One of the most common problems that middle aged men and women report is the difficulty finding good dating material. Women, in particular, often feel that there is a built-in bias that makes dating more difficult in middle age than it is for men – they argue men often go for younger women. While we’ll leave this issue to be explored further on “The View” and other chat fests, it is important to discuss ways for men and women to try to meet someone.
Some single women and men in middle age are fairly social. Some work, and inherit a social community through their job, while others gain a social life through the network of their children’s activities, church, or other social functions. The most important thing for men and women in middle age to do if they’re genuinely seeking a partner is to get out of the house – odds are that the rap on the door is more likely Domino’s than your knight in shining armor.
That said, where do you go? The best way to plot your course of action is to check in with yourself. What are your interests, hobbies, and passions? If no passions come to mind, stick with your interests. What do you like to do? Come up with a list of things you like to do that are free, and a separate list of things that cost money. Take that last list (the things that cost money) and break it down into categories – inexpensive, expensive, very expensive. Take a look at your budget and come up with an amount of money you can spend each month for the next six months on pleasurable activities.
Next you must come up with a list of possible places where you can engage in the activities you like. Some activities are more difficult to do (playing doubles tennis, for example, because you need other people). Some activities are easy (sitting in a beautiful park and people watch on a nice, sunny day). The list is endless of the things you can do, but the common denominator is to put yourself out there.
The next step – once you’re out there – is to engage with others. Smile and say hello, or feel free to offer your name. Often men and women feel shy but then miss out on the chance to connect – don’t let yourself fall in this trap. Come up with a mantra you can repeat in your head when you are doing your activities in case you start to feel a little silly, lonely, or out of place. Say to yourself “I deserve to meet someone sweet,” or “Step out of your comfort zone and live a little.”
Hopefully these ideas will yield some positive results. Remember that finding meaningful dating material can be tough, so be a good friend to yourself in the process!