Midlife dating might have some challenges at times, but there are also several things to be thankful for as well. I asked several midlife daters what they wish they knew about dating and love when they were in the their 20s. Oh if we could only go back to our younger selves and give the advice that we know now! Here's what our real-life daters (with the names changed) said they wish they knew then.
Identify What You Want
Knowing what you want is a blessing in midlife dating. Gloria said:
"I wish I knew that the superficial aspects were not as important as I thought, and that if you are serious about a relationship you have to almost treat getting one as a business project. You have to identify what you want and be direct and proactive about getting it."
Online Dating Is a Great Midlife Option
Some midlife daters feel that online dating isn't a good option for them, but I happen to disagree. After all, I met my husband that way. Turns out I'm not alone. Amy said:
"People say "online dating doesn't work." I disagree. It does not come with a guarantee, that is for sure, but neither does any other sort of dating. No one sets you up with a blind date and says, this is it, this is the sure-fire man of your dreams. No one you meet by chance at the grocery store/bookstore/baseball game/dog park/whatever comes with a guarantee. It's all about chance, meeting the right person, at the right time. Online dating increases the amount of people you meet, it helps your odds."
Balance and Baggage
By midlife, everyone has a little emotional baggage that they bring to the table. Gayle says it's all about how you and your significant other deal with the baggage that is really important.
"… what is the baggage he carries, what likes and dislikes he has, giving yourself enough time and experiences with the person to thoroughly learn about him. What are the characteristics you want the other person to have because you don't, to make a balance?"
No One Can Complete You
People talk about independence when it comes to midlife dating, and I think what that really means is knowing that you can't rely on another individual to complete you. When you understand this, you make better choices about the people you date.
Jane is one dater that gets it. She said:
"A romantic partner cannot solve your whole life for you. In fact, sometimes it may be worth it to stay single for awhile while you work hard on getting your life the way you want it."
Don't Rush Into the Bedroom
It might seem old-fashioned to wait until you really get to know someone before having sex, but many daters have found that holding off can help a relationship get off the ground. Georgia, a widow, has been dating for the past two years and says her lessons learned include:
"…learning how to spot character strengths and weaknesses, resisting being blinded by chemistry, sex can interfere with building a solid relationship, building trust takes time, listen to intuitive warnings."
She's right, there is nothing better than your own gut instincts to know when a person is right for you.
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