If you were married for decades and are now divorced or widowed, the very thought of dating again can be frightening. The last time you dated, you probably wore platform shoes and hot pants!
Many aspects of dating have changed, but some are exactly the same as they were back then. You still need to go on dates if you want to find a compatible, loving relationship. And as much as women have risen to a higher level of equality in the workplace, men still make most of the first moves in dating. They usually make the first phone call, set up the date and ask you out, and make the first sexual advances. But there are many changes that are unique to dating in the 21st century.
How is dating different today than it was in your 20s?
The most obvious difference between now and then is the advent of online dating. Many midlife daters are a little (or a lot!) anxious about online dating. There are stories of liars and losers and cheats that can scare people away. However, with the proper safety precautions, you can vet your potential dates thoroughly before meeting in a public place for the first time. I suggest that you get a unique email address and phone number dedicated to online dating. That way, you can block anyone who might harass you.
But in four years of online dating, I have never felt unsafe. I’ve been contacted by a few romance scammers, but I sensed that they were fake almost immediately and reported them to the dating site. I’ve met many wonderful men and had several long-term relationships that began online. In my opinion, online dating is a must for any woman or man who want to increase her/his chance of finding a partner at this age. Think about it. If you had to rely on being fixed up by friends, you would probably have very few (if any) dates. I can count on one hand the number of setups I’ve had since my divorce. And most of them were total mismatches.
From Personal Ads to Online Profiles
Twenty years ago, my mother met her second husband through a personal ad in a newspaper. You may recall how people would place ads in newspapers and magazines to find a date. They would go something like, “SWF seeking SWM for dating/marriage”. Tens of thousands of people met their spouses that way.
Online dating is a little like those personal ads – except on steroids. There are so many excellent sites to choose from, giving you access to many men who are compatible with you. Online dating expands your dating options and brings people together who would almost certainly never have met twenty or thirty years ago. According to statisticbrain.com, there are currently 54,250,000 singles in the US, and 41,250,000 have tried online dating. There are 21,575,000 on Match.com alone! Online dating is clearly the place to be. It’s where the majority of singles are hanging out. Doesn’t it seem logical that online dating is where you will find your match, too?
Case study: ‘Sherri’ hired me because she was tired of being alone. In the ten years following her divorce, she hadn’t gone on a single date. She’d hoped her friends would fix her up, or she’d somehow just meet a guy organically. I helped her take control of her love life. I guided her to choose the best site, post photos that best represented her essence, and wrote her profile essay. She got on Match.com and soon filled her calendar with dates. A few weeks into online dating, she met a wonderful man. Without my help, she’d probably still alone every weekend, wondering where all the great guys were.
I understand; online dating can feel awkward and scary at first. I was literally shaking and a little nauseous when filling out my first online dating profile. But it got easier over time. You may be uncomfortable exposing so much about yourself in an online profile. It might help to think of online dating as a way to market yourself so your ideal match will be able to find you. If you were selling a product, you’d post the best photos and the most exciting ad copy, right? If you don’t represent yourself in the best possible way, you will probably be overlooked. If you need help with any aspect of online dating, feel free to click here and learn about how I support my clients to succeed in dating online. I offer several ways to remove the stress and make it easier for you to find love online.
This is the BEST time to date
Whether you’re dating online or offline, I believe this is the best time to date. You’re in the prime of your life. You know yourself better than you did in your twenties, and you have the confidence that comes (hopefully) with the wisdom of aging. You’re able to communicate your needs more clearly. You know what you will and won’t tolerate in a relationship. And best of all – you’re dating for YOU now, not to start a family, not to find a man to provide for you. You want to have fun, perhaps travel the world, share intimacy, and spend the rest of your life with someone special. And the best place to find him is online.
Have you found love online? Scared to get started because of horror stories you’ve heard? Please share your thoughts and comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
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