Single middle-aged women who are interested in having a relationship with a man often wonder whether their desire is even worth pursuing. Some have heard that older men seek younger women and feel defeated by the competition. Others assume that older men may be mostly interested in a mature partner as “a nurse or a purse.” And many women are just perplexed about the steps needed to find a worthy love companion.
According to U.S. Census figures of 2010, there are 86 unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women. Yet, in the U.S. of the 100 million single people, there are 16.2 million unmarried Americans 65 and older.
Since availability does not seem to be the problem, finding the connection may be the challenge. One common avenue of finding a mate is through online dating services. The U.S. Census reports that there are “904 dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002.”
Searching for a mate online is intimidating for many seekers at any age, particularly for mature adults. The common concerns about online site use include: one’s computer skills, being savvy at presenting oneself in earnest, trusting others’ profiles, fearing rejection and discomfort about meeting strangers. Though there are remedies to these drawbacks, some mid-lifers resist this option.
In “Finding a Mate in the 21st Century,” Peter Friedlander and Veronique Susset discuss the pros and cons of fifteen different avenues for finding a partner. Among them are: personal advertisements, winter or summer vacations, singles weekends, cruises, dining clubs and online dating. These are a few practical ways of meeting other singles.
I maintain that seeking a mate needs to begin with self- assessment and then advance to a clear plan with the right attitude.
Ask yourself whether you are currently in a healthy emotional and physical state that will make you desirable to the type of person you would like to have as a partner. If you are still grieving a previous relationship loss, are angry, mistrusting, negative or self-doubting, you are probably not ready to succeed in selecting the right mate.
Once you are satisfied with your state of wellbeing, devise a multi-pronged plan of availing yourself to others: Tell your friends, family and even your adult children that you are interested in dating. Join activities that interest you and participate with commitment and caring. Seek help and guidance about the use of Internet dating sites. Apply your talents and skills in being of help to others. Be aware of the people around you in your daily life. Make eye contact with others and be friendly and personable with whomever you meet. A positive, friendly demeanor is captivating.
To find a mate in midlife:
¨ Avoid myths and generalizations about what men want, like or prefer. You only need one worthy mate.
¨ Be positive, feel your worth and act confidently.
¨ Be attentive to others and help them feel that they are valued people. Your intended is likely to discover you.