Suddenly single – suddenly dating

in Lifestyle

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Most of us plan to retire with our spouses. Then, one day in our 40s, 50s, even 60s, we wake up single and facing the dating scene.

And that’s not only scary after decades of being with just one partner, it’s downright confusing when the realization sinks in that dating has changed considerable since the good old days. Today’s dating world involves hard questions and issues: AIDS, STDs, date rape drugs and Internet dating sites.

But quite aside from these tough new issues, you’ve forgotten how to date. The very idea is terrifying at your age. You don’t even know where to start.

You start by doing three things:

  1. Have confidence in yourself. You might have a few wrinkles on your face and a little less hair, or a few extra pounds around your middle and bifocals, but these are signs of maturity. Besides, you’re looking for a kindred spirit, and that kindred spirit is also likely to have a few wrinkles and some extra pounds. Be you. Let your personality shine through. People will relax more around you if you act naturally.
  2. Get out and try new things. Break the daily routine you are currently in. Get rid of your fears and hang-ups about meeting new people and dating. Even if you don’t meet a new partner, you’ll at least have fun.
  3. Remember that dating can be intimidating at any age and that relationships aren’t just for the young.

According to author Rachel Greenwald, finding a mate after 50 can be achieved by being proactive.

”In my experience, women and men over 50 can be successful in finding the right mate if they think about dating the same way they think about other challenges in their life,” she says. “You need a strategic plan— just like a plan you would use for accomplishing any other goal in your life (a work project, weight loss, or finding a new job).”
That plan includes:

Being proactive, and don’t sit around waiting for fate to knock on your door. Instead, open the door yourself! Challenge yourself to find love by next Valentines Day, Feb. 14, 2006. I know you can do it. Start with these five tips below. There are 100 more tips in my book where I have used the strategic thinking and marketing tactics that I learned in business school and applied them to the dating world:

Break out of your bubble
After 50, you’re probably sealed inside a comfortable bubble with your long-time friends, your predictable job, your cozy home where you’re set in your ways, and you cater to your grown children and their needs. All the favourite things you love (playing cards, going to movies, gardening, reading the Sunday paper, etc.) have put you in a big, fat rut. Pop that bubble! Do something outside your comfort zone, such as drinking coffee alone at Starbucks instead of in your own kitchen. Go back to your high school and college reunions, even if you’ve gained a few extra pounds (it’s a Mecca for lost loves and divorced men).

Telemarketing: Ouch! (but it really works!) You’re not gonna like this, but I want you to make a list of everyone (I mean EVERYONE you know, about 200 people from your dentist to your realtor to your college roommate). You know a lot of people by the time you’re 50. Call them and say, “This is the year I’ve decided to find someone wonderful to share my life with. Do you know anyone to introduce to me?”

Online dating: how to get results
It’s a visual medium, and the photo is everything! Be sure to have your photo taken professionally (good lighting is important after 50!). Also, have a male friend critique your written profile to make sure you sound like raspberry sorbet in a sea of vanilla ice cream. (p.s. Everyone wants a younger man these days and going online is the best way to find them.)

Niche marketing: network with grown children. With the divorce rate so high these days, so many grown children (over 18) have divorced dads. Some have widower dads too. Get your grown children, or the grown children of your friends and neighbors —and don’t forget your grown nieces and nephews — to play Cupid for you with their dads.

Lose the cynicism Your cynical attitude may be keeping you single. Do any of these comments sound familiar: There are no good men out there! They all want younger women! I can’t trust men! Who will want me looking like this? I’m sick of the whole dating thing, I never meet anyone! If you’re over 50 and single, you probably have good reason to be cynical, but here’s a fact — the number one comment that men over 50 tell me is,“I’m looking for someone with a positive attitude.”

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