fun, and rule people in rather than out. If you’ve done a good job of vetting your dates before saying, “yes,” there will be fewer of the types of men that you mentioned in your email.
- Get a makeover If you haven’t sorted through your outdated wardrobe lately, freshened up your makeup, and/or updated your haircut and color, do it now. Your external appearance is just as important as your internal work. I believe that your inside and outside have a direct influence on each other; take care of one and it has a positive effect on the other. And you definitely don’t have to be the perfect weight to land a great guy. But you do have to really like your body. Dress and feel your best to make the most of the body you’re in, and you’ll become more confident on your dates. And confidence is very sexy.
- Find a dating buddy Once you start dating regularly, you’ll be meeting lots of Mr. Not Quite Rights. Many people become frustrated and quit dating when they feel they’ve been on a bunch of bad dates. The answer? Find a friend, someone who’s also dating, and partner with her. You can share your funny and sometimes exciting dating adventures with each other. I have a walking partner who is also my dating buddy. We share stories, check out men for each other online, ask for help with emails and outfits for dates. You and your buddy will keep each other optimistic throughout the dating process. And like I said in step #3, your attitude really matters.
Best of luck to you as you embark on this journey of dating in midlife. It’s a lot of fun if you change your perspective and follow my steps. Keep me posted!
For more info on midlife dating, grab a copy of my FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now).”