It may seem silly that women over 50 would need a “how to” manual on how to date…
…But I get more and more emails and posts from women like you who are struggling with the mechanics of learning how to date again when you’re over 50.
Let’s face it – things were way different when we were in our 20’s – going to mixers, meeting “cute guys,” sitting by the phone waiting for his call, he picked you up for a date and you went out! It either worked or it didn’t.
Today, instead of waiting by the phone, you wait for “likes” “flirts” or messages online. The emotional ups and downs can be staggering now than they were when you were 19! You wonder, “how come I’m not getting any attention?”
Or sometimes the attention can be overwhelming, but who wants to date a 30 something; or men with fetishes, or who are still married?
The whole experience is distasteful to some. Occasionally someone will even comment on one of my Facebook ads about online dating saying, “Don’t even bother – they are all scammers.” or “I’m done. I’d rather be alone.”
Resignation always breaks my heart. As one who has fallen in love – several times – with GREAT men I have met online, I find it hard to believe that you’d actually rather be alone.
Yes, I had my fill of scammers, married men, fakes, and just plain bad matches. But I never threw in the towel or even got really upset about any of it – I took it lightly – had a few good laughs, some witty banter and reported those who were frauds, but I never quit. I never got angry. I never threw in the towel.
Maybe that’s why I am so in love with my man and my life right now.
Today I want to share how you too can have success – online or off – and have fun dating.
Here’s the quintessential guide on how to date when you’re over 50.
- Don’t sit back and wait for Mr. Right to find you.
Be active in your search for your ideal partner. Setup advanced search filters online. Spend time browsing and delving into those who interest you. When you find someone you like, reach out.
- Keep your messages short and succinct.
Don’t write a whole novel on why you are connecting or concoct a reason why you think he’s interesting. Just say, “Your profile came up on my search today and I think we have a lot in common. I’d love to chat and learn more.” I actually grabbed my man with one word, “Yes.” He immediately went to my profile and said, “I love what you wrote, when can we chat?”
- Move from messages to phone (or video) quickly.
Beware of endless text messaging that goes nowhere. It’s an early signal that he is overly shy or doesn’t have serious interest in you. Go from text to phone quickly. In that first conversation, assess, “does he meet my criteria for values? Is he someone I could be interested in?” Come to a yes or a no. You don’t have to date every man you talk with.
- Book that first date.
If he’s a true gentleman, he will ask you to pick the location. Never go out of your way to meet someone. Think about it. A man who asks you to drive an hour out of your way to meet for the first date will always expect you to go that extra mile. Is that what you want?
- Have low expectations.
Women who complain about dating the most have invented their date into an ideal match before they’ve even met. Release your expectations. Be curious… “I wonder what he will be like?”
- Be curious.
During that first date, you will be assessing: Does he treat me the way I want to be treated? Am I engaged with him intellectually? Is he an emotional match? Is there physical chemistry? Don’t be put off by his leaning in for a kiss. How you connect in that first kiss will tell you, “does he turn me on?” There’s a difference between being groped and getting a gentle good night kiss. Know the difference.
- If you have sex on the first date…
You’ve put sexual chemistry to the top of your values list. The release of oxytocin in orgasm will set up a physical connection that may interfere with your intuitive guidance. There is no right or wrong here and there are no rules for when it’s appropriate to have sex. Act in integrity with your priorities.
- After the date, assess what did you learn?
What did you really enjoy? Were there any red flags? What don’t you want to experience again? Take the “contrast” of what you don’t want and put that into your lens to filter out others like him. Take your “desires” and add them to your vision of your ideal partner. Everyone we meet teaches us something about ourselves that’s of value. There’s no such thing as a bad date – a bad choice maybe, but who’s ultimately responsible for that?
- Is a second date a yes or a no?
Ask your gut. Check internal guidance. Follow your intuition. Don’t let your head talk you into something just because you are afraid he may be “the only one who wants you.” If you settle for less, you will get less and you are projecting that you are not worthy of great love. (In that case, you are not even ready to date and should go back to square one.)
- Adjust your dating profile accordingly.
Notice something you want in a partner? Add it in. Notice something you don’t want? Make it clear. Your dating profile is your online point of attraction. My client Lori added two lines to her online dating profile about what she wasn’t interested in and found herself being contacted by a men of a higher caliber.
- Don’t take any of this seriously…
Until you meet someone you really like who matches your value and values. Getting too attached too early can put you on an emotional roller coaster. Adapt the mantra, “I like you pretty good, let’s see how it goes.”
The bottom line is there are no rules, just really good common sense. If you are a woman who knows herself, if you are firmly grounded in your value, this can be a fun and adventurous time. Enjoy it!
The more you enjoy, the more people will be attracted to you and the more fun you will have.