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Is There a Different Way to Look at Red Flags?

By Michele Burghardt March 23, 2024 Dating

It’s no secret that women over 60 have extremely high standards as they experience the dating scene. You are smart, independent, and savvy and don’t want to settle for anything less than you already have. You’ve built a beautiful life for yourself. The problem is, you’ve built a beautiful life for one, and it gets lonely.

Unfortunately, when you meet someone new, it’s typical to evaluate him based on your ‘list’. Everyone has one, even if you don’t have it written down. And it’s human nature to naturally look for a reason to say “No” rather than “Yes.” Your brain is working overtime to keep you safe by making it easy for you to swipe left or walk away. Protecting you is the primary job of your subconscious mind.

I know from personal experience how easy it is to break things off with a man when things don’t line up perfectly or match the picture you have in your mind of what the perfect relationship looks like. And unfortunately, you can miss out on some really wonderful men if you do that too quickly or easily.

Knowing your must haves and deal breakers is essential to being able to recognize a man who is a good fit for you. However, if your lists contain more than three or four things each, you are becoming too specific and may narrow your dating pool even further. There’s a shift you can make to date with a more sophisticated approach that helps you slow things down, to give yourself time to get past his date-face and start getting to know the real man.

Here are a few of the things you can do:

Put in Some Effort to Know the Man

Make a special point to find at least three things to like about any man you meet. Look for ways to say “Yes.” Remember what you focus on expands, so focus on his positives.

Consider Real Red Flags

Ask yourself if everything you consider to be a ‘red flag’ really is red. Is it something that you would love to have in your perfect world, or is it truly something that you could never deal with in a life partner?

Try to Neglect Small Flaws

Embrace his minor ‘red flags’ and consider them opportunities to grow as a couple. Rather than move on, evaluate if this is something you could negotiate or create a workaround for. These are the situations that help you learn how each of you loves, argues, deals with conflict, and disagrees. This can help deepen the emotional intimacy you share more than you can imagine.

Stop Worrying About the Lack of Common Interests

If you and a man like to do one or two of the same things, you have a good starting point. It’s more important for you to share personal values and goals than to share interests and hobbies. You can learn a new hobby in time, or not. Having separate interests keeps the conversation fresh and new for years to come.

Become the Person You Want to Meet

Believe it or not, men are evaluating you through their list as well. It’s not fair to expect your date to be ‘more’ than you are. Quality men look for quality women, so be sure you’re living your best life as well.

Disregard Stereotypes

Throw out most of the myths you heard about dating at this stage of life. Men at our age are much less threatened by smart, successful women than they may have been in their 30s or 40s. They still like to feel appreciated for what they do, but they recognize that smart, successful women help make adulting easier and more fun.

Stop Assuming Men Aren’t Sensitive

Men can carry forward as much pain and hurt from the past to present relationships as we do. They simply don’t talk about it as much. I have found men to be much more open about their feelings at this stage of life than ever before. It simply takes them a bit longer to feel safe enough to share them.

If you’ve been reading my articles, you know that recently I moved on too quickly from a special man because he didn’t match my perfect picture of what a relationship should be. As I thought about that experience, after the fact, I realized that I was dating through a fear lens rather than a love lens. And if I didn’t do something to change, it was highly likely to happen again. And I would continue to be alone. That’s when I took action.

If you think it’s time for you to take your own type of action, I invite you to enter to win my free 60-minute coaching session. This is your opportunity to talk with me one-on-one about your unique situation. We’ll talk about what’s working, what’s not, and how to change things so you can level-up your dating style, meet higher-quality men, and start having more fun. Simply click here to enter. I’ll be selecting one winner in the next 10 days, and it could easily be you.

In the meantime, keep your heart open and ready for love. You never know where you will find it.

Let’s Start a Conversation

Do you think you bring as much to the table as you ask of men? If not, what types of things could you delete from your list?

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Judy Whaley

My sister in law (mid 60’s-early 70’s) , after losing two husbands, was eager to have another partner. She found these guys on dating apps. What a couple of losers. The last one, she unfortunately married. The first time I met the guy he was stumbling drunk on the street. I thought why is this guy even appealing? She ignored the red flags. After he retired, he became a raging alcoholic and finally died due to alcohol induced dementia. The desire for a sexual life and companionship must not override a person’s common sense and ignoring red flags.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Judy, I absoluely agree with that. I’m sorry your sister went through that. An experience like this will leave a mark on her heart for quite a while. Dating does take an inner sense of self confidence and self worth so you’re comfortable picking the right men. Sending love to your and your sister. xxoo Michele

The Author

Michele Burghardt is an author, speaker, and dating coach for women 50 and over with 20 + years of experience in the self-help area. She believes loving yourself is the first step to finding love. You can learn more about her transformational coaching style and her book at

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