Full Speed Ahead

So you’ve decided to take a leap of faith and try out dating. Good for you! Now, let’s look into how to go about doing it.

Older adult dating is way more straightforward than it was in your youth. You know who you are and the kind of person who might compliment the way you live your life. With that knowledge in hand, there are plenty of ways, none of which involve downing shots of tequila in a club, to meet Mr. or Ms. Right.

Our world is characterized by online shopping, online banking, and even online working. The days of the internet being the last resort for meeting people is a thing of the past. In fact, the internet is the number one go-to method for finding romance and love.

The one key benefit to online dating is that you’re in the drivers seat. You’re free to decide who you want to choose and who you want to contact. A good majority of dating sites are free and only ask for a few login details. However, the biggest shortcoming of these free dating sites is that they focus only on appearances and location. They’re pretty superficial.

The next step up is online dating sites that require you pay a subscription fee. They have the advantage of permitting you to supply a more detailed, in-depth portrait about yourself.

Conversely, it also provides more details about prospective partners, which can help you decide if he or she is a good fit for you.

If you choose a subscription-based site, be sure to create a profile that genuinely reflects who you are and not the idealized person you think people are looking for.

The same applies to describing your idealized mate. Avoid listing specific characteristics or physical features. Itemize internal qualities, attitudes, personality traits and principles that a person you are looking for would possess.

Most importantly, make sure that the photos on your dating profile are up to date. There’s nothing more off putting than showing up to meet someone and the person you’re face to face with in no way resembles the photos you saw of them on the site.

If online dating is a bust for you, then it’s time to kick it up a notch. Try out a matchmaking agency. They’re costly, but on the plus side you won’t have to be pulling out your hair, (what’s left of it), trying to write the perfect online profile, or composing the most probing of questions, or becoming neurotic over picking the right photo of yourself to upload to a website.

Instead, you’ll make an appointment, have a confidential conversation with a dating professional to discuss your interests and the type of partner you’re looking for. Then you can sit back and they’ll do the rest. They’ll match you with several compatible people, you’ll get to choose the lucky one, and they’ll arrange for the first date.

It’s worth the expense if you don’t want to spend a lot of time reviewing multiple profiles, engaging in endless small talk, and putting your personal history out there on the internet.

If online dating sites and matchmaking services still don’t float your boat, then don’t throw your hands up in despair. There are still numerous alternatives available for you to choose from.

Consider joining a group activity such as a book club, a cooking class, or an adult extension course. Think about becoming a member of a choir, a theater group, or a film club. How about attending a church or local community center social activity? The choices and opportunities are endless, but it’s up to you to take that first step.

Whatever your choice, don’t feel pressured and enjoy the ride. Just getting yourself out here is a huge step forward and a major success. Meeting people who are interested and attracted to you will be a huge boost to your self-esteem.

Remember that your life in retirement is already a fulfilling one replete with loving friends and family, so starting to date and possibly finding romance and love can be the icing on the cake as you move FULL SPEED AHEAD.

Allan Goldstein is a retirement coach and Long Beach resident.

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