The Secret to Senior Dating – Saying No to “Take-Out Order Dating”
The senior dating game can be tough. Not only can it bruise your ego, but, it can also bring up all the unhealed rejection that happened earlier in life.
It can feel a bit like when you were picked last for kickball or baseball in grade school. Do you remember how demoralizing this felt, watching everyone else get chosen, while you were left behind with the other misfits in your class?
In the dating world, it can seem like everyone has been chosen to be part of a couple except you. Of course, it’s not true. One in four Baby Boomer marriages are ending in divorce these days, which means there are plenty of men and women out there to date.
The problem is that we feel simultaneously too good to date some of them and not good enough to date others.
It’s exhausting and I’m not surprised to hear a sigh of relief when I ask clients to stop dating for a bit. I share with them that this is a time to get to know who they are again. It’s easy to forget how truly awesome you are when the people you want to date don’t want to date you.
You Begin Thinking, “What’s Wrong with Me?”
This will be a telltale sign to take a break and get back in touch with you again. Take some time to nurture yourself. This includes making a list of what is great about you and what you are bringing to the dating table.
Figure out what you like to do and get out there and do it, whether it’s an art class, hitting golf balls at the driving range or listening to music at a local bar. Rediscovering what makes you tick sparks the passion you once had about yourself before you started dating. This inner passion is what the opposite sex is attracted to in you.
Be Open to Possibilities
Once you have your mojo back, it’s time to take a look at the mindset you’re using for choosing the special person you want to share your life with.
Most singles over 60 head online searching for a specific type of person who must meet an imaginary list of dating standards to get a date with them.
The criteria often includes a particular set of qualities such as handsome, beautiful, fit, exact height and weight proportions, specific jobs and income, just to name a few.
There must be an immediate attraction or all bets are off. I like to call this “take-out order dating.”
In my 40s, I recall reading a man’s profile describing his perfect mate. He said, “The woman I’m looking to share my life with must be blonde, petite, slim, funny and have a great job.” I remember laughing and thinking this man believes he can put his order for a woman into an online dating site and she will just appear.
“Take-out order dating” contributes to so much of the frustration both men and women feel dating at this age. Instead of being fun, dating becomes an exercise of constant frustration when you can’t find that elusive person.
You start feeling like no one is out there to date and what happens is you end up quitting; resigning yourself to being single forever.
Dating is about attracting a great partner who will be there for you, who will love and support you through the ups and the downs of life. Chemistry is great, but, it wanes over time and, unless you have a loving caring partner beneath the hormones, the relationship can wither and die.
Qualities like kindness, compassion and love should come up high on your list of must haves. Sharing life, having fun, laughter, great communication and enjoying each other’s company will be the secret for attracting the fulfilling long term loving relationship you desire after 60.
Do you think that, as women over 60, we pay too much attention to surface-level characteristics, like attractiveness and financial success? Has anyone you know found love after 60? Please join the conversation.