It wasn’t always easy being in the market for a mate when we were younger. Now, arguably, it’s even harder. So psychotherapist Janet Page, PhD, has written a book called Get Married This Year: 365 Days to “I Do.” The goal? Making dating easier. She shares some tips with BoomerCafé for baby boomers back in the market.
Despite the emphasis that our culture places on youth, life experience is a real asset when it comes to dating. Remember, you’re a baby boomer; this is your time. As a boomer, you should be blooming by now in at least one aspect of your life, even if it is just the wisdom to know that not every detail is a life or death affair. You’ve gained perspective and that will make you a great partner! Remember, as a boomer, there are no excuses for not having an edge on maturity and personal development.
Appearance can be a point of stress for boomers reentering the dating scene. Try to put a positive spin on it. If you’re a woman, think of all the great exercise and makeup tips available to you and how you’ve tested, discarded, or added to your personal care routine. You’ve got looking your best down to a science. The good news is that despite how well off you are or aren’t in the looks department, you’ve had plenty of time to pick up speed in what men want most — entertainment value.
A recent study about why men leave their wives showed it was less often for women who wereyounger, prettier, or sexier. They left for women who were more interesting. That’s right, women who were more interesting.
Many boomers tire of working at absolutely every area in their lives and are very attracted to opposites who can be their cohorts in fun — boomers with ideas and multiple topics who are capable of taking initiative and being adventurous. For babyboomers who may be slowing down professionally, this is especially true.
- Weed the garden — don’t keep dating anyone who doesn’t help you feel good about yourself. If you are being reasonably charming and the date isn’t … in fact the date isn’t not mate material and can’t make you laugh, by all means, quit, now. There are better dates ahead and deadwood just gets depressing.
- Stop shopping for love in all the wrong places — anything you’ve been trying for more than three months (except for online dating) with no return, you’ve got to give up. Repeating the same old thing hoping for a new outcome is one definition of crazy.
- Prince Charming, male or female, doesn’t make house calls. To have a dating life, you need a life. Self-assign this homework: go out at least three nights a week either with someone dateable or where there is potential for expanding your social network.
- Be a social marketer. Put the same initiative you would put into finding a job into romance. Be conscious of your self-presentation, know what you want, believe you deserve it, and be diligent in putting in the time. In love and work, apply Woody Allen’s advice— success is showing up.
- Show off — if you have a good body, exercise in public places, go to the beach, the gym, and hit the slopes, If you have a keen intellect and are up-to-date on current affairs, join a trivia team, take a political affairs class, volunteer for campaigns; if you have a lovely home, invite people over, offer it for events, and give a“share the wealth party” where the ticket for admission is your same-sex friends bringing dates they like very much but are not romantically interested in.
- Smile frequently. If you don’t know how, practice: start with furniture, cats and dogs, children, and then make your way up to full-blown adults.
- Make lingering eye contact with anyone you might be interested in meeting. Then look away and glance back again with a quick smile. Remember the lingering part. Count to ten. Women will glance and think they’ve communicated interest when in fact their eye contact was so brief, he will be positive he’s just been rejected.
- Date-dress all the time (yes, even when you are running errands) to help attract someone to date you.
- Have your body speak the language of openness. Uncross your arms. If at a bar, face into the room, not away from it. Open shoulders, uncrossed legs, with a full-face glance is a welcome. Add a head tilt and it’s an invitation.
Fake it ’till you make it — do work on self-improvement and expanding your spirituality, education, and health level but don’t wait to be perfect. A great confidant attitude covers many a flaw.
© 2012 Janet Blair Page, PhD author of Get Married This Year: 365 Days to “I Do”