Dating over 60 – Interview or Interrogation

First dates and initial meetings can stress out the savviest dater. Text and telephone conversations are important in making the first impression a positive outcome. There is a fine line in crossing over into interrogation mode when trying to get to know someone. Innovative and engaging conversation should never feel like a job interview either.

Telephone conversations before the first meet and greet/date is a necessary step in determining if you may be compatible for any kind of relationship. If the candidate starts talking and doesn’t take a breath for 45 minutes, it may be a sign their favorite subject is themselves. Telephone conversations relay a wealth of information. You may be informed their number is a landline. In the current world, having a smart phone for anyone leaving their love nest, is almost a necessity. If you agree that your prospective love interest is just fine living in 1996 – be prepared to do anything technically specific to survive for them. An example would be ordering their “senior coffee” at the kiosk in McDonalds!   We all wish for the caller using a movie star voice, a comforting attitude and an enthusiastic welcome to share words with you.

You may be an experienced public speaker, but occupational theatrics may not be your best bet when making a love connection.  Your experience with outside sales spiels may make your clients roar with laughter during the 5-star lunch your corporate expense account is paying for. If you are the comedian in your bible study, gauge your new audience before delivering the punchline, “Jesus Christ, are you still in the bathroom”!

Consider the comfort of your date before shooting off closed-end questions, such as:

  • Where do you live?
  • How many kids do you have?
  • Do you work?

A one- or two-word response stops the conversation. Open-end questions will open a conversation for a response of more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Conversation starters allow an extension for showing interest without being invasive. Instead of:

  • Where do you live?     What is the best thing about living in WhereTheHellAmI, AL?
  • How many kids do you have?     How grand of a production is the holidays at your house?          
  • Do you work?     What interest keeps your heart happy during the week? Skydiving? Dating Coach? Map maker? Car jockey? Rocket scientist?  

If you feel like you are sitting in a tiny room with a bare light bulb burning above your head, tell Sargent Joe Friday to step back with the rapid fire of questions. You are under no obligation to disclose anything which makes you uncomfortable. A great response is to just stare back at your date with a smile on your face. State in a firm tone, “I’d rather not answer that.” You are the judge calculating if the question is innocent or digging for private and unjustifiable nobody’s business but your own!

The interviewer/date may start off with where they grew up, in a nuclear family of five in suburbia and hula hoop lessons all the way around. The information may bleed into the college and employment resume. If every single one of their work titles and positions is stated, take a deep breath and excuse yourself to wash your hands. You will be in a position to re-direct the conversation upon your return.

The expectation is that you release the elevator pitch of your “Wonder Years” to determine if there will be a second interview. Your 30 second announcement, 75 words or less can be as vague or as specific as you wish. You are in the driver’s seat when it is your turn. Inserting humor can lighten the direction of the banter into a natural flow of getting to know each other.

Be authentic and true to yourself. If the initial dialogue did not meet your expectation, you may have a humorous story to share later. Remember, it’s a date not a marriage commitment – at least not yet!

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Dating over 60 – Putting yourself out there

If your last date was in 1991, your nerves will get jangled just thinking about sitting across from someone summing you up like a new Silverado. Your bumpers and upholstery are being analyzed. It can bring someone with rock confidence to brain freeze.

You will have second thoughts and third ones too. Don’t overthink it. Put it in perspective.  Keep your expectations to a minimum. It isn’t a lifelong commitment – it’s a drink, a latte’ or dinner.  Keeping it simple will ease the process. It isn’t advisable to plan a twelve-hour extravaganza, a long-distance day drive or meeting the “family” for the first time out. Hearing about Cousin Eddie over calamari is a lot different than sitting across a booth from him in Denny’s or Starbucks!

Safety is your highest priority. Meet your date in a public place. Don’t let your perspective new friend strong arm you into a long-distance drive to the mountains or beach in their vehicle until you know who you are truly involved with. Being in their vehicle makes you a captured and captive victim if circumstances gun out of control. Keep your cell phone easily accessible for all happenstances.

It is a fact, those you meet while out and about will be more receptive to striking up a conversation. If you are a willing participant, meeting your future next partner may be a simple grocery store encounter. Marriages have evolved over asking the butcher what to do with a lamb shank. Personal interaction with grass mowing neighbors, home improvement customers, lingerie shoppers, waiting room hostages (the county appraisal office and car dealerships) and good-looking clients have yielded lifelong friendships. This does not require you to be “dressed for success” every time you leave the house. Tuxedos and chiffon evening gowns are not required for a conversation in the proctologist waiting room!

Depending on your sense of adventure, European river cruises, African safaris and visits to the Taj Mahal can open a plethora of cosmopolitan encounters. Unless they’ve won the trip on a game show, the means to afford it, desire for the experience and the ability to express the pros of eating escargot can be a plus. World travel provides more than the prospect of meeting a life partner. It amplifies your own sense of self.

A previous neighbor met his last 3 wives through his bible study class. Meetup, volunteering, Events & Adventures, fitness centers, Toastmasters, take a class – learn a foreign language for your next trip, eat at the bar or diner counter and present your confident self.   As with any venue, a common denominator does not always insure a sound and safe relationship. Follow your intuition. Balance all emotions. Gather as much info as possible without strategic interrogation tactics in play!

Dating over 60

After becoming a widow in my fifties, it took me a few years to determine I wasn’t dead. Stepping over the edge of an emotional cliff, I was urged by a friend to go “on a date”.

The gentleman who did the asking turned out to be a dreamboat. He was never the problem – I was. It was the weirdest experience- an out of body surreal head trip. The last date I had been on was in 1991. I didn’t even have a pager let alone a cell phone back then! There was inadequate dating resources. Friends, websites, documents, white papers, know- it -alls or words in the wind to travel on this new adventure appeared to be scarce. When I would locate an article for dating over the age of 60, it was as if a millennial was using an addlepated aunt as their focus for hooking up with a geezer for a quick sit in the nursing home garden. It was horrifying.

My friends were married – now I understand what the “black widow syndrone” is – which I’ll save that opinion for another post. Hitched people were unable to relate. When I’d ask for advice, they tried but it was out of their recent (like 40 years) area of expertise. They also couldn’t comprehend the present and previous grief that would have to transcend into a new life stage. When your hopes and dreams dissolve into dust instantaneously, you have to reinvent yourself. It isn’t a quick process or available for 2nd day Amazon Prime delivery.

So, I yanked up my big girl gutchies, pulled my shoulders back and dove head first into the deep end of the over 60 dating pool. The fears of being too old, wrinkled, opinionated and nervous were flying around me like a cloud of hungry bees. Being tenacious with the focus used in previous occupations to accomplish a project goal, I pushed forward.

Experience has taught me most people are kind and respectful. It is with extensive research, dates, occasions, interviews and encounters the following posts have influential basis. This is not everyone’s experience or guide. My personal advice is use your common sense and intuition. Stay safe and protective of who you are.

©WriteInSpace.com 2020  All rights reserved May not be reprinted, duplicated without explicit permission.