Dating. Just the word can put the fear of God into a person. Especially when you were out of the game for a long period of time. Most people will start to experience a sense of anxiety over the situation and might even just grab on to anyone that is passing by. Whether they are a good match or a bad match. Naturally, there may be a fear of being alone. We feel the clock tick tick ticking away. I mean we aren’t 21 anymore. Things have migrated on our bodies, disappeared or have seemingly shown up overnight. However, we also have something that we didn’t have when we were 21. A clearer understanding of what life is about and what is important. This puts us in a unique situation. At 21, no one knows what they want let alone who they want. Now being older you can put your life experiences into your search. You should now recognize that you are in a much more powerful position about a potential life partner than you ever were in your younger years.
First, dating game has changed. Let’s put this into perspective a little bit. If you are in your 50’s and getting back out in the game, chances are you probably got out of the game somewhere in the 80’s.
There was, no texting – home PCs – a cell phone in everyone’s pocket – SIRI – the internet for personal use – or personal GPS.
So, when you went on a date it was a lot more work than it is today. Let me give you an example.
In 1985’s world, you finally get up the nerve to ask a woman out on a date.
You decide to buy a new shirt and tie for the event. You find yourself spending hours in a mall trying to find the right fit and color.
Then you go to pick her up but the directions are confusing and you end up running 30 minutes late, even though you left 30 minutes early. Therefore, she is annoyed when you finally arrived.
You go to a restaurant that you heard about from a friend and enjoy a meal together.
But you search about what to talk about because you are still at that awkward stage.
You drop her off at home thinking “Well overall I guess it could have gone better.”
The next day you call to thank her for an amazing night only to be told that she got horrible food poisoning from that restaurant last night.
Crash and burn no further date for you.
The point to all of this is that dating today will be easier for you, albeit scary. All those problems you had in 1985 are made easier by today’s technology. You haven’t even done anything and you are ahead. Heck if you wanted to, you could just sit at home and date from the computer. That was never the case in 1985.
Today, you are more confident in your life, who you are, your career, and where your life is going. But despite all that all our insecurities and fears are still present when we put ourselves out there. So here are some tips to help you out when you finally decide to start dating.
Dating starts with flirting. You might scoff at the thought of flirting. I mean you aren’t a teenager. Isn’t flirting just for teeny boppers? NO! At this point in your life, you are more in tune to what flirting is and when you are being flirted with. A glance held just a second longer, a touch of the hand that lingers, a well-placed compliment, are all flirting. However, the flirtations that worked in your 20’s are no longer appropriate in your 50’s. For women, the hair flip and giggle, wearing something just a little too tight or revealing. For men the sexual innuendos and double entendres. For the ladies instead of something revealing, opt for a necklace that dips just low enough to be sexy. For the men instead of the jokes say, “You look lovely.” Which gives her the message that you are attracted to her without having any hint of sleaziness.
Flirtation today at your age can also take a more charming approach that wouldn’t work for someone in their 20’s. For men pulling her chair out for her, holding the door open, offering your arm while you are walking or offering your coat if it is chilly. These are all flirty while also being charming. For a woman, you can accept these gestures or make one of her own by putting your arm through his while walking. Younger people don’t appreciate these gestures as much but growing up in the age you did it, these gestures hold a different meaning.
Now you’ve made the move and you have a date. Oh boy. The last time you went on a first date Reagan was president.
Don’t worry. This isn’t that hard. You could go with the old standby of dinner and a movie, but you could try something a little different.
Try a wine tasting by attending one or visiting a vineyard. This gives you something to do while also allowing you to talk.
If you live in a warm state or it is the time of year when it is warm, consider packing a picnic and have a spot picked out where the two of you can watch the sunset. If you live by a lake or the ocean, consider renting a boat and taking it out on the water to eat your picnic on the water. Only do this is you are sure your date doesn’t get sea sick.
Take a one-night cooking class together and create something delicious side by side. Even if your pasta sauce turns out disastrous you’ll both get a good laugh out of it.
Create art together at a create your own wine glass or pottery. This is something you can both do together and have as a keepsake of your first date.
As you are enjoying your date, don’t forget to talk to each other. However, stay away from these topics.
• How has dating been going for you?
• Past relationships – including their and yours past marriage whether it ended in divorce or death.
• Problems with kids or family
• Age questions (What year did you graduate high school?)
• Anything to do with sex
Here are some good topics to bring up
• Where did they grow up
• Work-related questions (stay away from salary or benefits questions)
• Interests (activities, places they want to visit)
• Ask about their parents and children (but when you are asked don’t go into any problems. Stay positive and upbeat)
Now to round this all out, we leave you with a few parting tips.
• Do not have sex until you are sure, sure, SURE you are ready.
• Find things that you like about them. Don’t be so focused on their negatives attributes.
• Stay positive and upbeat – It deserved to be repeated
• Keep the conversation in good taste
• Be humble
You’ve got this. This dating thing is gonna be a breeze. Before you know it your friends and children will be asking you for dating tips. Now go out there and find your perfect match!
By Alisa Bashaw