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Listener Mail: How Do I Start Dating Again After 60?

Erin: Welcome to Hotter Than Ever listener mail. I'm your host, Erin Keating and in these new short weekly episodes, I give you my opinionated and not at all officially qualified feedback about the questions, problems, quandaries, and dilemmas that you have posed to me about love, sex, relationships, career, aging, ambition, divorce, and anything and everything else that is on your mind.

Today, we have a question from Keddie R and she asks:

"For women who are over 60 and getting back into the dating scene, what are your three top tips?"

Oh, Keddie, good for you that you are getting back out there into the dating scene. First of all, take a deep breath. Breath. That's not one of the three. That's just take a deep breath because if you have [00:01:00] been out of the dating scene, that means you have been doing something different and this is a change. Change is often uncomfortable and is almost always good. At the end of the day, you're stretching yourself. You are doing something new. You deserve credit for that. Good. For. You.

What it will yield? Who knows? Who knows? Right? You're getting back out there. You're testing the waters. You're seeing if there is a suitable match for you, or matches for you out there in the world. I'm assuming that you are using the apps or that you are planning to use the apps. That is the way people meet each other these days. If you are lucky enough to spot someone across the local coffee shop who you take a liking to, or you are in senior chorus, and you notice [00:02:00] someone's beautiful tenor voice across the sea of singing faces like my mother did with her boyfriend.

Oh, it was a beautiful love story. They fell in love in senior chorus and they had a beautiful relationship. They happened to meet in real life. How gorgeous. Also, extremely unlikely these days. And so I'm going to say that if you are using the apps, the number one tip is, it is a marketing project. Using the apps and making a profile on your chosen app, or apps, I recommend using more than one making a profile, is a marketing project.

So I'm just going to go out on a limb and assume that you are looking to meet a man because you did not say otherwise. And the statistical majority of people are heterosexual. I'm just going to take a guess and [00:03:00] say, you're a woman over 60 getting back into the dating scene who dates men. So on your profile, your photos are extremely important.

Men are very visual as we know. We are all very visual, but when it comes to attraction, men are very visual in my experience. So you need fantastic photos and you need them to show a positive side of yourself. We are all complex, we contain multitudes, but when you are looking for a mate or someone to date, put your best foot forward and smile.

Your photos should have you smiling, enjoying your life, doing the things that you like to do. If you don't have photos of those things, take photos of those things, have people take pictures of you in the context where you are happiest in your life. Okay, so you've got amazing photos and let's say you post four or five of them. Right, so that the [00:04:00] person who you are going to attract sees a range of sides of you and also knows that you have not engineered this one photo to be absolutely perfect. And then you show up in real life and you don't look like that at all. Look like your photos, but your photos should be a great version of you.

Your copy in your dating profile should be fun. Keep it honest, but keep it light. When I was young and I was on the dating apps in my thirties, I had a friend who posted a profile with this headline. She wrote, "not for the faint of heart or mind." Who are you going to attract with that? Someone who is looking for a challenge. Someone who is looking for a challenging woman. My ex at the time said, that's like putting a skull and crossbones on your dating profile. Poison, stay away.

So keep it honest and keep it light. That is not lying. It is [00:05:00] leading folks in through the shallow end and in order to get someone to bite the bait on your hook, sorry to be so crass about it, but this is the goal to get someone to be interested in what you look like and what you say on your dating profile. They are going to respond better to something that is light and honest and fun.

We all have baggage. We all have history. If you are over 60 years old, you have a lifetime of stuff that this person who, if it's a love connection, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, if it's a love connection (maybe you recognize that theme song from the TV show Love Connection that aired in the early 80s.) We all have baggage. And if it's a love connection, it will be revealed over time. Everything will be revealed over time. Don't put all your [00:06:00] tragedy, all your pain, all your complexity out on your dating profile. Keep it light, keep it honest, keep it fun. Look great. The goal is to get interest.

Number two, cultivate an open mind. An open mind.We all have a thousand million reasons to eliminate someone from contention as your future boyfriend, date, person that you love, person that you sleep with, et cetera. You have to have standards and maybe you'll have some no go areas. Try to keep your mind open to people who don't necessarily fit the profile that you have in your head. The world is infinitely complex. [00:07:00] People are very interesting and there may be people out there, who are different than you thought you would date who are just right for you.

So keep your standards. If terrible spelling and poorly educated partners are a deal breaker for you, don't respond to people who can't spell. People whose profiles exhibit very little effort, low effort profiles and responses for me, that is a deal breaker. Share something about yourself. If you are not willing to share something about yourself and try in this context, you probably are not going to share yourself and try in the context of our relationship. If you have a shitty attitude or if you say something that is just absolutely appalling, okay, that those are your standards, right? Those can be red flags.

However, don't [00:08:00] over interpret. Keep the age range wide. Try to go as young and as old as you imagine you could go and then add a few years on the young end. No, I had a few years in whatever direction you feel comfortable with. Some people like dating older. Some people only date people their age. Some people like dating younger. I had to do a lot of experimenting when I was back out there and dating at age 50. And what I found is that 40 was about the right age for me when I was 50, for guys. The older guys were okay. The guys my age definitely were fine. Younger was better, but then there was a such thing as too young because I just could not connect on any real level.

So keep your mind open around age and don't restrict people based on their taste in music or something superficial like that. And if you are dating men, [00:09:00] don't restrict them for having a bad photo or holding a fish in his photo. A lot of times men are really proud of the fish they caught and they will post a picture of themselves having caught a fish. I think there is a whole doctoral thesis to be written about why men do this, what it symbolizes. But he wants to show off to you something he's accomplished and unless you are a vegan, and truly it is against your values to catch fish, or you would never date someone who engages in sports on the sea, if that is a deal breaker for you, or hunting of any kind is a deal breaker for you, give them a break. Give them a break.

Most men will have bad pictures. They're just not as good at this stuff as we are. And if they're really good at it, I just sort of tuck that information away because maybe they're too good at it. You never know [00:10:00] cultivate an open mind. Um, maybe you've never dated someone who was a different religion or race than you. You never know that person could be the perfect fit.

Number three, the goal is to get to a date in real life. That is the goal. The goal is to be face to face with this person so that you can then have all the real information that your kinesthetic awareness and your heart and your life experience tells you about this person.

When you are online and you are chatting and you are exchanging notes, a good back and forth is great. Cultivate repartee, enjoy the way the conversation is going back and forth. And then if you like that asked to talk on the phone, talking on the phone is a disarming request, and it will give you a lot more [00:11:00] information.

You start to engage your different senses in the experience of this new person. Check in with your body. How did the conversation make you feel? Was there flow? Was it weird? Did they say something insane? Or were they just nervous and that was cute? You're going to know so much more once you've had a phone conversation. For me, a phone screen was always really helpful because you just realize whether you can vibe at all with this person, right? If they're okay on the phone, they're probably going to be better in real life.

So then if you agree at the end of the call, like, yeah, we should get together. Great. That is the goal. Like when you were on a job search. You do not have to take every job that is offered to you. However, if you are not offered the job, you cannot have the job. If you are not offered the date or you do not arrange a date, you cannot date this person. The goal is to get [00:12:00] the offer.

When you go on that first date, keep it casual. So meet for coffee or a walk or one drink at a bar or something else, public and low key and inexpensive. If they want to take you to a fancy restaurant and a Broadway show on the first date, that's too much. You're going to feel trapped. You're going to feel obligated. There's plenty of time for all those kinds of things, once you get to know each other. But in the beginning you're feeling each other out and I would just say, show up to that date as who you are, show up to that date as your normal self, don't labor it too much, look good, but look good like you'd look good every day.

I think the thing with just meeting someone in real life is know that you're both nervous.

It's weird for both of you. Your intentions are [00:13:00] good. You want to have someone be nice to you that you can be nice to. You want to connect and really just show up being willing to have a real conversation, to be your full self and to see how it goes. It's low stakes, right?

You're okay if you don't have a partner. You're okay if you don't have a boyfriend. You're okay if you don't have someone to go out to dinner with or go to the movies with. You can do those things yourself or with your girlfriends. This is just one person in a sea of people or a handful of people in a sea of possible options and everyone is just feeling it out.

Now it's a lot easier if you're in it just to hook up, right? Cause then you don't really have to worry about the quality of their character or whether they're gonna [00:14:00] be appropriate to meet your kids or your grandkids. If it's just for hooking up, it's a totally other conversation. But since you said dating, I think you mean looking for someone to be with or a series of people to be with who you can enjoy having those experiences out in the world together and spending time together.

Take the pressure off. Know this is not the be all and end all that it is not a referendum on your attractiveness or your ability to be loved. This is not a survey of your appeal to the opposite sex. This is just a moment in time of you putting yourself out there, taking risks, being vulnerable, being available to new experiences, and all of those things are for you.

So whatever happens, In this round of trying to date [00:15:00] after 60, you're going to learn as much about yourself in this experience as you are going to learn about the state of who is single and on the dating apps who you might be attracted to.

This round might be a fail. This round might be like, yeah, forget it. Um, I'm going to, I'm going to sit this out for a little while. Wasn't ready. Or this round could be like, holy shit, this is so fun. I had no idea. There were so many interesting, different kinds of guys out there who would want my company. You never know. Treat it as an opportunity for new experiences, for growth, and either way, no matter what happens, you will stretch and grow from putting yourself into new experiences and new environments and meeting new people and having conversations. That is all it is.

You know how to do this. You got this. And hopefully you'll [00:16:00] find exactly the person that you're looking for or someone who is even better and more interesting than what you thought you wanted. I wish you all the luck in the world, Keddie R. I think this is going to go really well for you. Take it easy. Don't sweat it too hard. Enjoy yourself. Have fun.

Thanks for listening to Harder Than Ever, Listener Mail. How can you ask a question? Well, I'm so glad you asked! DM us @hotterthaneverpod on Instagram, or leave me a voicemail or text. That's pretty easy. Text the hotter than ever hottie hotline at 323 844 2303. That's 323 844 2303. I would love to answer your question in a future episode.

Hotter Than Ever is produced by Erica Girard and PodKit Productions. Our associate producer is Melody Carey. Music is by Chris Keating with vocals by [00:17:00] Issa Fernandez. This has been another episode of Listener Mail.


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