For some of us, college was the last time we participated in the dating dance; for others this isn't the first hoedown...but sure hope it'll be the last.
It can take a while to find the right match, so enjoy the the ride; dating can really be fun!
To help make it safer, easier, and more pleasurable, here's a list of dating do's & don'ts compiled from experts who specialize in Boomer match-making and relationships, including Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Gail Saltz, Scott Valdez of Virtual Dating Assistants.com, and...hmmm.... who am I forgetting....oh...me.
| || |
...from online dating services to groups for folks with like interests.
Online: There's now quite a few web-based dating sites geared to older singles, including Baby Boomer People Meet & Our Time, and now sites like eHarmony, that have in the past catered to the younger set, are finally getting smart and creating spaces just for us!
Dr. Saltz finds that people over 50, especially women, can feel more comfortable on sites where they are not competing with younger faces, and according to Scott, "Posting a profile with pictures is a must, and don't be afraid to proactively contact people you find interesting. If they don't respond, so what? It's a great way to find out right away they're not for you."
Land-based: Find like-interest groups to join, and there's plenty out there, from groups for those who love outdoor activities, to ones for those who love cooking, dancing, theatre, and more. Also, Meet-ups just for Boomers are an excellent way to meet fellow singles in a safe, enjoyable, pressure-free environment. In both cases you'll have fun, and meet not only dating prospects but potential new friends!
At this age, we all believe - and rightfully so - that we "know what we want" and won't settle for anything even one notch less!
Well, not so fast.
Pepper says: "Young people tend to go for looks, period. Older people often have a little bit more leeway on what somebody looks like, but then they have a long list of other kinds of requirements that may or may not be realistic." I say, don't treat this like a career move....have fun, enjoy the dating experience of meeting new people! Save the check list for your auto tune-up.
...from TMI items like your last colonoscopy, to where you live and personal contact information. A great thing about online dating services is you can set up your first meeting through their email setting. Until you know you're not interacting with someone out of Fatal Attraction, meet in only public places, and when giving a phone # is warranted (eg in case you must contact each other last minute prior to your date), use one that doesn't give away where you live.
Your first date is for a bit of “getting to know you” - so meet for just a drink/coffee rather than making plans for an entire evening – that way if after the first 15 minutes either of you is looking for the back exit next to the bathroom, you won’t have to sit through more than the cocktail or coffee in front of you. On the up-side, if you both find yourselves enjoying the time together, you can certainly stay for more or make plans for date #2!
The description of yourself that you provide in advance says as much about your credibility as who you are. You’ll only set yourself up for chronic disappointment if you lie or even “stretch the truth” about things like age, body size, still having children at home (these are the most common things many people try to hide initially), etc, thinking erroneously that “once my date actually meets me, it won't make a big difference…” It does indeed make a big difference – your date will be immediately turned off and you won’t see him/her again. And you've officially outed yourself as someone who can't be trusted.