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Are You Looking for Love or Compliments?

By Michele Burghardt August 21, 2023 Dating

Would it surprise you to learn that only 5 percent of women at age 65 will meet a new man in the next 12-month period? And it’s not because all the good men are taken. It’s because so many single women don’t truly want to date. They think they do, but when they really have an opportunity, it turns out they are online dating for many other reasons.

In a dating study, 44 percent of people admitted that they use dating apps to boost their confidence, provide entertainment, and validate that they ‘still got it’. Meaning that singles post an online profile, and maybe even respond to messages only to see how many men like them so they can measure their attractiveness. Many women have no desire to meet up with a man for a real date. They are looking for validation, rather than love.

Everyone likes to be liked. And our brain gets a rush of dopamine every time we see those magical words, it’s a match, pop up in a dating app. You get a rush of ‘feel good’ chemicals when you get a respectable number of likes, compliments, and messages from men. You can prove to yourself that you are still attractive and loveable, even at this stage of life, all from the comfort of your own home.

Can External Validation Be Harmful?

Feeling flattered by compliments is natural. It only becomes dangerous when your personal self-worth becomes tied to those compliments. The dating world is fickle, and you always get more attention when you’re new to a dating site and you first post your profile.

If you’re feeling beautiful only because you received 20 ‘likes’ in one day, how will you feel when two months later, this number dwindles down to five? Confidence is such an important aspect of successful dating that it’s important to feel confident in yourself regardless of how men view you.

Yes, women are confident at this stage of life. However, being confident in your work life or social circle can be very different from feeling confident in love and relationships. If you are new to the dating scene, it’s natural to feel a little uncomfortable. Everyone feels awkward when learning something new. Yes, it’s safe.

However, if you settle for keeping men at arm’s length and never meet men in real life, you’ll never increase your skill level, self-confidence, or self-esteem at your core. And it’s your strong and worthy mindset that keeps you from feeling needy and powerless.

How to Foster Internal Validation

If you go into dating with the old-fashioned mindset of, ‘I hope he likes me’, it can be easy to fall into this external validation trap. You’re waiting to be picked by a man. However, when you shift your mindset to, ‘I hope I like him’, it gives you back some control of your love life and helps you date for the right reasons; to find someone special you can invite into your life.

If you notice yourself having a hard time setting boundaries, jumping from man to man, saying “Yes” when you want to say “No,” avoiding conflict, or stretching the truth to earn a sympathetic ear, here are some simple strategies to help strengthen your self-validation from the inside out.

  • Give yourself a high-five every time you do something good – it doesn’t even need to be something big.
  • Spend time with people who celebrate you, not tolerate you.
  • If you have a tendency to dwell on your mistakes, ask yourself how much it will matter to you in the next five minutes, five days, and five years. You‘ll be surprised how short-term most mistakes are.
  • Create your personal mantra. Mine is, “I’m worthy simply because I am”. (Feel free to use this.)
  • Put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you wait for someone else to validate you. Follow it up with a positive affirmation that feels good.

Worthiness is not a commodity. There are no requirements or qualifications you must have to be worthy of love. Even though our worthiness may have gotten tarnished along the way, we were born with a full love tank. Now rather than wait for someone else to assure you, know you’re the one person you can always count on. You know who you are and what you need to be happy. All you need to do now is give yourself permission to ask for what you want.

Successful dating is an inside-outside process. You want to feel worthy on the inside of dating those high-quality men who can love you the way you want to be loved. And you want to understand positive age-specific dating tips and strategies from the outside so you can date with clarity and confidence on your journey to finding love.

This is why I include my exclusive outside/inside coaching system in all my coaching programs. If you don’t have the right mindset, your skillset won’t matter.

Let’s Start a Conversation:

What’s the one thing in your life you are the proudest of and why? Where do you find your worth? Do you wait for others to appreciate you? Or do you have your own self-confidence that is above all?

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Teresita Abad


Michele Burghardt

Hi Teresita

Thank you for your input. I am wishing you well. xxoo Michele


I’m a Christian widow who respects the laws and the Holy Bible which highlights marriage for male and female in the earth 🌎.
Marriage is a serious gift from God for both spouses. If we followed the Biblical teaching of Christ, marriage wouldn’t be such a negative life style in our modern society.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Bonita I’m so happy you’re enjoying your faith. I appreciate your comments. I was married for a lifetime and believe in marriage. It’s a personal choice of course, but it is a shame that something designed for love can bring out so many negative emotions. Thank you for your input. xxoo Michele


True, I Agree

Michele Burghardt

Hi Vince, thanks for your comment. Hope you’re having a great week. Michele


Your stats are slightly off. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that each year, out of every 1,000 widowed men and women ages 65 and older, only 3 women (0.3%, not 5%) and 17 (1.7%) men remarry (Clarke, 1995).

Michele Burghardt

Hi Gerry, Hmmmm I’m wondering when I stats are recorded. Thanks for the update. Sending you my best. xxoo Michele


Clark (1995) 28 years back, don’t you think the figures would have changed by now? If you want to challenge her submission, you must provide a source that is very recent.

Michele Burghardt

Hi Hadiza, I do think my stats are more current, but my emphasis is more on helping women explore self-love from the inside. That’s what I hope the take-away will be. Thanks so much for your input. Enjoy your day! xxoo Michele


I’m not at all surprised that many 65 year olds want to be single – I’m one of them. I’m looking forward to having a little place of my own in the near future, with the freedom that will bring. I don’t want a man in my living space! I look forward to having my girlfriends and adult children to stay.
I’ve waited a long time for this stage in my life – I have a job I love, adult children and grandchildren, fantastic girlfriends, hobbies and interests – there’s no room for a man!
We don’t need validation from a man – there are plenty of other sources, including ourselves!


I feel the same way about women.

Michele Burghardt


Michele Burghardt

Hi Nell, I’m so happy that your life is so rich and juicy. I agree that we don’t need external validation, it can be so dangerous to our self esteem. Keep spreading joy my friend. 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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