To Date Or Not To Date
The decision whether to date in 2017 or carve out a good life exclusive of a relationship isn't a simple one. I have several single women friends in their 60s who fall into both categories, but most are simultaneously creating a life without a partner and at the same time seeking one. None has given up entirely, and one actually found a partner in 2016 after dating on and off for many years. I helped her but it was her desire to meet a man that kept her going.
I wrote an article recently about how women over 50 can prepare to date in 2017 during December, not traditionally the best time of year to date. But I realize that information wasn't of much interest to women who have decided that they won't date in 2017 and will remain single.
I'm a glass half-full guy, and when I dated before I met my partner four years ago I knew it was going to require resolve. I wasn't wrong. My partner was my 50th coffee date in a two-year dating jag. She was one of only a handful of second dates. But I knew when we met that there was something about her that made me want to explore the unknown together. Fortunately she felt the same.
In truth, Sarah hadn't dated much in the 10 years before we met. She'd had some coffee dates and a few brief affairs but she had pretty much given up meeting anyone special. Still, she kept her online dating profile up. We were on the same online dating site for a year and effectively ignored each other. She was my first foray into breaking my typecast pattern and dating a totally different type of woman. The immediate success after dropping my type was a powerful lesson.
You Never Know
I've asked Sarah what encouraged her to maintain her online profile in spite of the fact that the results had been dismal. Her answer was simple enough. "You never know." But Sarah had a full, rich life before we met. Her wide circle of friends kept her in the social loop, her career was interesting, and her strong dedication to being a mentor to a young, troubled woman kept her busy as well.
Since I'm a date coach I wanted to know everything she was willing to share about her reasons for continuing to date. What she didn't express was the sense that she would never meet her life partner. I think this is the most difficult aspect of dating for women over 50 who greatly outnumber men online. To continue to believe that the right guy will drop into their lives is overwhelmingly hard at times.
Why should a woman continue to intentionally put herself in the path of boring, disappointing coffee dates? Mostly because there's no better way to meet, vet, and decide yes or no for a second date. But there's also the desire for a partner that keeps most over 50s grabbing for the brass ring. Knowing that someone loves you, cares about you, and will be there for you in good times and bad is a powerful incentive to continue dating. But it's evidently not sufficient incentive for many women over 50 date weary and wary. But perhaps there are reasons for the lack of success that can be addressed and changed.
Plethora Of Good Men
I've been working with men in small groups for thirty years and I know with absolute certainty there are a plethora of good men. The trick is to know how to identify them. I use the principles in my new book, Your Guy Is Out There: Dating Tips for Women Over 50, to help my clients understand how to identify good men. http://amzn.to/2hU6ZJv and the first work we do together is separating them from their typecast fantasies.
Forget makeovers, a new wardrobe, hairstyle, being less picky, or anything else you've been told you'll need to do to meet Mr. Wonderful. Your number one consideration might be that your pattern of dating the same guy with different names isn't ever going to work. Forget the physical descriptions for long enough to read about a man before deciding he's not your type. I'm not suggesting chemistry is unimportant. It is. What I am suggesting is that absent meeting a man you can't possibly know whether or not there will be any chemistry.
Not only wasn't Sarah my old type, but I wasn't hers either. And we find each other attractive in all the right ways and more. Make not typecasting your dates a 2017 New Years Resolution and see where it leads you. I promise it's a good start.
Earlier on Huff/Post50: