Online Dating in Midlife: Help is Here!
“Maybe it won’t work out…but maybe seeing if it does
will be the best adventure ever.” – Author Unknown
Dating in midlife is quite different than back when I was in high school–go figure. Online dating wasn’t even heard of back in the ’80s. So I did some research and it seems like a great way to reach out and meet other singles. Especially if you reside in a small, somewhat rural community like I do.
Over the past 15 years I’ve done my share of looking for love on the World Wide Web. Match.com, eHarmony, OK Cupid–just to name a few. The options are almost endless and many online sites cater to specific groups, such as religion or ethnicity. There’s even a number of sites for those interested in finding a farmer.
Articles offering advice on midlife dating are available on online dating sites. Some of these are well-written and actually helpful. As a self-proclaimed expert on this topic I came up with tips I hope will help you successfully maneuver through the experience in midlife.
Have An Open Mind & A Strong Will
First you need to approach on-line dating with an open mind. This is not a process for the weak-willed. It takes commitment, energy, and time. But I was willing to devote all of these to finding the man of my dreams.
On-line dating also takes some fortitude. I made connections and went on actual dates–I even had one long-term relationship. Connecting and meeting up is self-affirming. On the other hand not hearing from anyone for a period of time really can pack an emotional punch!
Who Are You?
To thine own self be true. How well do you know yourself? Self-reflection is an important part of all aspects of your life. It is crucial in the world of dating.
Who are you? What do you value? Are you open to trying new activities? How would you rate your sense of self? If you feel you need help in an area work on this first before you begin the on-line dating process.
My advice is to know who you are and never compromise any aspect of yourself in order to increase the activity on your profile.
What Do You Want?
I once read an article on manifesting the partner of your dreams. Making a list of 100 traits you are looking for in a partner was the basis of the article. Around #55 I started feeling a bit trivial, probably for a reason. #55-Brown eyes. # 56-Drives a Truck…you get the idea. I was getting desperate!
Once your list is complete, decide what you consider a passing score. Now you have an assessment tool for rating a potential partner. No wishy-washiness allowed here. No settling. Allow a bit of room for compromise, but stick to your values.
Determine Your Relationship Goals
Are you looking for a long-term commitment? Dating for friendship and fun? This is a tough one for me, as my approach to dating is who knows? Can’t I take this one day at a time and see where it goes? Of course our goal doesn’t need to be etched in stone; you are, after all, always allowed to change your mind and your direction.
On the other hand, if you truly never want to get married again, accept this. Be true to yourself.
For more insight read our article Midlife Dating: What Really Matters
It’s worth putting a bit of effort into your online profile. A picture can speak a thousand words–have someone take a zillion of you if necessary in order to find a good one.
Include details to give those interested insight into who you are, your interests, your values, and even your dislikes. The more the better. This can save wasting your time with someone who, for example, smokes when you truly detest smoking. Let your personality shine through and be honest. By now who wants to waste time pretending?
By midlife, most of us know that a relationship worth having is not something we can contrive. Finding someone who fits into your world takes faith and persistence. Patience is a virtue. One I am not good at, but I keep trying.
Remember the line from the Garth Brooks song Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers? Focus on being open to what the Universe presents. Let go–-you don’t always know what is best for us. You can get in your own way by having too rigid of expectations. The more self-reflection you do the better you’re able to determine what you truly need and want from a partner. However, I encourage you to stay open to possibilities that come your way.
Having a positive attitude and approaching online dating as an opportunity to have fun, learn, and grow helps reduce the dread and fear you may feel about dating. I view this as an adventure, even possibly as content for a book one day–who knows?
Believe in yourself –what the Universe intends for you will happen at the right time.
Have you returned to the dating scene in midlife? Did you try online dating? If you have insights or interesting incidents you are willing to share, please do so in the comments below!
Till next time, Sandra