What I Learned About Senior Dating from a Professional Dating Coach
If you are like many women in the community, the concept of senior dating probably sounds about as appealing as watching paint dry. For starters, no-one wants to think of themselves as a senior, even if they are in their 60s. In addition, after a life-time of difficult relationships, is it reasonable to think that we will be lucky in love in our 60s or 70s?
Is Senior Dating Worth the Trouble?
By the time we reach our 60s, most of us have experienced romantic highs and devastating lows. Many of us have suffered broken trust, divorce and lost. Is it any wonder that most women our age are reluctant to try “dating” again?
To explore the fascinating world of senior dating, and get some practical advice for the women in our community, I recently interviewed Lisa Copeland. Lisa is a dating coach, who specializes in helping women over 50 to find and build relationships with “quality men”.
After her own experience with divorce, she set out to learn everything that she could about relationships and developed her own model for “grown up” dating.
Lisa is a genuine person, full of warmth and positive ideas. I also believe that her practical tips will help many women in the community to give dating another shot. Here’s what I learned from Lisa:
Dating After 60 is Different!
Facing and coming to terms with a lifetime of relationship ups and downs takes confidence. While women over 60 may have more emotional scars than our younger counterparts, we do have one big advantage – we know what we want!
Over the last few years, I’ve had a chance to talk with many of the women in the Sixty and Me community about relationships and dating. One of the common threads that has emerged from these discussions is that us “older women” have little tolerance for games or time wasters.
While it is possible to take this too far, for the most part, knowing what you want and sticking to your own standards is a good thing. According to Lisa, after one relationship ends, it’s critical to enter the dating world with a clear understanding of your motivations, goals and desires.
Another big difference with dating after 60 is that, unlike when we were teenagers, we can’t necessarily expect men to make the first move. Sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands – even if it’s just to start up a conversation in the supermarket or invite a male friend out for a coffee.
Have High Standards, but, Be Realistic!
While it is important for women over 60 to have a good idea of what they want from the dating scent, it is also important to be realistic. Sometimes it feels like the women of our generation are a little too quick to judge older men. Is it true that most single men over 60 could benefit from going to the gym once in a while?
Absolutely! Could many men do with some fashion advice or a new haircut? Well, yes, actually! But, this doesn’t mean that we should stop looking for the potential in people.
After all, we hate it when others judge us unfairly or push their aging stereotypes our way. Is it possible that some of us are inadvertently doing the same when it comes to men?
During our interview, Lisa mentioned that many women expect to find a George Clooney lookalike. Or, they approach dating in their 60s like they did in their 20s – waiting for others to come to them and expecting to be swept off their feet.
Senior dating can be fun, but, we have to give it time. If we want to find a diamond in the rough, we have to be prepared to do a little searching.
Have We Forgotten How to Flirt?
In the six decades that we have been alive, women have made a lot of progress. Yes, many people would argue that we still have a long way to go. But, for the most part, women are now freer than ever to pursue their dreams. But, is it possible that there is a darker side to the women’s movement when it comes to dating and, more generally, relationship building?
Lisa thinks so. In fact, she feels that, in many ways, the women’s movement set up a competitive dynamic between men and women. Lisa discusses the fact that, in an effort to appear strong and in control, women often forget their feminine side. While we were fighting for our rights and building our careers, this “toughness” made a lot of sense. But, now, with six decades of experience behind us, maybe it’s time to reconnect with our softer sides. Maybe it’s time to remind ourselves how to flirt.
Why would this be potentially helpful? Because women who learn how to soften their interactions with men will be more likely to be able to say that four magic words that ever man wants to hear.
Do You Know the Four Magic Words Every Man Wants to Hear?
During our discussion, Lisa mentioned that the women that are most successful when it comes to senior dating are the ones that are able to soften their approach. She gave an example of a female CEO, who was struggling in her relationship with her partner. After countless arguments, she tried using the four magic words, which are “could you help me?”
On the surface, this seems like a simple question, but, it is also powerful. Lisa argues that these simple words allow men to slip back into their natural role as helpers and protectors. Allowing a man to be a “giver” is, in itself, a wonderful gift, whether you are dating or in a long-term, committed relationship.
So, if you want to find a quality man after 60, Lisa’s advice is simple: be a strong, gentle, feminine woman who is capable of giving and receiving. This shouldn’t be seen as a sign of weakness. After all, when we allow a man to give, we are still in control of the dynamic.
Look for a Quality Man in the Right Places
Lisa has had years of experience helping women over 50 to find new relationships and she is convinced that online dating is the best solution. It’s fast, effective and, in most cases, relatively inexpensive.
For my part, I have always believed in following my passions and letting the rest take care of itself. Other than online dating, it’s unlikely that you will find any quality men from the comfort of your own home. So, get out into the world. Take up golf, tennis, or another sport. Or, if you love traveling, while learning new things, why not consider a Road Scholar trip?
Whatever you do, don’t expect your quality man to come looking for you. While this might happen in the fairytales, it’s unlikely to happen in real life.
Understand What Older Men Want
One of the complaints about older men is that they only want to date younger women. Lisa reminds us that men, just like us, have an “ideal” when it comes to dating. It’s absolutely true that many older men care about physical beauty and youth. But, this is only part of the story.
Lisa reminds us that we are just as capable of flirting as our younger counterparts. Like any other skill, we just need some practice. At the end of the day, most men just want to be appreciated and valued, not criticized and rejected.
Finally, Lisa advised us not to take the game to seriously. Not every man will be a potential partner or husband, but, this doesn’t mean that we can’t have plenty of male friends. In fact, I would argue that the more male friends you have in your life the better your chances of finding a quality man. Everyone, both men and women, has a fear of rejection. So, try to relax. At the end of the day, a date it just a date.
Are you on a journey to find love in your 60’s? How’s it going? Have you tried senior dating? Please leave your thoughts and share your experiences in the comments section below.