As my sister and I interviewed women 50+ for our book, Flings, Frolics And Forever Afters: A Single Woman’s Guide to Romance After Fifty, we learned that some dating strategies really are more likely to pan out than others. The tactics that tend to work are fairly intentional; the “bump into” method happens so rarely that you just can’t wait for it. Likewise, we found that the workplace rarely produced successful relationships for women 50+.
Based on what we learned from our interviewees, here are the five most effective methods for finding the right man for you at age fifty and beyond.
- Checking out our “old friends”We do mean friends, not necessarily old romances (although, while you’re at it, go ahead and go there too). This means going to reunions–and, yes, even memorial services. It also means reaching out. We all need to become frequent users of Switchboard.com to find a few old friends. Then, we just go ahead and email or call them. The worst that can happen: He just remarried. But, he still may be a fun friend to reconnect with, and he may know the location of other old friends.
- Thinking about our “activity buddies”The men who we see regularly on the next tennis court or in our bike groups or at our weekend travel clubs frequently turn out to be just right for the relationship we want. Keeping active means being around lots of people, and some of those will be men who share our interests and perhaps our ideas of what works in a relationship.
- Approaching the men we “see around”These are the men who just seem to do the same things we do–browse the same bookstores, walk their dogs in the same parks, and attend the same churches. When we are doing our everyday errands and actions, we run into them. Clearly they have something of our same life style preferences, and that is a plus. Now, we just need to start that conversation.
- Opening up to “friends of friends (and family)”We can often succeed by telling our friends and family we are open to meeting new people. After all, these close relations know us best and are most likely to know men who might match up well with us. And, this is a very comforting and safe strategy for getting to know new men. Of course, there is some discomfort in the “Thanks, but he just wasn’t for me” conversation with our favorite and caring cousin. But, we’re adults, so everyone understands the possibilities.
- Jumping into “Internet dating”We hear of the successes, but our research still placed this at only #5 in terms of ultimate success. Many women do end up with very active dating (and, boy, you have to have the time and energy to check out a lot of possibilities), but many fewer end up with Mr. Right. Yet, it happens, and better to participate in the number 5 on our list than not at all. In celebration of the recession, try out the free PlentyofFish.com.
Do you have a tried-and-true dating tip to share? Add it in the discussion below!