Yesterday The Today Show did a segment about dating at 40. I missed most of the segment because I was…well, still asleep – more about that another time. But what I did manage to catch was interesting. Dating isn’t easy for most people, and if you’re 40 or older, single or find yourself suddenly single again for the first time in ages, then dating can be downright scary. So here’s some dating advice from the experts:
- Don’t be afraid to make the first move – If you grew up in a time where women always waited for the man to make the first move, this will be especially difficult for you. But the truth of the matter is, many men are just as nervous about dating and approaching you as you are about approaching them. If you’ve made eye contact and you’re getting that vibe…go on over. What’s the worst that can happen? Ok, besides being rejected. If you’ve made it to 40 and lived any kind of life at all, this won’t be your first or last rejection. There’s no rule that says men can’t be shy too. I’m not saying this is necessarily for everyone, but, if you see someone you like, be the bold one. Which leads to the next piece of advice…
- Don’t be afraid to try new things – No, we’re not talking adult friend finder here, but connecting through Facebook, Twitter and on-line dating sites is a perfectly acceptable way to meet people. Many women are fearful about meeting strangers over the internet, but the truth of the matter is that the guy you met at the bar or coffee shop can be just as crazy as the one you meet through the internet. A little thing called technology isn’t enough to keep the crazy away. But, if you do go the internet dating route, as with meeting up with any date for the first time, use common sense. Don’t have him pick you up at your home, let your friends know where you’ll be (which will be in a public place), take your fully charged cell phone with you and some cash. Hey, we want you to be bold, not stupid. And, while you’re on that date, if you’re having a horrible time because he’s a jerk, leave! I saw a Facebook comment yesterday that said something I thought was great. She said “we’re 40 now so we have permission.” She’s right. We have permission to stop doing things we don’t like and we have permission to walk out on a jerk if we’re not having a good time.
- Don’t tell your life story on the first date – This is true no matter how old you are. Leave the drama for the Lifetime Move Network. You’re on a date, not at a counseling session. And, if you find that you’re compelled to tell your entire story – gory details and all – on every first date, then maybe you’re not quite ready to get back into dating. Spend more “ME” time releasing whatever it is you’re holding on to. You’ll be grateful you did, and so will your future dates.
- Don’t be mutton dressed like lamb – If you’re not familiar with that expression, it’s when an older person dresses way inappropriately for his or her age. Pamela Anderson wearing low riders and a thong is a prime example. Even if your body is slammin’ you don’t have to put it on display on the first date. Not unless it’s for sale anyway. Even if you’re with a younger man, most mature younger men who date older women, date them for their beauty and wisdom, not because they can see their thong when they bend over.
- Don’t be afraid to be afraid – Getting back into the dating world is scary. You will be nervous, anxious and yes, afraid. Don’t wait to conquer your fear before dating again – go on that date anyway. And then the next and the next. Use the internet, reconnect with old friends, have friends fix you up – start dating to meet new people and do interesting things. Have fun with your new experiences and don’t pressure yourself to find your next boyfriend or husband. And oh yeah, don’t forget to breathe.