Tuesday, January 29, 2019

There ARE Benefits to Dating After Age 60!

Over 60 and discouraged by the challenges involved with finding suitable possibilities in the dating world? You're not alone. People like you come into my office for coaching every week. My job is to give them hope and some tools to use to find great prospects.

Here's something that should help. I recently read an article offered by Elite Singles, an online dating site for educated, selective, older men and women who are divorced or widowed. It listed a few benefits older daters should keep in mind:

1) WISER AND CLEARER: Being older also means you're wiser and clearer about what you want and what type of person is right for you. Experience has taught you what kinds of people are not a fit for you, so you can steer clear of those, not waste valuable time dating them, and free up time to go where you're more likely to find your kind of person.

2) STRONG FOUNDATION OF EXPERIENCE: At this age, you're largely on a level playing field with other "seniors" in the dating "marketplace" who also have experience, accrued wisdom/life lessons, and the resilience to know they can recover from loss and heartbreak and rebuild their lives and relationships. When you meet others who have also lived and loved and are ready to open their hearts again, you share a "launch pad of experience"--a strong foundation for a future relationship with another 60-something.

3) AUTHENTICALLY YOURSELF: By this stage in life, it's likely you feel comfortable in your own skin. You know who you are and what you want. It's easier for you to be authentic with other people, which saves the time of pointless posturing and allows you to connect with the right kind of person from the get-go.

4) MORE CONFIDENT: Even though some older folks lose body confidence as they age, it's important to remember that everyone ages and that confidence is a state of mind. Research has shown that confidence is one of the most attractive qualities in a potential date. So, to keep your confidence high, it's best to focus on what makes you a great catch (interior qualities such as character, personality, and values) rather than just your exterior appearance.

5) NEW PROSPECTS ALL THE TIME: After the age of 60, the chances of becoming widowed or divorced go up--which means there are always new 60+ people entering the dating world. You will not run out of options! If you keep your eye on several online dating sites and continue going to new and different meetup groups, singles organizations, and social activities, you'll consistently be crossing paths with people who are newly single and now available. 

By remembering all these benefits as you head out into the dating world, it should be easier for you and other over-60 singles to stay positive as you continue searching for suitable partners. 

Age is really just a number. You can be 65 years old or 65 years young, depending on your mind-set. By maintaining a positive attitude and an open mind while also staying curious and flexible, you increase your chances of running into and/or attracting other people like you--which means they are potentially very compatible with you.

Give it a try! Focus on these 5 ways that your age is actually an asset in the dating world and see what happens. I bet your success rate will go way up! 

Let me know how it goes by dropping me a note at gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com. Happy dating! 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Don't Give Up on Online Dating Yet!

This week, a 40-something woman who'd attended one of my motivational dating seminars told me her online dating search had not gone well. After trying 4 or 5 sites last year, she'd given up because she found that too many people weren't serious about finding a long-term partner, and she'd gotten very few replies when she reached out to men who looked promising.

I understand her frustration. I had similar disappointments in my years of online dating. But now, a new article in the February issue of O Magazine called "How to Win the Online Dating Game" cites some statistics that should give online daters hope:

- Today, about one-third of marrying couples in the U.S. say they met online

- 15% of American adults have used a dating site or app

- People looking for love online are more likely to have full-time employment and higher education and to be seeking a long-term partner (according to Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist, senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, and chief scientific advisor to Match.com)

- Plenty of Fish (www.pof.com), which is where I met my partner, now has 150 million users and is still free to use

- 39% of Match.com users are age 37-52, and 27% are age 53-72 

Yes, you need to educate yourself about how to avoid scammers (drop me an email if you want help with that), read user reviews to find the best sites for your age group, and follow your intuition when talking to potential dates on the phone to weed out inappropriate people. But, in my opinion, it's a mistake to discount online dating entirely--especially if you're a woman over 50.  As experience has taught me, that's where the over-50 men are.

Here are some tips that I and other dating coaches recommend for you if you're in this group:
- Use the Reverse Match and Daily Matches features on Match.com 
- Add men to your Favorites list on a dating site so they get alerted of your interest
- Spend at least 15-30 minutes a day searching for matches on at least 2 sites
- Initiate contact with at least one man each day who's open to women your age
- Consider trying these other dating sites:
   o 50 Plus Club
   o Age Match
   o Just Senior Singles
   o Zoosk (which has 40 million members)

I also recommend changing your attitude about online dating so it's less negative and more positive. You can shift your mind-set by not focusing on the "bad apples" you encounter occasionally -- but, instead, on my story and those of all the other people you know or heard of who met their partner or spouse online. There are plenty of success stories happening every day. Maybe you could be the next one! 

(If you need help putting your all-new 2019 online dating action plan into effect, call me at 267-245-3023. I'm standing by, ready to support and motivate you!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Are Older Daters Wiser?

In my dual role as both a divorce support coach and a dating coach, I get an interesting perspective. I work with separated/divorcing people who tell me the reasons their long-term relationships ended...as well as with already-divorced folks who tell me of their hopes of finding a better match the second or third time around.

The other day, I had one of each kind of client in the same day. And the contrast between them made me ponder the idea of compatibility. How can it be that the person you were so deeply in love with and compatible with in your 20s turned into such a mismatch for you in your 50s or 60s? 

Do people change that much over the years? Or are we so unaware of what we need in terms of partnership when we're young that it's next to impossible to be compatible with that same person 30 or 40 years down the road? In my experience, neither of these things is true. Unless addiction or illness adversely affects us, our essential nature doesn't change much over time. And, of course, we all know couples who are still compatible with and happily married to each other after decades together.

The truth is: we grow and evolve, and the type of mate that seemed right for us in our 20s may not be a good match in middle age. So we re-envision our ideal partner--someone who embodies the traits that we now realize are more in alignment with who we've become.

And so...older divorced people hire me as their dating coach because they still have hope that they can find a more compatible partner. Many of them think they've learned enough about themselves and relationships to now choose more wisely. And many of them are right. That's what happened to me. After two marriages and many dating relationships, I had a much clearer partner vision. I had finally figured out what type of man I get along with best. And, because I worked on my own issues and became more accepting, open-minded, self-loving, and kind, I eventually attracted the right man into my life through an online dating site at age 61. 

Yes, I believe older daters ARE usually wiser for 2 reasons:
1) They've learned some valuable lessons from their past mistakes and will consciously avoid choosing the same type of partner again.
2) They've experienced enough personal growth from these life lessons that they're more self-aware, able to admit and accept their own flaws, and thus more tolerant of others' flaws.

Acceptance of your partner warts and all is crucial for relationship success. But, often, as is the case with my divorcing clients, the "warts" you saw early on and thought you could deal with can become harder to tolerate as the years go by

A trait you didn't think much about or even overlooked in the early years of the marriage becomes a problem later. Things like codependence, judgmental or controlling behaviors, nonconformism, chauvinism, rebelliousness, or selfishness emerge and/or get worse over the years and then drive a wedge between you and your spouse--to the point you no longer feel connected or loving. The two of you gradually disengage and "grow apart"--and don't know how to reconnect so you can feel affectionate and be intimate again. 

You might stay together for reasons such as the kids, running a business together, your spouse's health challenges, having bought a property together, money problems, or dozens of other issues that make divorce seem like a difficult proposition. Some couples may even go on like this for years...UNTIL they finally get to the point that they're so miserable (possibly even on the verge of a nervous breakdown) that divorce seems like the only option. I was in that position, and it's a very sad place to be.

This is when having self-awareness and a good sense of self is particularly important. When you have both of these, you can more easily look honestly at yourself and the part you played in the deterioration of your marriage. And you can also define the characteristics most compatible with you in a partner...AND have the confidence and positive attitude needed to begin searching for that person. Thank goodness I had done all those things through years of therapy, self-esteem building, and personal growth.

How about you? Do you think you've grown wiser about dating? Do you have a clear partner vision as well as the strong self-esteem needed to be a good partner yourself? If so, fantastic! You're ready to embark on the journey to find your life partner and a healthy relationship. If not, drop me an email (gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com). I'd love to help you prepare!