“It’s hard to find quality men at this age.” “I’m sick of the serial daters I meet online.” I get many emails from women who are fed up. I understand. Dating at this age can be frustrating. You go on date after date without meeting anyone special. Or you fall for someone and they never call back. How do you stay optimistic when dating after 50 (or at any age for that matter!)?
It’s all about keeping a realistic and positive mindset.
If you accept that you are going to date many “wrong” people until you meet the right one, you won’t be let down. You won’t have false expectations.
When I first started dating after my divorce, I fell for the guy with whom I had an intellectual connection. I thought I was in love with the man with the gentle sweet voice and the one who appreciated the arts. Over and over, I’d fall for potential. And when I’d get to know him a little better, I’d see that he wasn’t for me. And then I’d be devastated.
Over time, I learned what to look for in a potential partner. I stopped building up my expectations before every date. And I began to enjoy dating so much more.
Of course, some of the men I’ve dated were just plain unstable, strange, inappropriate, or off-putting in some way.
As appealing as it might be to call it quits and give up, I stay positive. Like I tell my clients, if you don’t date, how do you expect to find love.
If you give up because of disappointment, your chance at finding love is almost nil. Many refer to finding love as akin to getting struck by lightning. This is a reference I’ve seen twice in the past week in widower’s profiles about finding love again.
Love is not about getting struck by lightning. That’s what Hollywood would like us to think.
It’s about taking action to find a wonderful person with whom to create a lasting relationship.
3 Ways to Stay Optimistic When Dating After 50
1. Focus on the journey, not just the end result.
If you enjoy the process of anything you do, you’ll be able to navigate through the bumps in the road.
I remember driving cross-country when I was in my twenties. We’d be in the car for up to six-hours a day as we drove across this magnificent country. I could have continually asked, “Are we there yet?” a million times along the way (especially as we drove across the endless fields in Kansas). Or, I could have chosen to enjoy the scenery, which was quite breathtaking at times. I chose the second option. I suggest you do the same with dating.
2. Create a vision for your destination.
If you don’t know where you’re heading, it’s difficult to find it. That’s why I lead a “Vision Board for Love” workshop, guiding clients to create a vision for the person they want to marry.
You’ll need a large tag board, some old magazines, scissors and a glue stick.
Find a quiet space, put on some music to inspire you, and look through your magazines for images and words that evoke an intuitive description of your true love. Don’t over-think this! Just go with your gut.
Rip or cut the images/words and put them in a pile. Next, start gluing them onto your board. Date and sign the vision board.
Hang your board in a place where you can easily see it. I have mine in my bathroom!
One of my clients is dating a wonderful man, and she recently checked her vision board. Everything about him was present on the board! It gave me goose bumps to hear her describe how this man might be the “one”.
3. Get support.
If you don’t already have a great support system, create one. Your fellow dating friends, your mom, an online community of women who are going through the same situation, whatever it may be for you, support is essential to getting through a dating dip.
I used to walk every day with a divorced friend who is actively dating. Most of our conversation revolves around our dating lives. We have supported each other, laughed and cried together, and been each other’s guides throughout the sometimes frustrating journey of dating after divorce.
What works for you when you’re in a dating dip? Please share your comments below.
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