I should have known what I was in for when my soon-to-be husband consistently reached for two sections—sports and travel. As for me, well I guess I’m what you might call a “closeted romantic”: people are always shocked to learn that the first section I reach for in Sunday’s NY Times is always and invariably the wedding and engagement announcement section.
I look for interesting stories and guess what: they tend to be about people who marry in mid-life or later.
Look at relationships like a series of puzzle pieces making up the picture of your life—there are many different pieces in your puzzle—take some of the pressure off by reminding yourself that a romantic relationship is just one. Be thoughtful about re-entry into the dating world. : Barbara Waxman, President and founder of The Odyssey Group, works with business owners, executives and individuals increase their leadership capacity and their ability to deliver concrete results.
The biggest challenge associated with getting back out there in the dating world typically has more to do with self-confidence than anything else. Before entering the dating world it’s often really helpful to set some goals. We’ve all lived long enough to know that having expectations of how people will act towards us and how we “should be” tend to be an excellent predictor of disappointment. Barbara founded The Odyssey Group in 2005 in order to use her skills as an executive and life transition coach for adults, midlife and better.
I like to encourage people to get into “game shape” for the dating experience. In addition to looking better on the outside, you’ll be taking care of yourself on the inside too. It’s no wonder many dates end on that note or something close to it. What I don’t advise is to go to that first date with hopes like: “This might be the one: he sounds perfect on paper and my friends say we are perfect for one another—I hope I don’t screw this up! This scavenger hunt of information can even be shared with a date. “My passion is working with people for whom the primary tasks of middle adulthood have been complete. Relationships have stayed the course, dissolved, or are on the horizon.
There seems to be two types of people when it comes to dating in midlife: those who are the proverbial kid having fun while looking for the pony in the pile of …well you know what, and those who consider it a necessary evil to be avoided, sometimes at all costs.
I’d like to propose that there is actually a middle ground and that the thought process and actions reflected in this middle ground thinking will yield two critical outcomes: enjoyment during (most of ) the dating process and a higher probability of achieving the results you are looking for.
The following are things you need to have in place to work from this middle ground: 1.Know thyself…and get a quick read of others Did you know that you can tell a lot about a person if you know what section of the newspaper (for those of us who still read our papers rather than the online version) he or she picks up first?In fact, there are a growing number (in my anecdotal study) of couples where the women are a few years older than her lover. As I read about what brought these couples together, it is almost always based on mutual interests and a deeply held sense of knowing “this is the one.” So perhaps the first question you ask a potential date might be: what section of the paper do you read first? Imagine for a moment that your life is made up of a portfolio of activities.Much like a financial portfolio, think about how you invest your time now; then reconsider how much time and energy you actually want to invest in each area of your life.As we age, we are more certain about who we are rather than former stages in life where the focus was on who we wanted to become.Take that heartfelt knowledge and look for another sage soul who shares your interests and passions.