Friday, April 4, 2008

Dating when you're older

Over the years, our priorities shift, careers expand, interests change, as does what we look for in a potential mate, and where we look for them. You may feel like all the good ones are taken, but hey, you're single so you've just disproved that theory! Yes it's different, yes it's scary and that's okay. So let's take a look at some dating strategies for thirty somethings.

In your thirties, you know how to make a list of qualities for your perfect partner (and even how to manifest them yourself) but you aren't really expecting them to land right at your feet, are you? You're more interested in quality (not quantity) when it comes to dating, so why not multitask by doing what you love to do in hopes of meeting a wonderful someone with similar interests to your own? Most of all have fun and don't look for the "one"! Be happy to simply meet new people and have different experiences. If you're enjoying yourself, others will take note. They will notice that you can be what they have been looking for as well.

Sure, you can join a yoga class or a interest group because that's what all the love coaches say to do but what about this? Try imagining where you might run into the person you'd most like to attract. You might be more likely to meet them at a work conference, on a vacation, or at a workshop, from comedy writing to wine tasting, or where you are truly in your element.

Going out to try and meet someone over a beer or margarita is always an option but as life gets busier and schedules become more hectic, you don't have all day to nurse a hangover. So look for healthier options like joining a running group, soccer team or the gym.

If you have a dog, start taking new walking routes, if you don't have a dog, borrow one. You'll meet plenty of people at dog parks or local walking spots. If the walking isn't good in your neighborhood, load up the pooch and drive to another area with cool coffee shops and pull up a seat outside (if it's warm enough). You'll be surprised how often a stranger will venture over to chat whether it be about your dog, your book or what you're eating. A friend of mine, Clarice, has a Rottweiler. If you need a guard dog fine, however, I suggest a more gentle breed for people to approach.

If you are a single parent, take your kids where other single parents might also be enriching the life of their child like museums, class trips or children's theater. Just be open and remember you're not a kid anymore, so be bold, and don't be afraid to ask any interesting prospects "How are you?" It's not as difficult as that. If response is poor with one person, simply move on. There's a lot of others out there.

There you are sitting in front of the TV again or searching online profiles (which is not to be discounted) but you could be mingling with real live adults right now. It's the weekend! Take yourself (and a friend) to bar, club, disco or an opening where mingling is always expected. Go out to see live music. It'll get your blood pumping and your feet moving and before you know it, you could be talking to another person whose feet are moving towards you! Go see a funny film. At least if you go home alone, you can laugh about it. The point is to get out, be seen and be active.

Gone are the days when you have to follow any other generation's dating rules. In fact, you're free to make your own rules. Basically, treat dating as an adventure and while you're at it, make an effort to look your best. Even if you're just running out to the grocery store or dropping your kids off at school. Remember, potential matches are everywhere!

Bar advice. It's never too late. There are others out there with lives unfulfilled with a partner. Dating when you're older is possible.

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