When It Comes to Online Senior Dating, Do Women Hold All the Cards?
Have you decided the time has come to start dating again? If you have, and are unsure how to go about it, the best thing to do is talk with an expert. Professional dating coach, Lisa Copeland, discusses the one most important thing that every woman should have before she starts looking for a man. Enjoy the show!
One of the things that might be on our mind as we get a little bit older concerns dating. How do we get back in the dating scene? Perhaps we’ve gone through a divorce or we’ve found ourselves alone and lonely. My guest today is someone who is going to help us unravel this mystery.
Lisa Copeland is an expert dating coach who deals specifically with women over 50. She is determined to help women attract and keep a quality man. Lisa, welcome to the show.
Hi, Margaret. Thanks for having me today.
You look great, and I am really glad that you are on the show. You and I often have conversations on the topic of getting back in the dating game in your 60’s. The Sixty and Me community is normally divided right down the middle: One half of the people respond, “Yes, I want to go for it,” while the other half say, “No, never again.”
The question I have for you today pops up quite often and concerns a specific attitude. People often say, “I feel insecure. I don’t feel confident about getting back in the dating scene. I don’t feel like I have anything to offer.” How would you help a woman deal with that kind of mindset?
That is a great question, Margaret. When I work with women privately, their confidence is the first thing we focus on. The reason for that is, most people think, “Oh, I’m gonna open a profile. I’m gonna put it online, and men will come.”
The problem is, we sit in a vibration of ourselves, and people feel that vibration whether we’re sitting in front of them or they’re reading our profile. This happens because even in our profile we speak from either a place of empowerment, of feeling good about ourselves, or a place of insecurity.
When I first started dating in my 40’s, I was 20 years younger. I thought, “Will he like me?” I didn’t care whether I liked him. I simply gave all my power to a man. Part of the problem that women have with dating originates from them giving up their own power to feel good about themselves.
Working with clients, this is the first thing that we focus on. At the end of that first session, they almost always say to me, “Oh my God, I love that person.” We’re too busy picking ourselves apart and finding all our flaws. We tend to forget that when men look at us, they either like us for who we are, or they don’t. It is the same the other way around.
So, in many ways, women have a lot going for them when they go back on the dating market. They certainly have the wisdom of the years. Things were different when you were in your 40’s and early 50’s, but now you bring a lot to the table. How does that help their confidence?
The biggest thing is that we forget. When I sit down with a client, we make a list of 15 physical and 15 personality things they like about themselves; what they’re good at. In the end, when I read it back to them, they are like, “Oh my God, you’re talking about me.” That’s why they say, “That person sounds amazing.”
It really comes down to remembering who you are. With the daily drudge of life, we forget our identities, our own vibrancy and how amazing we are. This has a lot to do with the media being so focused on younger people, and so we hold ourselves up to our younger self’s standard.
In truth, whoever you are going to date is not going to know what you looked like when you were younger. They only know what you look like today; the wonderful person that you are now. It’s just a matter of remembering it for yourself and getting back in touch with your identity.
That’s why having a coach like you, for example, or a partner, is really valuable. They are able to say positive things about you and verify the beautiful parts of you that you don’t admit, or you don’t hold to be important.
I recently read an article that in your 50’s and 60’s the relationship that you have with yourself colors all the other relationships in your life. I think that’s really true. If you could love yourself, you can then love others.
I sometimes wonder—if our fear of dating in our 60’s comes from not knowing whether we can love someone again, then it must steam from us not loving ourselves. We don’t have that loving sense of who we are. Would you agree with that?
Yes, and I always think that we draw in someone exactly where we’re at. In relationships, the falling in love process is a hormonal deal. It’s not reality, but it is the first step of bonding with each other. Then you have to fall in like, and what usually happens is, we draw in people to heal many of our wounds.
When I work with clients, we always take a look at the patterns of men they are attracted to. In most cases, it has to do with a place of origin that still needs healing. You want a partner with whom you can grow together, but you can only grow from the point that each of you are currently at.
If you’re not feeling great about yourself, looking for someone to validate that you are great isn’t going to result in anything. You cannot attract someone when you’re not certain in yourself. You have to start at a place of feeling good about yourself.
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As women age, a lot of them think, “Who’s gonna like me this way?” But men do. What happens is, we know the stories about what’s going on online, and we look at men’s profiles and think, “They’re only dating women who are younger.” Okay, so maybe five men are dating women who are younger.
I see men, all the time, looking for women between five-to-ten years below and five-to-ten years above their age. It’s really a matter of where you started. It has to do with feeling good about yourself, so you could attract someone who could feel good about you too and who feels good about themselves.
I know you used to offer free consultancies before. Do you still do that now?
If people didn’t have someone like you to help them directly, what questions do you propose they ask themselves? Or what would be the way you would approach the issue? Give us a few tips that they could use for self-reaffirmation.
First of all, with the help of a computer and Google we can really research any topic. I would suggest finding a dating coach you would resonate with, and if you can’t afford to work with them, read their blogs. I know I give a ton of information on my blog.
The hardest part for most people is that they don’t follow through, and that is where a coach comes in. Plus, a coach keeps you on target for your goal, and when you feel bad, a coach reminds you of who you are.
When women say to me, “I’m just not feeling great. I had the worst date.” I reply, “Do you still have that mp3 I made of you that first day we worked together?” And they say, “Yeah.” I say, “Let’s get it out and listen to it, and we’ll talk about how you felt after you’ve heard it.”
The best thing to do is to start with Google. Search for things like How do I get my confidence back? I have tons of blogs on that. You can browse them and look for the information that you need.
You have an excellent blog at findaqualityman.com. Of course, you have also written a lot of articles for Sixty and Me as well as the YouTube interviews we’ve done in the past. The point you made here is really important, it’s worthy of reflection: Find your confidence. Love yourself, and then you’ve got all the cards that you can play in the game.
Exactly. Then the next part is being realistic about men.
One of the things that happens is, we don’t see ourselves aging because it’s a natural process to us. In fact, I remember showing a boyfriend in the past a picture of me when I was 20, and he said, “Who is that?” I remember thinking, “Are you dumb or something? That’s me!”
I’m just an older version of that person.
That’s right. This happens because we don’t see the aging process. We go online and browse for guys based on how men looked when we were in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, with a certain youth vibrancy. Now the men online are older, and we look at them and we go, “Oh my God, that’s my dad, or my grandpa, on there! I don’t look that old.”
But yes, we do. We just don’t recognize it because we do not believe that we will ever age. The thing to do is to come into realistic terms with what we want in a man. Everyone’s looks fade, but older people, whether they are 80 or 90, do not look hot. They look adorable.
My father is going to be 93, and he is so adorable, the women all want to be with him. It’s a matter of getting in touch with what you want. You really want someone who’s going to be there to hold your hand and to support you.
Looks are great—you do need an attraction—but one of the biggest drawbacks of online dating is you cannot tell a person’s personality; it’s very one-dimensional. You’re judging everything based on a face and words that someone wrote. Often times we feel betrayed when we read the words because we draw a story about who a person is based on the words we’ve read.
Then we meet him, and he doesn’t match the story we created. We think he is betraying us. I work with women a lot about this story telling thing because most women don’t realize that drawing stories about men they haven’t even met is a huge self-sabotage.
I think that your advice is wonderful. You have to be truthful about yourself, especially in terms of your good qualities and strengths. You need to be confident and know what you are looking for.
Great place to start, Lisa. As always, you’ve laid a good foundation for us. Anyone who’s watching, if you’ve got questions for Lisa, please leave them in the comments section below and we can keep the conversation going. Lisa, this is a great discussion. Thanks for giving us confidence. We appreciate it.
Do you have dating difficulties? What do you think of Lisa’s advice? Does your confidence need a boost? Please join the conversation!