What do men really want when it comes to mature dating? Are they simply looking for someone younger than them? Do they want someone who makes them feel useful? Or, is there some other key to an older man’s heart? Senior dating expert, Lisa Copeland, is here to help us figure this out. Enjoy the show!
Hello everyone! This is Margaret Manning with Sixty and Me. This is the place for women over 60 come to be inspired.
My guest today is Lisa Copeland, who is a dating coach. She specifically works with women over 60. She helps her clients to find men of great quality. I love to have you on the show, Lisa. Thanks for being here.
Hi, Margaret, thank you for having me.
It is so wonderful to speak with an expert in this field. One would think that women over 60 should know their way around mature dating. I think we have some misconceptions, however, and I would love to have you answer a really simple question: What do single men over 60 want from a woman?
They want a woman who is secure in her femininity and knows how to let a man be a man. They don’t want to be criticized. They want to be encouraged. They don’t want to have guilt placed on them. They want to be able to freely give what they want to give. The biggest thing is, women tend to forget to encourage men.
Also, we almost always have standards in our head of how something should be done. When a guy doesn’t do it to that standard, we criticize him or we hardly thank him. What we think is, “Oh, now I have to go back and do it over.”
You mentioned that being a feminine woman is important. This is a fascinating topic to me because I think a lot of women in their 50’s and 60’s were raised in a time when in order to get in the work force, for example, you had to be pushy and competitive.
In those days, you could flirt with men or attract their attention while working together. How does that change? How can that feminine side be revived in our 60’s?
Back in the day, women knew how to be women, but they weren’t treated with the respect they deserved. They were much cherished, which was great. However, they weren’t allowed to go to college or do the things that they wanted to do.
Then the women’s liberation movement came along. It opened doors for us that had never been opened before. This wasn’t all positive though, because by entering the world of men we became super women. We were striving to do everything that a man does, in addition to all of our usual chores. Because of all the strain this put us in, we were draining ourselves. We started to feel really “anti-men.”
We adopted this attitude that men just can’t do it right – that we can do it better and faster. Truthfully, this is the case in many situations because females approach problems in a way different from the male thinking. We have a much broader scope of thinking, while men are very single focused. Because of that, they can’t necessarily see the whole picture.
Thus, we became super women. We were powerhouses at work, then we would try and flip a switch at home. When that couldn’t happen, men started saying, “You’re emasculating me. You’re too demanding. You’re controlling. You’re not my boss.”
This is a great background overview. It’s wonderful to see it in this perspective because this is what we bring with us into our 60’s.
How do we change this learned behavior when we’re looking for a date? If we want to find either friendship or dating relationship, how do we ask men the right questions? How do we know to treat them in a way they would respond to?
We as women are very good at getting the cooperation of people. The problem comes in the way we communicate with men. For example, let’s say a table needs to be moved. When we ask a woman, “Can you help me move this table?” she would reply with, “Sure.” Since this is beneficial for the community, women don’t have a problem helping out.
When you say to a man, “Could you help me move this table?” he hears it as a command. Or, he hears it the way his mother would say, “You need to go clean your room,” or “Could you go clean your room?” The key, and our greatest asset, is to get the cooperation of a man by asking him in a way that would make him step up and be a man. You could apply this strategy in business as well. I’ve seen clients take this advice and use it in business.
Can you give us an example? What would you say to a man?
Honestly, I was the greatest emasculator in my day. After two relationships, the men said to me, “You don’t allow a man to be a man. You emasculated me.” I remember thinking, “I’m getting along great with men, but I put myself in a competitive, playful position.”
If you want to be in a relationship with a man you don’t want to compete with him. The way you ask him to come into cooperation with you is, “I need your help,” or “Could you do me a favor?” When a man helps you or does a favor for you he feels more manly. Men like feeling manly, and we’ve taken that away from them. We haven’t accepted them, but we want them to except who we are now. It’s time for us to acknowledge who they are, too.
There is one other thing you absolutely have to do. Men tell me all the time, “Women don’t appreciate me or what I do for them.” One of the reasons why older men like younger women is that younger women are more appreciative. They don’t try and change what a man has done so it would fit a standard. Nor do they tell them “It’s not enough,” or “Do it this way.”
This is very difficult for us. We’ve lived longer. On more than one occasion we’ve lived alone. We’re used to doing things our way. This is why it’s hard for us to accept that compromise.
There’s something curious about what you just said. People in the community often make comments like, “I’ve joined a mature dating site, and these old men say that they want someone between 25 and 35.” What is the reason for that? Is this because in their minds they associate dating with the time when they were in their 20’s? Or do they simply know that these younger women are going to be more receptive and giving of them.
It’s both, actually. Plus, we all live with the illusion that we’re still 20. All of us, in our minds, think we’re still young. Women tell me all the time, “People still tell me I look really young.” We come from a time of youthfulness. We haven’t left the days of peace, love, joy and happiness. This is how we still feel on the inside.
Our parents and grandparents didn’t grow in a youth culture. This trend began in our generation. Now here we are, shockingly in our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. How did that happen? Our inner selves feel younger, but when we go online, we see these old guys with white hair. Men seldom dye their hair so it’s often white. To us, they look much older and we think, “Oh my God! That could be my grandfather!”
Herein lies the problem, with the illusion that we are still young. Men too, go online, and even though they may look older than God, they go, “Everyone looks so old.” They are too, but just like us, they’re not able to see themselves this way. Older men though, they don’t necessarily know what they want. They don’t know how awesome women in their 50’s are.
My advice for senior dating sites is this: If you want to meet a guy, even if his profile lists him as 25 to 35, just favor him. If you look good and you have a great profile, he might take a second look and think, “This person would be fun to be with.” They don’t necessarily know how great women are in their 50’s, because they have this illusion of what they’ve seen online.
Based on what you said so far, men in their 50’s and 60’s are looking for women to be women. They want us to be feminine and to make them feel like our hero. Tell me more about that. I know a lot of women are going to say, “No, I don’t want him to be my hero.” Why do you think that’s what men in their 60’s want from a woman?
Men instinctively want to be your hero. All you’ve got to do is go back to the DNA coding within us. In that basic behavioral pattern, observed from caveman days, the man was the one who made you feel safe, protected and provided for. A woman would nurture and make sure everyone, including the man, was okay.
How many of us have turned ourselves inside out like pretzels to make sure the men are okay? In ancient times, nurture was second nature to us because if the men weren’t well we could die too.
That’s a really good point, Lisa. I think you’re right. We have these basic instinct in us for women to be nurturers and men to be leaders. In today’s modern world is this really still applicable? Do men really respect and expect women to give into their need to be strong and caveman like? Or do they want women to be strong?
I’ve worked with a lot of career women, who, in their first marriages, took what’s called a beta-man. The beta-man left it to the woman to make all the decisions. He respected her and she, in return, cherished him. They said to me, “I really want an alpha-man.” Even though we’re strong, we want to be able to lean into a man, to help them keep us save and protected. This is an inborn desire.
We’ve been fighting this piece of ourselves, thinking we weren’t okay enough if we had to lean into a man to keep us save and protected. This is okay though. It’s in our DNA coding, and it’s not worth fighting. A man wants to make you feel save and protected and provided for to the best of his ability. That’s what makes him feel a hero and appreciated. That’s huge!
I think you’ve given us a different lens on things. I think that women over 60 might still feel hurt from a relationship or from the experience in the workplace. They might not be ready to surrender the sense of control and allow their femininity to shine through.
In a previous discussion I remember you gave this example: When you’re out with someone having dinner, and they make a comment like, “I don’t think that this is a good meal.” Instead of being so combative you could say, “Would you mind if I gave my opinion?” or “Is it okay if I give my opinion on that?”
Saying, “Is it okay if I give my opinion,” gives your power away to him. Instead, you should say something like, “I have some thoughts about that I’d love to share. Would you like to hear them?” You have to be prepared for him to say no. Most of the time though, they will say yes because you asked in a way that didn’t take anything away from him.
The truth is, we take away from men on many occasions, without realizing it. In most cases, it’s very much a language problem. You can practice with waiters, with the guy who bags your groceries, with a man whom you can ask questions of. Always add, “Thank you. I so appreciate that,” or “Could you do me a favor? Could you reach the can up there on the shelve for me?” A man’s chest literally puffs up when he makes you feel safe and provided for.
I think that everyone in our community, all 46 000 women deserve this kind of man. This male energy is, really great and important. Thank you so much for the great advice!
It doesn’t take anything away from you to make a man feel appreciated. It actually adds power to what you have in the relationship. In fact, our biggest fear is that we’re going to lose our power when we have to consider a man’s feelings. Instead, the opposite is true. You lose your power when you make a demand of a man. Whereas, when you gain his cooperation and the man knows you understand and appreciate him, you become equal. All we’re doing is learning to re-recognize man, along with being recognized for how wonderful we are, too.
Lisa, you said something, which is great. Also, I shouldn’t have assumed every one of the 46 000 women in our community wants a man in their life. I think that what you’ve been saying all along is to know yourself and be really comfortable with the multi-faceted woman that you are. You should learn to be feminine and nurturing with everybody that you come across. I think you’ve given us some great advice and I really, really appreciate your insights. Thank you, again!
What do you think are the keys to successful mature dating? Do you think that the men around you are worth your appreciation? What do you think about trying to be less critical and more cooperative with the men in your life? What can you improve in your attitude towards men?