I’ve lost track of the number of times senior men and women have told me they felt it was okay to lie about age in their online dating profiles. If I had to give a percentage to seniors who believe...
Seniors, Here’s How Not To Date Forever
By Ken Solin
Forever Is A Long Time. My women date coaching clients frequently ask, “Am I going to be dating forever?” Their lament mostly reflects their frustration with online dating. And since there are generally more women than men in senior online dating sites, the sense that a woman might never meet her guy can overwhelm her and stifle her best efforts. Although challenging, there are ways to overcome some of the frustrations of online dating and here’s how you should push forward.
Asking The Right Questions
Do you know who you are? Can you state your half dozen best qualities? Do you actually know what you’re looking for in a partner? Do you consistently date a specific type of man or woman? Are half or more of the online invitations you send responded to?
While some of these questions may sound glib, they’re meant to demonstrate some of what you’ll need to know to avoid dating forever. Let’s take these one at a time.
1. Do You Know Who You Are?
This question pertains to how well you know the real person you see in the mirror. Contrary to popular belief, people do in fact change over time, but many seniors don’t notice the changes. You’ve changed if you’ve done some amount of personal growth work, if you’re in a men or women’s group, if you’ve taken any type of classes, if you’re newly single, or if you haven’t dated in years. Knowing who you are requires a long hard look into your soul to accurately identify the authentic you. Factor in all the changes in your life over the past decades and fill in the blanks. Only then you will be able to better understand what type of person you are looking for to share your passion, interests and intimacy with.
2. What Are Your Best Qualities?
The first assignment I give my date coaching clients is to write down their half dozen best qualities. While this sounds simple, few seniors have a good handle on it because we’re not accustomed to evaluating ourselves.
A short list of qualities to get you started includes compassionate, kind, warm, friendly, honest, shy, aggressive, intelligent, calm, joyful, optimistic, and openhearted. But there are many others you might want to consider. Once you’ve identified your best qualities and written them down, you have the specific qualities to look for in a potential partner.
3. Do You Know Who You’re Looking For?
The list of your best qualities should give you some insight into choosing the men or women you date. But there’s more to knowing who you’re looking for. Physical types are problematic for many seniors, particularly those who repeatedly date the same person with a different name. If your type made sense you’d already be partnered, so stop typecasting your dates and open up to new and different possibilities. After dating for years I finally met my partner online when I stopped typecasting my dates. She doesn’t look or behave anything like the women I dated previously, and I think she’s beautiful, sweet, and perfect in all the important ways. You are compatible with more than one type of person so why constantly limit yourself?
4. Are You Sending the Right Online Invites?
Many senior daters don’t receive responses from their online email invitations. If you’re sending invitations to appropriate potential dates and they mostly go unanswered, consider the quality of your initial emails. Are you saying too much or too little in a first email? I advise my clients to delete emails that are obvious cut and pastes, i.e., Hi cutie, let’s talk. Your invitations should indicate that you’ve done some research. Be sure to include some aspects of the person’s profile that demonstrate you actually read it and are interested. But it’s also not appropriate to say too much. A client showed me one fellow’s initial email that included his entire life story – that’s obviously too intrusive. A few clever or funny sentences suffice to intrigue someone. But also consider your own online profile in terms of whether or not it will be attractive enough to garner attention. You need to flesh out your profile to attract attention.
Online Dating Works
I’ve been a Dating Expert for long enough to know there are too many senior online dating success stories to dismiss online dating as a gimmick. When used creatively, online dating works for single seniors, 25% of whom are dating online according to AARP. But seniors who believe online dating is simply throwing darts at potential date’s online profiles are missing the boat. Sure, luck plays a role, but a minor one.
Whether or not you date forever depends in great part on your creative dating skills and stamina. Take a break when you’re feeling date fatigue, but don’t let too much time pass before you begin again refreshed and ready.
For lots more over 50 dating tips from our Senior Dating Expert Ken Solin, be sure to check out more awesome dating advice.