How did you get back on the dating scene at this point in your life? The circumstances are usually not pleasant at this stage of the game. Maybe you are a widower who is still in mourning or maybe you recently went through a nasty divorce. The fact is, you're not alone. Maybe you haven't dated in a decade, or even a century, but it's okay. You aren't the only one out there at this point in your life.
The first thing you need to do is realize that you're a wonderful, beautiful person, and there is someone out there just waiting to discover you. Nobody is expecting you to look like a 20-year-old with perfect skin tone and sculpted biceps. You don't have to play that part. Consider this chapter in your life your second chance for happiness and embrace your new beginning! Focus on the positives, rather than the negatives, as you get ready to join the dating scene.
Don't go looking for your next spouse. Instead, enjoy meeting new people who may have similar experiences as you. If nothing else, you may forge some great friendships that can lead to having a dear friend to talk to confide in. One recommendation is that you don't start dating too soon after the death of your spouse or after a bitter divorce. Be sure you are ready for these new experiences and you have allowed yourself sufficient time to grieve your loss.
The best tip is to be yourself, be honest, and when asked, claim your baggage (teenaged children at home, grown children out of the home, grandchildren, etc.). Another tip is to establish if you will be an "easy catch" or "hard to get". If you have great self-esteem and inner beauty, as well as kindness, intelligence, and affection, you will probably play hard to get to make sure you are choosing someone who seems compatible with you and someone on the same social status as you. Either way, you need to be careful. A lot of times people with money may have nothing else to offer, other than stuffiness.
Here are some things you can do to prepare yourself for dating in today's world.
- Try to meet new people, instead of turning to old friends who may have known you as one half of a couple. New friends can give you a new perspective on life and offer exciting new confidence and enthusiasm about your "new" life.
- Don't take "free advice". Things that worked for your friends may not work for you. Let your friends know that if you need advice, you'll ask.
- Be sure of yourself. Create a positive self-image so you attract similar people.
- Get out of the house! You won't find a new person of interest while sitting on the couch watching television!
- Expect some downfalls in your dating game. Anniversaries and birthdays are hard to work through because there are so many memories, as are the holidays.
More things to consider include things from your previous life that you want to embrace in your "new life", as well as things you want to leave behind, and then things you want to add. You are in control of your life as you move forward to the dating scene. Maybe you had a scheduled date night once a month with your spouse, and you really feel like that date night kept you connected. Be sure to adapt that into any new romantic relationship you pursue. On the other than, maybe you watched your spouse struggle with drug or alcohol abuse. If that's the case, do not choose to date someone who tends to overindulge. Lastly, maybe there was something that you would've liked to have in your previous relationship, such as help with the household chores, cooking dinner together, or taking walks in the evenings. If those are things you desire, be sure to find someone who possess the same interests.
Even though you lost a spouse, either to death or divorce, you are still on this Earth and are still very alive. Don't feel bad about wanting to find a new relationship, and don't think you have to explain that need to anybody else. If your children are grown and have families of their own, this is not their decision. It's yours.
If you are struggling because you want to enter the dating scene and don't know how, contact the Orange County Relationship Center. Our trained counselors would be happy to help you get back into the dating scene and offering suggestions on how you can get there. Call us today at 949-220-3211 or schedule an appointment using our online tool. Follow your heart, while being smart in the process. You just may find your second chance!