The Over-50 Resource
The Rules of Dating Over 50
(continued)

It’s easy to understand a submissive person’s reluctance to hook up with yet another controller, and the
dominant person’s fear of having to handle everything alone. But age and bad experiences can work in our
favor. Now (hopefully) we have something we didn't have in the past—self-awareness. Knowing the personality
type you are drawn to gives you an edge this time around. But you’ll need to be particularly cautious and
prepared to avoid falling into the same old trap.

    Online dating can be ideal for this reason. Relationships are easier
    to get out of when you start seeing red flags than if a friend sets
    you up or you date someone you’ll still have to encounter in a
    social or work setting. Not only can you remain anonymous online,
    but you can build up to a relationship gradually.

    Let’s use the example of my divorced friend Georgia who always
    seems to end up with men who want to take over and control her
    whole life. When dating online, she likes the idea of just being
    friends with someone (or more than one someone) for a good
    amount of time—chatting online, meeting for coffee and, if she
    thinks they have some camaraderie, advancing to movies or dinner.

Georgia always meets her date in a public place (again, for as long as she feels comfortable)—and makes it a
rule never to give out her address or phone number until

(1) she’s been dating the person for three months (until then, she only communicates through the dating
service e-mail),

(2) she knows a LOT about him and

(3) she feels comfortable that he is not another controller.

Making rules and sticking with them helps Georgia stay in control of the dating situation. She knows she is
more susceptible to saying "yes" when caught off guard, so she prepares as many "no's" in advance that she
can think of. It has been difficult for her to accept, but she now knows there is no need to give a reason for
saying no—"It's one of my rules for online dating" should be enough. If the person continues to pressure her
to break the rules, that's a red flag to her that he is a heavy controller, and she moves on.

Taking this approach allows Georgia to approach the first few meetings as an interview, no matter how
attractive she finds the guy. Women who have low self-esteem might find this part difficult. If a guy seems like
a good catch, they suddenly feel they have to “sell” themselves to him and end up coming across as “needy”
or “desperate.”

Women like Georgia, who think that they are a prize to be won, do much better at dating, in any setting. She
thinks age also works in her favor in this respect. In addition to having more self-awareness, she is less brain-
addled by her sex drive, fear of loneliness or the need to build a family. Georgia has plenty of friends to do
things with and doesn’t really “need” a man. However, she does enjoy the company of men and would like to
find a long-term relationship (including sex), but only if the right person comes along.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
 
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Looking for Love

Thinking of online dating?  Read
this
Time magazine article first.
Then go to
Dating Site Reviews
and
Senior Living to help sort
through all the sites.

Most people have heard of
Match.com, eHarmony.com,
Chemistry.com, and
PerfectMatch.com, but there
are dozens of online dating sites
just for people over 50. To name
a few:

  • Baby Boomers People
    Meet
  • Silver Fishing
  • Senior Date Finder
  • Senior Friend Finder
  • Gorgeous Grandma
  • Seniors Circle
  • Silver Singles

Some sites, like Lava Life and
Adult Friend Finder, are more
about finding sex than romance
and others cater to alternative
lifestyles. And, for strictly
marriage-minded singles over age
35, there’s MatchMaker.com, a
site for finding professional
matchmakers.

Remember that most of the sites
will let you browse for free, but
if you want to contact someone,
you have to pay to join. And you
might want to create a free
Yahoo or Google e-mail account
specifically for this purpose,
creating an anonymous user
name (like catwoman or dogboy).
Relationships Over 50