Grey Haired and Scared Part Two – Top Tips for Getting Going with Dating
We had such a reaction to our first article, “Top tips for dating after 45”, that we have decided to do more on the subject. It seems there are thousands of Sassitas out there looking for romance, friendship, companionship or just sex. Whatever your dream, you need to go out and find it as knights in shining armour rarely turn up on the doorstep unless you live in a Disney movie.
So how do you ‘get out there?’
Step One: Set your strategy
There are many different ways of getting out onto the dating scene. Internet matching has become the most widely used route. For some this is because of the ’look before your buy’ factor, for others it saves time and wasted money on ‘fail from the start’ dates. Certainly, professionals are claiming that they want ‘efficiency’ in their dating and to find people with high potential for compatibility if they are going to leave the office early. More process than passion? Yes. Reality? Yes.
If trawling through various mug-shots on a computer makes you head for the winceyette pyjamas, or if you are worried about hoaxers (men pretending to be what they are not – notably single), then you need to find another strategy. The key to your strategy is to aim for places or events where you are likely to meet single people of a similar age. We have been out researching our wider team contacts and found a whole raft of ‘routes to singles’ such as:
Matching agencies. These are the expensive end of matched dating. You need to join an agency, usually for a fee, and your agent will match you. The process will involve being profiled, interviewed and often videoed.You are then matched to potential partners who are best suited to your profile. It costs, but they claim a very high success rate.
Activity clubs. If you like walking, writing, bowls, golf, sailing, running, paragliding (yes this came up!), the gym, adult education classes, eating, cookery then sign up and join. Mr Future partner may be there. Likewise, he just could be the friend of someone there who spots a match. Now, you need to get real here. You may have a passion for lace-making, but Mr Eligible is unlikely to be found juggling his bobbins.
Network expansion. They say there are only six degrees of separation between you and someone famous – so why not with your soul-mate? You just need to work through the degrees. Try having a dinner party every month and ask a friend to bring someone you do not know. Invite them to the next dinner and ask them to bring someone you do not know. You never know, love could be just a casserole away. If not, you will still have made friends and have a lot of reciprocal invites to attend.
Singles holidays. Now Sassista 1 did a few of these some years ago and gives a health warning – ‘they seem to be full of people who are rampantly single.’ On one holiday a lovely woman who admitted she did have a partner but he didn’t like travelling was ostracised for the duration of a Yangtze River Cruise (and it’s a long river!). However, it gets you out and into other groups; there just might be a lovely potential partner who goes for the scenery and then sees you. If all else fails, you will have stories for your first dates.
Networking organisations. If you are working, then find a network of like-minded workers. Join a professional organisation, an interest group, a political group. It doesn’t matter as long as there is potential for connecting (so do not stick just to the Women in Business groups!)
Charities. You are bound to meet people with a passion like you. Could you fall in love while helping someone else?
Religious groups. If you have a belief, then others do too and some of them are bound to be single. If you just go to the weekly service, find out what else goes on and go along.
Singles ads. Well these can work but you need to understand the code. Well-built can mean fat, passionate means he wants sex and quickly, uncomplicated means he has a wife. However, in there, will be some genuine gems. If you go out to meet, abide by all the safety rules.
We do not suggest going to bars and night-clubs. However, if this is your bag make sure you are safe, that someone knows where you are and never, never take a risk with a stranger.
Speed-dating. In our opinion a truly horrible experience which is based on instant judgement. However, if you are confident, can sell yourself in a minute and feel you can ‘spot him when you see him’ then it might be worth the time.
Step Two: Set your target soul-mate
As we said in the first article, reaching for the stars is good, but the galaxy might be ambitious. So if you want rich, ambitious, funny, loving, loyal, brave, affectionate, same sexuality as you, same values as you, single, good looking, kind, supportive, generous, tidy, clean, loves your cat, sees housework as sharing time together and never has wind or smelly feet … get back in the Disney movie. (But if you have found him then please, please write a blog and send it to us on how you bagged such a honey!)
Love is different for everyone, but the fast track to incompatibility is differing values and beliefs. Look at the breakdown of Brangelina. Two people who seemed to create a marriage made in heaven. But when it came to the reality they wanted different things, had different interests and very different parenting values when it came to their kids. Now don’t get us wrong – you do not want your double in the double bed and differences can be a great spark. But being with someone for whom you have to subjugate ‘you’ is never a good option.
Instead, set out the perfect partner – starting with their values, personality and style. Then move to looks and money. It might be that for you money and style is priority. OK – but test yourself by going the other way. Are you finding the gaps which have been the downfall of previous relationships?
Step three: Ready, get set, go
This stage links back to your strategy. And you need to take positive action.
If your strategy is Internet dating or matching agencies, then research first. In our last article we set out the primary dating networks, but you need to research. There are many specialist sites and a whole array of matching agencies, some of them catering only for high net worth individuals, cultural groups, religious groups and more. Choose the site or agency which will get you linked to people most akin to your target soul-mate.
Whatever, you do, be honest. Say your real age, your real size, your real interests and what you really want. Setting yourself up as a 30 year old nymphet (even if you have great skin and figure) will only lead to extreme stress before your dates and difficult conversations if you happen to click with someone. Be brave to be yourself in all your glory – not a fake of someone you think would be more attractive.
If you are going down the meet in person route, then please be Sassy and sensible. A few rules sound like they come from older sister-Sassista, but they are fail-safe.
If you join an activity group – go to enjoy it. Someone who is there on an agenda will not be pulled into the group.
Go to networking events, charity meetings, and religious groups with the intention of doing what the event is about. Arriving on a man-hunt will soon have you at the periphery.
If you go on singles holidays, go to look, learn and experience.
If you go anywhere alone, tell someone where you are going.
Above all, do something. There is no point despairing about being single. Out there are hundreds of potential partners. Taking that first step can be scary. But stepping through life alone might be worse.
Go on. That soulmate is out there somewhere – just dying for you to find them.
Don’t miss our next article in this series, “Top tips for the first date”.