Tag - seniors dating

Dating advice for older singles

All the good ones are taken … I’m too old to feel THAT way again … I don’t look as good as I used to … I haven’t accomplished enough at my age … I don’t even know how to flirt anymore …

For older singles hungry for partnership, these common worries can prevent taking the steps that lead to fulfilling relationships, says dating and life coach Deborah Downey. And, of course, the dating scene has changed quite a bit in the past decade alone; younger people meet online and wallpaper their profiles with “selfies.”

“Although the ‘selfie’ is now widely accepted, there are some older singles who are intimidated by what it seems to signify: that we’ve gone from the ‘Age of Aquarius’ to an age of vanity and superficiality,” says Downey, author of What Are You Worried About? (http://www. coachdeborahdowney.com/).

“It’s one thing to be self-actualized and self-enriched; it’s another to be self-absorbed.”

For older singles looking to date — and more, there’s plenty to feel optimistic about, says Downey, who found romance later in life after her husband passed away. Despite living with multiple sclerosis for 25 years, she says, she’s happy and fulfilled.

There are more singles than ever age 40 and older that are looking for love. Downey offers tips for the older single looking for a meaningful and lasting connection.

  • Ignore ego-based doubts. It’s easy to idealize memories of dating when you were younger, perhaps in better shape and more energetic. But most likely, your younger self was also scared of not being “good enough” and was probably not as self-actualized as who you are today. Don’t fall for the ego doubts of your youth; embrace your maturity, part of which includes accepting who you are in any situation. If that is difficult, consider this period in your life as an opportunity to improve self-acceptance.
  • Know your target and have fun! Dating takes time and effort, so don’t go into it blind. You may want to specify your preferences, such as “non-smoker” or “financially independent” or “health conscious.” Once on your date, remember that you’re supposed to be having fun, nerves notwithstanding. The best way to gauge whether the date is going well is to take note of whether you’re actually enjoying yourself.
  • Internet dating is legit. The stigma against meeting dates online has all but lifted. You’ll want to represent yourself fairly and accurately in a profile. Don’t go blank and write an overly simple profile; tell a good, positive story about a small victory during childhood or talk about your bucket list. Forget about clichés like wine tastings or hobbies, avoid poor spelling and make sure your photo is current. Don’t try to be “cool” or clever; just be real. When meeting someone, use common sense: take it slow, be wary of scams, meet in a public place and so on.
  • Consider the sensibilities of your date. After a few successful dates, remember that men and women share universal sensibilities. Men and women both like to be complimented, admired and appreciated. Everyone wants to feel important. Specifically, men like it when women suggest doing something together that he will like, such as going fishing or to a sporting event. Women generally appreciate being encouraged to express their feelings, and when men share their own feelings.
  • Above all, be comfortable and in touch with your inner self and you’ll be more likely to be ‘lucky in love,’ ” Downey says.

About Deborah Downey

Deborah Downey’s experience spans 25 years of recovery in various 12-step programs around the country. Holding certifications as a professional life coach and as a chemical dependency counselor, Downey has dealt with addiction in its various forms, both as the child of alcoholic parents and as a confidant for others. In her self-help book, “What Are You Worried About?”  (http://www. coachdeborahdowney.com/), Downey, who has multiple sclerosis, details a proactive approach to training one’s mind to think positive.

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Dating tips for folks over 50

Seniors dating can face different challenges than when they were younger

Nearly half of all single baby boomers are dating, and many of them are swelling the profiles of online matchmaking websites with names like SilverSingles, SeniorPassions and dating.aarp.org.

Match.com, one of the largest dating sites for people of all ages, says its baby boomer clientele has grown 90 percent in five years, with a quarter of its 15 million users ages 50 to 65.

“Older people love a good romance as much as 20-somethings, and many of us still get just as love-drunk as we did when we wore size 32 Levis with no Expanda-Waist,” says Charles W. Massie, a baby boomer who wrote about his online dating experience in a new novel, “Stains on the Gavel” (www.starshowpublications.com).

“But you’ve really got to be careful, whether you’re a woman or a man. A lot of women my age complain the men they meet haven’t changed at all in 50 years – they want to skip the coffee and head straight for the bedroom. My experience was even worse!”

Massie says the woman he met went to great lengths to make him believe she was completely smitten.

“Plain and simple – I quit thinking with my brain,” he says.

The woman ended up setting him up in an elaborate ruse that resulted in him going to jail on false charges and her in possession of everything he owned.

Whether you’re meeting people through social media networks, dating sites or through online advertising, Massie offers these cautionary tips for fellow seniors interested in dating.

• Don’t use Craigslist as a dating website. Just don’t. People advertising on Craigslist haven’t been vetted by anyone – you have no idea if anything they’re saying is true, Massie says. Several people have died at the hands of those they met on Craigslist, and it’s not just women who are vulnerable. In 2012, Troy LaFerrara was killed by a young couple he met through a “companionship” ad. “The ‘black widow’ who snared me I met through Craigslist,” Massie says.

• If it looks too good to be true, beware! Let’s face it, as we age, we want to believe we’re still the hot young stud or studette that we were in our prime, but we’re not, Massie says. If some beautiful woman or extraordinarily handsome man suddenly becomes completely enamored of you, be wary. Yes, it does happen sometimes, but we become extremely vulnerable when we want something to be true so badly that we ignore all signs to the contrary.

• Don’t rush into cohabitation. If you have an independent lifestyle – your own home, etc. – don’t be tempted to move right in with your new honey. Think about the advice you’d give your own kids or grandkids! Once you’re sharing an abode, that person not only has access to all of your personal belongings, computer, accounts, etc., he or she also has more control if you’ve moved into their place. If you invite him or her to move in with you, it can be very difficult to remove the person if you realize you’ve saddled up with a freeloader.

Many of the safety and other concerns associated with meeting people online are the same no matter what your age, Massie notes.

“But when you’re older, you may be lonelier or less secure about how attractive you are to the opposite sex, and that leads you to do irrational things,” he says. “Enjoy the person, get to know them, but stay true to yourself and adhere to commonsense rules.”

About Charles Massie
Charles Massie is an engineer, former member of the U.S. Navy and businessman, overseeing several companies including Massie Engineering Associates and InfoTech Consulting. He’s also a prolific writer and owner of Starshow Publications. “Stains on the Gavel,” www.starshowpublications.com, continues the story of his online dating and criminal justice nightmare, which begins in his first novel, “Pinned: A Kentucky True Crime.”

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