A recently-divorced, 59-year-old man recently asked, "I'm so lonely -- what should I do?"
While it sucks that he is now single and alone... the good news is that roughly 50% of marriages end in divorce these days, so there are plenty of beautiful, single women out there. Meeting them in real life can be hard -- but here's something most 50-somethings don't know:
With a little bit of effort, you can have incredible success with online dating!
Just don't make the same mistakes 80% of men your age are making, which is this:
Lots of men in their 50s get divorced and think their next girlfriend is going to be 35.
Get real. She's not. I mean, maybe... if you're, like, super rich. But realistically, no. Your next girlfriend isn't going to be 35.
But because so many guys think/want/expect that... that means there is a whole world of single, beautiful, successful women in their 40s and 50s who aren't getting a whole lot of dates online. If you’re willing to be realistic and date women who are an appropriate age for you, you might stop feeling lonely sooner than you think.
Now. If you want it to work out with one of these women, you've got to do more than just ask them out. You've got to avoid making the four big, dumb mistakes all the other dudes are making. These include:
1. Being bad at dating.
Look, I get it: you’re super new to dating. You’ve been married most of your adult life, and probably either are or feel rusty. That’s fine — the women you’ll be dating are new to dating, too. And so are the other men they’ve been out on dates with.
There are some very basic, easy ways to instantly be "better" at dating. First, put in the effort to dress yourself half decently for your date -- take shower first, and don’t show up in a graphic t-shirt you got for free at a trade show. Wear, like, a button-down. Don't wear gross old jeans with holes in them. Remember: she will almost certainly have spent some time on her hair, clothes and makeup. Show her the same respect.
Do this, and you will probably make a better first impression than the majority of men she’s been out with. (It’s a sadly low bar.)
2. Talking about your ex during the first date.
Maybe not the second one, either. Maybe not for a long time after you start dating. It’s fine to mention that you’ve been divorced for however long, and that you have n kids who ______. But you don’t need to go into any details -- especially bitter ones. That will leave a sour taste in her mouth and make her think you're not ready to date yet.
Remember: she’s your date, not your therapist. Focus on having a good time, asking great questions, and listening while she answers them.
3. Not paying for the date.
If you initiated the date, you should be the one who pays for it. It’s called manners. There’s a lot of weird misinformation out there about how feminist women will be “offended” if you offer to pay for the date. Because, first of all, they won't be. Second, on the off chance that they are offended by a kind and generous gesture, it's best to avoid them. Do you really want to be with someone who gets offended that easily?
That said, it's 2016, so anything could happen. She might insist she pay her own way, or even offer to pay for you. Whatever you're mutually comfortable with is fine.
But, really, if you are the one who asked her out, and you didn’t tell her ahead of time how much the date was going to cost (e.g., “The tickets are $23 — I’ll send you a link to the ticketing office”), then it’s a little weird of you not to at least offer to pay.
(But keep in mind: it’s also a little weird for her to act anything but grateful if she lets you pay. If she acts entitled to your time/money/resources, that's bad news.)
4. Not being authentic.
As I wrote in You May be Asking All the Right Questions, But Here’s What You’re Forgetting, increasing your charisma and authenticity will improve your personal and professional life. The thing is -- it can be super tricky to be authentic and charming when you've got first-date nerves.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
5. Playing games.
Don't be a man-child. If you have a nice time on the date, tell her! When I go on a great date, the guy usually texts me before I even get home to let me know he had a wonderful time and can’t wait to see me again. If he doesn't -- if he waits a day or three days or whatever dumb “rule” he thinks he needs to follow… I don’t go out with him again. It means he’s obsessed with what others think of him — and, apparently, that he would rather I associate him with feelings of confusion and anxiety than excitement and joy.
That said, don’t overdo it. After an amazing date, message her once. If she doesn’t write back, don’t keep messaging her. Either she’s not a texter, or she wasn’t feeling it. (You can still message her in a week or so to ask her out again, but if she says no and doesn’t suggest something else, let her go.) You should message/call/contact each other in roughly equal measure. This is really hard for someone who is both lonely and excited about someone new.
6. Touching too soon.
Although plenty of women have exciting, fulfilling sex lives in their 40s and 50s... a super common complaint is that a man touched her weirdly on the first date.
Like, look. Maybe to you, "innocent" touch like holding hands or kissing are ways to show you're interested in someone. But lots of people find this kind of touch extremely intimate -- after all, the primary goal is to show emotion and affection, not to have an orgasm. Which is why so many women find it uncomfortable when some dude they don't even know starts holding their hand, touching their face, or trying to kiss them.
Of course, every woman is different. There is no algorithm you can memorize to tell you when to kiss her. There is no universal calendar of when to do different kinds of touch. Instead of relying on some bullshit you read on the internet, you need to pay attention and get your own read on the situation.
I'll repeat: there is no set of "rules" that will tell you when to kiss (or whatever) a woman. But there are some pretty clear signs that she doesn't want to kiss. As I wrote in How to Know Exactly When NOT To Kiss a Girl, it's okay to kiss a girl when:
But even then, there's room for misinterpretation. The only way to make sure the kiss is consensual is to:
One last thought:
Before you get tied down, it might be worth checking a few items off your bucket list. You’re freer than you’ve been in a long time — and than you probably ever will be again. You’re also younger and healthier than you’ll ever be again. So book that flight! Take that lesson! Hunt that boar.
Do your thing -- and you just might meet the right woman along the way.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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