Not Looking for Love? No Problem! Senior Dating is Still a Great Way to Make Friends
Many people associate dating with finding love. But is that the only thing dating could be useful for? Join us in a discussion with professional dating coach, Lisa Copeland, who has a bag full of ideas about finding friends in your 60’s. Enjoy the show!
My guest today is Lisa Copeland. Lisa is a good friend of Sixty and Me. She is a dating coach, and she helps women over 50 to find love in their life. Welcome, Lisa.
Hi, Margaret. It’s nice to be here.
Thank you for being here. I mentioned ‘finding love’, but what I wanted to talk to you today was finding friendship in your life. Getting involved in senior dating is not just about love, it has to do with a spectrum of relationships.
It does. One of the best things about dating at this age is that you have a choice. You can have men as friends or lovers, boyfriends or husbands. Most women think of men as either boyfriends or husbands. They don’t think of the other ways to have a man in your life.
What is so wonderful about having a man friend in your life is that you stay around male energy, which is very different from our energy as women.
Exactly. It’s funny we’re discussing this, because I have a very good friend who is much more into the dating scene than I am. She has gone out with lots of guys, and over the years she’s made two very good friends.
Right now she is going through a situation with her father who is not well. One of her male friends is standing by her side, providing that male energy you mentioned. She told me, “He has a perspective of what’s going on that I don’t have.”
What started as a dating journey for her, because she was very determined to find love, ended up with finding friendship. She says it’s changed her life. So what you said is true, friendship is precious.
Yeah. I have male friends, too, and I love being with them because men think about the world in a different way. It also keeps us on our toes with our feminine skills. Thanking them, appreciating them, asking them for help.
Online is not the only place to meet men. A great place to meet men is to go to Meet Up. Meet Up is a worldwide organization. There are happy hours, games and other activities. I’ve gone to Meet Ups where they provided lessons on how to shoot a gun. Men are always at that kind of stuff as they want to know how to do it.
They have an interest, and you follow that interest. Meet Up is very good. It’s worldwide, and you can find more information at meetup.com.
Golf, too, is a great place to meet men because they love to practice that swing.
I know one of your articles mentioned all kinds of places, like the department stores where men hang out, the do-it-yourself shops, the home depots of the world. You should look for a place which you like as well, so you can both enjoy the same hobby.
Wine tastings are a great place, though you should be very careful how much you drink because it’s easy to lose perspective. When you choose the event that’s right for you, go with the idea of, “I’m just going to go have fun.”
Number one, it makes you very chilled and laid back, and men like that. They don’t like it when women are all over them. I have a friend who is in a relationship. He and his girlfriend went to a dancing Meet Up—because you don’t have to be single to go to Meet Ups— and she didn’t really dance. All these women came out and wanted to dance with him!
So be careful about being that aggressive because as much as it flatters a man, it also pushes them away.
You don’t have to go into the dating scene when only looking for love; you could look at it a friendship scene.
Exactly. It could be a friend scene, where you can be up for all kinds of things.
I think another thing to consider is age. Sometimes when I travel, I stay in boutique hotels or little hostels, and I meet younger guys. I am always open to having a conversation with them. In my encounters I found that they really like older women for our perspective. Also, we are not too needy, we have stories to tell, we’ve lived longer and seen more of the world. Do you feel that finding younger male friends is good, too?
I think it’s good to have a male friend of any age. We need to stay open to all different types of men; all different shapes and sizes of men. What you really want in the long run is their heart. They’re good at making you feel safe and protected.
There is nothing like a man—whether he is a friend, a boyfriend, a husband, a lover—putting his arms around you. Think about how safe and wonderful that feels. Women like that, we really do. When we’re not with a man we miss that male touch. It’s as simple as a hug.
Also, if you meet them in a non-threatening place, where you’re just looking along that spectrum of starting as just a friend and maybe leading to something else, it gives you a more relaxed introduction of each other. You are not so needy and intense.
I think that’s really important for women who don’t want to date, but just look at senior dating as a means of finding likeminded individuals to share a life with. What are the most interesting places where some of your clients have met guys just for friends that turned into maybe boyfriends or husbands?
There are two that are really interesting. One was a woman who absolutely refused to do online dating because she didn’t like taking pictures. Instead, I taught her how to go out, how to flirt and how to have fun.
She walks into the license bureau one day—she was renewing her motorcycle license—she scans the wall of people there, and she sees The Guy. She sits down next to him and it turned out he was renewing his motorcycle license, too. They got married.
In order to get there though, she had to learn how to flirt. So many of us are afraid of rejection, and this stops us from going up to men.
Another woman was very afraid of her ex-husband stalking her. She said, “I can’t go online, I can’t put my picture up.” So I taught her how to flirt and she started going out. She went to dances in her area every single week and built up a core group of male and female friends.
A lot of women are missing female friends, too. I have a lot of female friends, but I am surprised at how many of my really successful clients, because they work so much, are missing female friends.
This lady made both male and female friends. One of the guy friends fixed her up, and she’s in an amazing relationship. You could find love anywhere. It’s really about knowing how to get out there and flirt; how to feel comfortable and not be afraid of being rejected.
I want to talk about flirting in a second. First though, I want to share with you another shout out for MeetUp.com. I live in a place where English is not the official language, so I set up a Meetup myself—which you can do—for people who love trains and like to trade train journeys.
So I planned the MeetUp, and three women showed up for the first meeting. It was great. We had a lot of wonderful stories to trade. We decided on a destination, and we booked a train. What was really interesting though, is that several of the women have friends who are men.
As we were talking, they mentioned that they are going to invite their male friends come along on the trip. We should remember that female friends have got a network of guy friends as well. So, if you get along with the women, you can be certain you are going to like the men they have as friends, too. It’s all about not being narrow in your thinking that every engagement has to end up in a love affair
Yes, you have a choice. For the first time in your life, you have a choice. Your goal doesn’t revolve around making babies anymore. You don’t need a man to make a baby with you; you can have him in your life for so many other things.
A lot of guys love to travel, and if you’ve got some time as well you could join a travel group and meet people that way. Now I want to know how to flirt. Tell me some of your flirting secrets.
First of all, we often feel rejected because we look at a guy, and we think they’re really cute or handsome, and we put high value on him based on that. We don’t know who he really is; we only know he’s cute or handsome. We think he’s probably really wealthy, or he’s got this or he’s got that.
In reality though, we don’t know a thing. Because of our assumptions, we are afraid to go up to him. You should never be afraid to go up to him and smile.
Let’s say the guy is sitting at a bar. You can go and sit down next to him, and engage him in a conversation about his drink or food. Your real purpose here is to get him to prove that he’s worthy of your attention—not that you are worthy of him. That is your empowerment.
I really want to help women feel empowered because we give up so much of our power in so many places. We often don’t feel good about ourselves or worry someone will reject us. This is the philosophy you want to go in with, “He’s got to prove himself to me.” Have fun, though, and smile.
You can sit down and go, “Hi, what are you drinking?” or “What is that? It looks so yummy!” or “Oh I love red wine! What is that? What do you suggest?” Ask a man a question, and always smile. You can also use, “Can I ask you a favor?” Men love when you ask them that way.
Or “I need your help. I really want to try something new and different in a wine. What do you like?” Or “What do you suggest?” It keeps a conversation going. You can get into earthy wines or oaky wines or white wines. What you’ve accomplished is you started a conversation.
Even if the guy is married, at least you get to practice being relaxed and asking questions. I always strike up conversations at Starbucks. I ask people, “Have you ever had the chocolate chip cookies here?” Usually, you are standing in line forever in those places, and it gets you in the habit of talking to people.
Most of them are use their waiting time clicking on their phone.
Yeah, it’s so true. You’ve given us some great advice, and I’m really happy that we went through the flirting thing. I think there is an art to flirting, and honestly, Lisa, you have got it down to a fine art.
Thank you. I’ve helped a lot of women meet men in real life by learning how to flirt. It’s scary. Most women are afraid to do it because they just don’t know how to do it, when it really is much easier than you think.
I think the important thing is to make that connection with people, without any expectations of where it’s going to go. There is a spectrum of relationships you can choose from, and we have that choice now that we’re in our 60’s. Take advantage of that.
Or not. We’ve had conversations on Sixty and Me, where people state they never want to date again. That’s fine, too. If you want to make friends and look at dating as more than just dating and love, have a go. My grandson always says, “Come on, baba, have a go.”
Thanks, Lisa. It was really wonderful talking with you. Thanks for all your great advice.
Which piece of Lisa’s advice do you find the most helpful? Have you ever joined a “meet up”? What are some other dating events you have experienced? Join the conversation!