Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Places Singles Over 50 Can Meet New People

My Baby Boomer clients are always asking me for ideas of new ways to meet dating-minded singles. And I often steer them to a great book that tells the "how we met" stories of 29 couples who began dating and fell in love later in life--"Autumn Romance: Stories and Portraits of Love After 50" by Carol Denker.

This wonderful book is a heartwarming look at the myriad ways older singles meet and connect, and I highly recommend it if you've gotten discouraged about the chances of finding love again. It will truly inspire you and give you hope! (You can order it here: https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Romance-Stories-Portraits-after/dp/0615314414.)

Here are just a few of the ways the happy couples in the book crossed paths:
- at a metaphysical lecture
- in a choir
- on a plane
- in an Italian class
- at the YMCA pool
- at a senior center activity
- at a speed dating meet and greet evening
- in a line dancing class
- at a support group
- at a wine tasting 
- at a singles walking group

In general, these folks were just out and about pursuing their hobbies and trying new activities. And they connected with someone else who enjoyed the same thing. It's a no brainer for 2 reasons:
1) When you're enjoying yourself and having fun, you're upbeat and happy and thus more of a natural attractor.
2) Your chances of meeting like-minded people increase when you go out to activities and events that reflect your passions.

Have you done that lately? If not, why? The reasons I hear from my clients are:
- I have nobody to go with and don't want to go alone to an event.
- I'm shy about talking to people I've never met before.
- I'm so busy with work and other commitments that I don't have time for fun outings.

Of course, these are more "excuses" than they are reasons:
- Going alone to an event is easy if you're going to something like a lecture, class, support group, wine tasting, or choir practice because you can chat about the activity you're participating in.  
- Shyness isn't an issue when it's an activity where there's a teacher, moderator, or leader who asks everyone to introduce themselves.
- Saying you're too busy for outings means you're not prioritizing fun/socializing, which is the only way to meet other people who share your interests.

So...are you ready to try some new ways of meeting people? For starters, check local newspapers or websites that list upcoming events and activities like the ones I listed above. Also: BE SURE to check www.meetup.com. And then call me for some ideas custom-tailored for you, your hobbies, and your region. I'm happy to assist!

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Getting Started With Dating After Losing Your Spouse

When widowed men and women call me to pick my brain about dating, many of them tell me it's taken them a lot of time to be ready to make the phone call...and are often not sure they're actually ready to date.

That's understandable.

In many cases, they are people in their 60s or 70s who had marriages that lasted over 40 years. They spent most of their lives being married--often very happily to someone they  considered to be their best friend and soul mate--and it's hard for them to imagine being with anyone else. 

Also understandable.

But a son or daughter or a good friend or sibling urged them to think about moving forward in life and told them their deceased spouse would want them to be happy again. Or they reach a point where they're tired of not having a partner...and want to explore a bit to see how the dating world has changed since they last dated. So they call me to figure out what steps to take to get started. 

They initially ask me:
- Should they try online dating? 
- Are there groups or activities where they could meet nice people for dating? 
- Is there any chance of meeting someone even half as wonderful and compatible as their spouse was?

The answer to all 3 questions is YES. Let me address each one:

Yes, they should try online dating because that's a good place to find people their age. The over-50 demographic has been the fastest-growing group joining dating sites for several years now. And, for women especially, that's where the men are. Men prefer using their computers instead of going to singles groups or other activities. That's been true for a very long time. They can use the key word "widowed" on any of the large sites to locate other widowed people (who, in my opinion, would be their best match). And there's even a dating site specifically for those who've lost a spouse: https://widowsorwidowers.com/

Yes, there are many groups and activities where they could meet nice people for dating. I can recommend some in their local area, and I also urge them to try Meetup.com (https://www.meetup.com) to search for groups of folks who share their hobbies and interests. I also recommend that they stay in touch with people from any bereavement/support groups they attended or join any social groups that grow out of the bereavement group since they'll feel most comfortable with other widowed people. I know several widowers who dated women they'd met in such groups. 

Yes, there is definitely a chance of meeting someone as wonderful as their spouse was. I know a couple, each of whom was around age 45 with 3 teenage children when they lost their spouse. They met at a book discussion group and hit it off right away. They were married 2 years later. They are very compatible and very much in love. And these happy-ending stories are more common than you might think.

If you or someone you know lost a spouse, grieved the loss and is relatively healed, and now feels ready to start over, let me know. It warms my heart to help widows and widowers have hope again...and possibly even to find love again!



 



 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Finding a College-Educated Partner Online

Many of my clients are well-educated people interested in dating someone intelligent with a similar education level. And I know they can find someone like that by doing an advanced search on most of the larger dating sites, such as Match.com, Matchmaker.com, or Plenty of Fish. But they can also try a site that specializes in those types of matches--Elite Singles.

Since 2008, Elite Singles (www.elitesingles.com) has been helping educated singles find lasting relationships. In fact, it claims that 2,500 people find love by using its site each month--or one every 8 minutes! 82% of its members are college educated, and over 2/3 have at least a Bachelor's degree. Many are "relatively affluent" as well. 

And the site has other things to recommend it:
- It attracts over 165,000 new members each month
- It safeguards members against fraud by personally screening every profile with "manual profile verification"
- It periodically removes the profiles of nonactive users so you don't waste your time emailing people who are no longer seeking dates
- Over 90% of its members are age 30-55 and looking for a serious relationship
- It uses a 200-question psychologist-tested personality test to send you 3-7 close matches each day (based on 5 factors: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism)
- It also lets you search for matches yourself
- Its fraud detection features work to cut down on scamming

I was out of the dating world when Elite Singles launched and so don't have personal experience with it, but I am beginning to recommend it to my clients. Any site that takes fraud detection seriously is worth a try in my opinion...especially for older daters (the majority of my clients). Since many singles over 55 aren't as computer savvy as the rest of the population, they are easy targets for scammers. 

I also direct clients to this website, which lists statistics about educational levels of users on dozens of online dating sites: http://www.giveyourhandabreak.com/education/

Here are some of the sites with the largest percentages of college-educated members:
1. TallFriends.com - 60%
2. RepublicanPeopleMeet.com - 54%
4. SoulGeek.com - 51%
4. MillionaireMatch.com - 48%
5. Match.com - 47%
6. JDate.com - 46%

Here's hoping you find your intellectual match! If you need moral support or guidance for reaching out and writing emails etc., let me know. I'm always happy to help. 
P.S. I have no education level stats on this site for more liberal people (http://liberalhearts.com/), but, in the interest of fairness, I offer it to balance out the mention of RepublicanPeopleMeet.com above. 😉

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Best Online Dating Sites

Clients always ask which online dating sites I recommend. The answer is: it depends on who you are and what type of person you're looking for.

If you're over 50, I can recommend sites specializing in that age group. If you're Christian or Jewish, I can steer you to the best sites for meeting other Christian or Jewish people. If you're seeking a spiritual partner, someone who loves pets, an environmentally minded person, or someone like you who is into art or an active lifestyle, there are sites specifically for singles in those categories too. There are even sites for disabled singles and those who are deaf.

My job is to direct you to the site where you're more likely to find a close match. And I have a list of over 50 sites I can share with you if you call or drop me an email (267-245-3023; gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com).

Today, I'd just like to tell you about the sites that are the busiest--that is, they get the highest numbers of monthly visitors. So you're more likely to see new faces all the time and have new possibilities to write to on a regular basis. 

As of February, 2017, the statistics were:
1. Match.com -- 3.2 million visitors per month
2. eHarmony -- 1.2 million visitors per month
3. Zoosk -- 1.1 million visitors per month
4. Our Time -- 879,376 visitors per month
5. Elite Singles -- 53, 984 visitors per month 

Other interesting facts about Match.com:
- The site says "travel" is by far the most common term its members use in their profiles, and "down to earth" is also used frequently. Match.com's biggest group of users is age 25-44, but there are also millions of older singles on the site as well.

And don't forget Plenty of Fish, which was acquired by the Match Group in 2015. It has 100 million users worldwide, 3.5 million active daily users, and 50,000 new signups every day. It says it creates 1 million new relationships every year. I always recommend POF because it's easy to use, free, and that's where I met my partner.

If you'd like a short consultation about which online dating sites are best for you, let's talk! I'm always happy to help!  

Friday, July 28, 2017

What is a "date"?

The Webster's definition is interesting: "a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character."

The words "that often has" imply that a date doesn't always have a romantic character--which means a date could be two people socializing without any hint of romance. That could just be you hanging out with your friends, right?

Think about all the other occasions in your life that could, by Webster's definition, be "dates":
- you and a friend having dinner together or going to a play, movie, museum, zoo, etc.
- you inviting a close friend of the opposite sex to accompany you to a family wedding, or even
- a first meeting between you and someone you've been corresponding with on an online dating site 

If someone asked you if you were "dating" the other person in the above 3 scenarios, you'd, of course, say no. Because our definition of dating differs from Webster's. We think of dating as going out to do fun activities with someone we're romantically interested in so we can get to know each other better...and, ultimately, decide whether we want to spend more time together learning more.

Of course, that IS the point of the first face-to-face meeting with an online dating site prospect. But I advise my clients not to think of it as a "date" because that complicates it, since:
- It means you worry about who will pay for the coffee, food, etc.
- It means you might have expectations that set you up for disappointment
- It means you're self-conscious, wondering what the other person is thinking or judging based on his or her first impression of your appearance and what you say during the conversation

My advice? Let it go!! Just be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. 

Thinking of this "meet and greet" as a date puts too much pressure on both parties. Just go back to Webster's definition and think of it as a social engagement. That's all. It's nothing more than a chance to get out of the house and socialize with someone new. Period.

If, by some happy accident, you two hit it off, enjoy your conversation, and--miracle of miracles--have a mutual attraction, fantastic! But don't go in expecting that. Just show up with an open mind, look and listen for the best in the other person, and be your nicest, most lighthearted self. 

You may be surprised at how easily things flow, how comfortable you feel, and how well the other person responds. And it just might lead to that first real "date"--with some "romantic character" mixed in! 

(If you need help letting go of expectations and being yourself in the dating world, let me know. I'd be happy to give you some pointers and some moral support!)

 
 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is Your Dating Frustration Keeping You From Dating Success?

At least 2/3 of my clients sound beyond frustrated when they come to me for help with dating. "I'm just not meeting anybody!" is what I hear all the time.

Either they're getting no replies to their email outreach online or they're struggling to meet even one person they find attractive at the groups or activities they attend--or both--which leads them to come to me when their hopeless, down feelings reach a peak.

Sadly, it's those very feelings that could be keeping them from finding people to date. These folks are unconsciously emanating negative vibes that are very unattractive...and which prevent others from wanting to hang out with them or get to know them. Yes, the "Debbie Downer" syndrome is real, and it's a BIG problem in the dating world.

What's the solution? Well, as Cher said to Nicholas Cage when she slapped him in 1987s' Moonstruck, "Snap out of it!" You need to put your frustration aside so you can shift your thinking from negative to positive. 

To do that, commit to focusing on these facts:
1) You have a lot to offer a potential partner. 
2) There are millions of singles out there looking for love, just like you are. One of them is very likely to be the partner you're seeking.
3) The more proactive and persistent you are, the more likely you are to cross paths with new people. Your best match is looking for you too!
4) It takes time to do some "practice dating"--to sort through different people until you find the right one. But it's a necessary and important part of the process.
5) Being in a hurry is self-sabotaging because it creates those unattractive "urgency" vibrations (desperation). By releasing any timetable, RELAXING, and letting things flow, you will be more easygoing, peaceful, and fun to be around (and that makes you a "natural attractor"). 
6) The dating journey itself can be fun because you learn things from every person you meet (even for a "coffee date") and are exposed to places or hobbies you may not have experienced before. 
7) Going outside your comfort zone to try new strategies in the dating world helps you grow as a person, especially in self-esteem and self-confidence--two vital ingredients for dating success.

Ready to stop being frustrated so you can start dating? Try these tips and you're sure to have better results. If you need help following through, I'm here for you!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Nonsmokers Have Much Greater Success With Dating

When I ask my clients to name their "deal breakers" in a date or future partner, the nonsmokers often mention smoking. It's a given: nonsmokers are VERY unlikely to consider dating a smoker.

And the smokers know this...so they lie about it.

In fact, my research shows that the characteristic that single people looking for love reported being most dishonest about is their smoking habits. Not their age or weight or height--their smoking!

I know from my own experience with online dating years ago, many people would click the "trying to quit" box in their profile no matter how much or how often they smoke, hoping to find a nonsmoker willing to date them (obviously a much larger pool from which to choose).

Yes, unfortunately, the market for smokers in the dating world is thin--only about 25% the size of the nonsmoking market. So dating sites have now sprung up for smokers only--so they can connect with people who'll accept them. And, if you're a smoker, that might work for you.

But most of my clients are nonsmokers. So I've done some research to help them:
1) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 19% of Americans smoke (with more men being smokers than women). 
2) Most of the smokers don't have a college degree. In fact, statistics show that only 10.5% of college-educated men and 8% of college-educated women smoke.

So what's a well-educated female smoker to do? My answer is simple: stop smoking. I know it's hard (it took my best friend 3 tries and 4 years before she successfully stopped), but it's well worth it.

Just think of the huge world of nonsmoking singles that will open up to you!