Dating over 60 – Know me, Know you

You’ve met someone brand spanking new. Your brain goes whirly-bird – especially if this is a new adventure. If there is no mutual denominator for being introduced, a chance encounter while waiting in the Starbucks line or disco dancing up a grocery store aisle or a dating site, you exchange telephone numbers. You are technically getting to know a stranger.

Safety is the utmost priority. Identification and verification of exchanged information is a starting point. Surely you found out their name! During the casual encounter, they may have given you the general vicinity of residence, employment or family tidbits. Hopefully, the last name is as uncommon as “Batshitenowski” instead of “Smith”. If you enjoyed the initial banter, your selective memory should serve you well with details.

You need not be a technological wizard to verify the accumulated identifiers. The telephone number usually yields an address when input into your browser. Think of your browser as the new white page phone book thrown onto your doorstep. If your new love interest stated they live “uptown”, one of the addresses listed for them should be within the area stated. A few websites may even include family members residing at said address.  A no cost (free) look-up website is: truepeoplesearch.com or thatsthem.com These sites may not have been updated but will provide general information or let you know if their phone is still in an ex’s name!

Inputting their name into a web browser may provide information even if they don’t participate with social media. Photos from a charity golf tournament, self-employed reviews/websites, dancing nude at Woodstock, employer websites and being tagged in other family member’s posts may appear. An uncommon last name will make this search quicker or less tedious.

If further inquiry or interrogation is needed, a “for fee” website to do a  more in depth search, such as truthfinder.com is available. This website will offer a criminal background search.

Intuition can be beneficial. Experience and age afford the dating over 60 population knowledge from our previous human encounters. Utilization of new age technology is available to make a confident decision. Remember – this is a two-way street! Taking your social media access from public to friends only or private may be a consideration. Be selective on securing your information.

Know me – Know you requires great communication, patience and truth.

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Dating over 60 – Organically meeting your new love

So, online dating isn’t “your thing” but you’re rattling around on the weekends, in your boxers or gutchies, by yourself. An alternative action is to meet your new love organically. You do not relish the thought of living the rest of your days alone. We all do better with a special someone having our backs, to complain with and to witness our lives. It isn’t going to happen while you hold down the couch.

Be where you enjoy the environment. “Like people” gravitate to their comfort zones. Instead of sleeping your Saturday away – Get your best self together, emotionally and physically and “git after it”. Practice a positive disposition in the mirror. It will surprise you to find how many smiles are returned to you in public places.

Grocery stores are a positive source of interaction. Observing naked chickens can prompt a question to the cutie next to you. Ask what they intend to do with that hen. Ask a person of interest if they know where the maraschino cherries are located. Everyone needs maraschino cherries. Then ask where the whipped crème is! Start a conversation with the person behind you in the checkout line. Choose your grocery store carefully. If you are a Whole Foods Market patron, the conversation may be different than the Kroger encounters. Give the local farmer’s market and festivals a fly through. We all must eat. Give the chore a dual purpose. Don’t discount speaking with someone that isn’t your perfect match – they are related to, work with and live near someone waiting to meet you. A new friend is beneficial for further socialization.

Home Improvement stores are fantastic for encounters. If gardening is your joy of heart, it pays big time to take a slow stroll through the gardenia bushes and fertilizer spreaders. Humans love to be asked for their expert opinions when making an out of ordinary purchase. Carry your mangled shower head proudly through the plumbing supply department.

If you are looking to move up in the world, put on your finest wearables and eat lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel. Take a walk on the wild side and choose an eatery you’ve always wanted to frequent but just didn’t. You deserve it. Eating at the bar in your local restaurant will instigate conversation. Choose a time when your favorite sport will be televised. Ask the person to your left if they’ve ever eaten the fettucine alfredo!  Enthusiasm for a microbrewery brewski is contagious.

Meeting someone organically at church, Meet-Up groups, volunteer groups and employment environments present a common denominator. Visit a dog park. If you don’t have a dog – borrow one. Public parks present nature, walking trails, hiking paths, bicycle lanes, arborist seminars and sport activity fields. When was the last time you watched a soccer game or Little Leaguers play? If you are employed, initiate a community service drive or activity. This can be accomplished through your homeowner associations, senior centers, scout troops or boys & girls clubs – meet your neighbors. Volunteer at the local food pantry, read to children in the hospital, visit meals on wheels recipients, become a CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused children – we reap great gifts when giving to others.

These activities can start out small and grow as much as you wish. Being alone can rankle loneliness. Feed your soul. You will organically meet a soulmate. Remember to keep sharing your radiant smile.

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Dating over 60 – Profile photos

You’ve made the delicate decision to enter the infinite universe of internet dating. In preparation for your dating extravaganza debut, profile photos become your personal billboard. Usually, we don’t take a portfolio of photos of ourselves unless they appear the be the strained and twisted selfies.

Photos taken within recent months will provide a realistic replica of who you are. Action and activity provide a sense of your true persona. It doesn’t have to be jumping on a trampoline or swan diving off a diving board to prove how young you are. Laughing in the kitchen, posing near a historical landmark or Buc-ees statue, adjusting sails on your sailboat, serving food at a charity event, chasing your dog and typing the next great American novel will add interest. Next time you are lounging near a fire pit, ask your cousin to take your picture. Show who you are! Candid shots of putting your tractor away at sunset will create more buzz than a selfie taken in your lounge chair, wearing a wife-beater, watching television.

If you think the selfies you took in the bathroom mirror, toilet in the background, is your best shot – it is not. Is your dream date image one of Preparation H on the shelf behind you? This blog post is primarily directed to daters over 60 years of age. A photo found of you 8 years ago is obviously going to tell the viewer, it is an old photo. What do you think your first impression will be if your photo is dark brunette and you are now super silver? As Popeye used to say, “I Yam What I Yam & Dats What I Yam”! It is unrealistic to think your appearance haven’t changed since George W was in office!

It has been written; professional photographs are the most desirable. Professional photographs taken by someone brave enough to tell you, it isn’t a good idea to include your 25-year-old daughter, in a mini skirt, laying on a table, in a provocative pose, in front of you. Let the professional do their job.

Group shots with the office gang, church volunteers, family reunion, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, your seven sisters or brothers, all the grandchildren or your kids is a distraction. Your prospective sweetheart wants to see what you look like. It doesn’t help to label the image. He or she may think your co-worker is a lot better looking.

 Individual headshots and head to toe shots are best. If you were told in 1973, you look spectacular in a speedo or thong swimsuit, survey those unfamiliar with you before posting your recent shots. If you’ve paid to have a ton of surgery to enhance your looks, go for it. This is definitely a “confidence call” on your part.

Photos with your ex’s and deceased partners usually does not invoke sympathy unless this is your goal. You may not be prepared to jump into the dating pool until you are ready to share your time and life with someone new.

We are all beautiful and handsome. Evoke humor, engaging eye contact and confident body language during the next Kodak moment! There is someone out there for each person. Best wishes and “smile”!

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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.

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