Dating is an adventure at any age. In your 20s it’s about fun, in your 30s the quest for love can get a bit serious and in midlife things can only be described as “complicated”. But being older and wiser also gives you the tools you need to take control of your love life.
While some dating horror stories don’t discriminate across the ages – such as ghosting (when a potential love interest disappears without warning), slow-fade (the prequel to ghosting) and breadcrumbing (leading someone on with zero intention of commitment) – those of a certain age may also have to factor in failed marriages, a trail of broken hearts, kids, financial responsibilities and potential matches being concrete-set in their ways. Add to that pandemic deal-breakers – have you had your booster jab? – and there’s yet another layer to contend with. But there are plenty of reasons to stay positive.
If you are ready to go from “complicated” to “in a relationship” here are some expert tips to help you successfully navigate your way to meet the person of your dreams:
Get intentional about your goals…
…and map them out. Just as you need directions when taking a road trip to avoid getting lost, you need direction to help navigate your dating life.
Have an exit strategy… just in case
Not all dates are created equal and sometimes a backup plan is needed in case things don’t work out. And before you pre-plan a call about needing to rush off to tend to your sick dog, there are other ways to gently let down your date. Set a time limit for each date and stick to it, explains Karen Mooney who founded introduction agency Sara Eden. An hour is enough time for a round of drinks, light conversation and to see if your match has legs to move onto second date… or perhaps not. If not, keep your exit exchange polite and make it clear another date is not on the cards to avoid wasting each other’s time. If on the other hand you’re the one getting rejected, as hard it may be, don’t take it personally. Karen says: “Pick yourself up, stay positive and understand that person was not right for you, but there are lots of other people out there who might be.”