By Herb Knoll
Whether you’re a divorcee, a widowed man, have never married or even been in a committed relationship, you may someday tire of being alone. I completely understand. You see, I have been in your shoes as have millions of other men. As a result, there are many lessons and best practices for you to go to school on as you emerge from your “cave.”
Men have various reasons for wanting a new friend. Some men hope to discover love while others are happy having someone who can cook meals or care for them should they ever become ill. Others are lonely, usually the result of a divorce or the death of their spouse and desire someone with whom they can share a bed. Others are wounded following an unwanted breakup, or they are a veteran of a previous romantic experience gone bad; causing them to shy away from ever exposing their emotions or their wallets to more pain. As a result, they forego any future entanglements. To them, it’s just not worth it. Like the women they seek, men too have their own motives.
Others see a real upside to dating and are willing to give it another try. And when they do, they like moving things along pretty fast, but they would be better advised to be a bit more patient. Through my years of research, I have found men in like situations to at times be a bit impulsive, a behavior that triggers potentially devastating errors in judgment. There are many risks associated with late-in-life dating. From the emotional dangers of rejection to the financial risks presented by a woman who has predatory motives, dating can have its downsides. But that should not deter a single or widowed man from seeking a companion and more. Dating can be exciting. It’s fun, but it can complicate one’s life, so go about it with your common sense fully engaged; moving forward with intent and purpose.
Where does an eligible man begin?
If you are considering re-entering the dating scene, you first need to understand your own motives clearly. What is missing in your life; a partner or a hot date? Do you seek the companionship of a woman of deep faith, an intellectual who can debate the issues of the day or someone who can make you laugh and has a great figure? I know, I know… you want all of the above. But what are your MUST WANTS? You need to know them and then look for them in those you meet. Example: During one’s life, we all accumulate baggage. If you are asking a new companion to accept your baggage, are you willing to accept theirs?
When I decided to seek a new life companion, I subscribed to the online dating service, eHarmony.com. Be aware not all online dating services are created equal. Fortunate for me, eHarmony paired me with a computer engineer named Maria. Maria subscribed to eHarmony herself because she happened to know the psychologist that designed eHarmony’s matching software, and he confirmed how it was scientifically valid. I suspect not all online dating services can make the same claim. Maria and I were married a year later.
My mother once said to me, “If you want to meet a nice girl, go to church!” Regardless of your beliefs, my mother’s advice is worthy of consideration.
A Dating Checklist for Senior Males
- Know yourself
- What void in your life are you attempting to fill?
- Are you emotionally ready for a relationship?
- Identify your Must Haves and your Never Wants
- Children? A smoker/drinker? Someone younger? Someone healthy? Someone who is financially self-sufficient?
- Women prefer men who take care of themselves physically as well as visually.
- Never invite a woman into a cluttered or messy residence.
- Define your dating strategy
- Consider the services of a dating coach.
- Blind dates?
- If you use an online service, be honest when answering their questionnaire.
- Join groups or volunteer where you are likely to meet others possessing common interests.
- Get off the sofa
- Be where people are found; civic and public events, at a house of worship or clubs.
- Be honest about your intentions
- Don’t say you’re the “marrying type” if you are not.
- Enjoy the moment
- Plan for dates that both you and your new friend will genuinely enjoy.
- Some of the most enjoyable dates don’t have to cost anything.
- First dates over lunch at a favorite restaurant make for a safe environment for both parties.
… And enjoy the moment!