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Boomer Dating: Is Age Only A Number
You are a 50 year old, divorced woman who is finding single life and dating to be a different game than you remember?
You are a 48 year old widowed man, with two kids, who wants to be in an intimate relationship again- but who feels overwhelmed by the whole dating scene.
You are a never married 46+ single man/woman who has not been able to create and sustain a committed relationship.
These are only a few examples of "boomer daters"- those older daters who, for one reason or another find themselves looking for love after the age of 46. If you are a member of this group, you most likely have encountered some of the unique issues and problems/challenges that older daters face, and perhaps have tried to adapt the generic dating advice available to fit your needs and goals. However, what would be really useful would be to have clarity around what is the same/different for older vs. younger singles- and what approaches and resources would work best for you now.
Let's begin with a list of common variables encountered by boomer daters:
* Fewer available singles in age group
* Difficulty connecting with/meeting older singles
* Lifestyle issues such as recent divorce, children
* Interest in, but unsure about dating outside of age group, religion, race, social/educational group
* Concerns about step parenting/blended family life
* Older but childless and desiring children
* Have children and don't want more
* Financial, medical, lifestyle considerations
Let's look at how these differ from younger daters whose common issues are below:
* Difficulty meeting compatible, available singles
* Questions about dating outside of religion, race, social group
* Not sure of dating/relationship goals at this stage of life
* Not ready for commitment- looking for fun/experience
* Ready for commitment- people you have dated are not
* Are often attracted to wrong type or attract wrong type
* Often attracted to younger/older singles
* No time for a relationship
* Rarely date- socialize with groups of friends
As you can see from these lists, age is not just a number--it often defines our life stage, relationship needs and goals and overall lifestyle wants and concerns. It seems that only a few variables are ageless--like difficulty meeting your right type and questions around dating outside of age bracket, race, religion, and social/educational group.
When you are an older dater you have a more established lifestyle, career, home life, and social network. You are often looking for someone who can join your life and blend in with it. Most likely you value intellectual chemistry and friendship over physical chemistry, often not true with younger daters. Your search for that right someone will need to be more focused, and one that requires efficiency not needed when we are younger and have fewer family obligations and other responsibilities. There may be considerations involving dependent children (his/hers) or a desire for having kids or not wanting anymore--that can lead to a deal breaker situation with someone you feel you have the right connection with.
All of these difference add up to a need to design an approach to dating and finding a relationship that fits your specific needs. Everything from the content of your personal ad to choosing the right leisure activities, singles groups and events for solo adults should be carefully researched and planned for. It all begins with knowing what you must have and can't live without in your future relationship, then finding the right places and resources for helping put you in the right place at the right time. Then it will be up to you to work on your presentation, self-marketing and communication skills- all of which will help you to connect with that interesting stranger and lead this first meeting to that first date and beyond.
Stay tuned for my future articles on self-marketing for the savvy boomer dater, and effective flirting for boomers through use of good verbal and non-verbal communication.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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