Today I received an e-mail from Anita, 42-year-old journalist. “I got divorced two years ago — a surprise for my 40th birthday. And unfortunately, another surprise, when I found out that my husband traded me for a top model. At first, he was hiding it from me, but after we finally got divorced, it turned out that he moved into his fifteen years younger girlfriend’s flat. It wasn’t a cool experience, I must admit, but when I finally got through it, I realized I forgot all my knowledge about dating. My last date was exactly 20 years ago. With my ex! How to start going out again now when everything is so different?”
It’s true — when we’re in our early 20th’s everything seems simple and easy. We’re full of youth and spontaneity. We easily and quickly enter into close relationships. Years later we want to come back to the stage of dating, to find a loved one, it turns out that we don’t quite know where to start. What once seemed obvious suddenly becomes a challenge.
Here are some practical tips:
1. Find your strengths
Note that ripe age is not just nostalgia for a lost time, it’s also valuable experience. You already know what you have to offer. Lay back with a notebook and a pen, write down what you’re proud of, what you like about yourself. These may be traits of character but also skills or physical characteristics. Be aware of them. Also, think about what exactly you seek in a partner. The search is always easier when you get a clear image of who you’re looking for.
2. Get to know your drawbacks
You’re not perfect. Who is? Imagine how boring the world would be if everyone was “perfect.” Consider, however, which of your habits may be uncomfortable or kind of a pain for another person in the formation of a new relationship. Are you shy, have never opened up to anyone? Being aware of that, you can always tell the other person — “Sorry, I’m not too effusive, it doesn’t mean that I’m not into you.” It really works.
3. Be natural
When we are concerned about finding the right partner, too focused on making a good impression, we often appear much worse than we actually are. Sometimes we try too hard. What about effortless behavior? When we feel comfortable with ourselves, others will also feel at ease with us. Artlessness is often way better than perfect make-up.
4. Reduce expectations, increase curiosity
You never know how the first date is going to flow. That’s why it’s always better to go with the slightest of expectations. Instead of expecting something, it’s better to go on a date with natural curiosity. Openness and true interest create the best conditions to get to know someone. Even if you’re not going to fall in love with someone, there is a chance for good communication and interesting friendship.
5. Have fun!
When you look at your situation as an opportunity to begin a new, exciting stage in life and embrace the change — you’ll see that the best is yet to come! It’s up to you what you’ll do with the second half of your life. Have you been wanting to start a new activity for a while? Besides dating, make a list of random activities you have heard of that you might want to try. Do you like to sing? Paint? Maybe yoga is your thing? Look at your schedule — is there a space for entertainment in your daily list of responsibilities and tasks? Regardless of your age, don’t forget to simply have fun.