Whether you are 16 or 60, dating is scary. The thought of putting yourself “out there” and actually finding someone is not easy. What if he is a total jerk? What if she is only after my money? Especially among older adults, figuring out ways to attract another person, as well as determine whether or not he or she is worth your time hardly seems worth the effort.
However, there are over 45 million single men over the age of 35 in the United States alone. Surely, not all of them are looking for 21-year-old hotties or too narcissistic to be worth your time. Whether you are male or female, straight or gay, in your 30s or in your 70s, making a few subtle changes to the way you approach your daily life can help you find love, regardless of your age. [Related: How Mismatched Couples Get Their Happily-Ever-After in Each Other]
Step 1: Lower Your Standards
It is important to have a list of traits or a general idea of the type of man or woman you would like to date. However, fixing your focus on certain standards, specifically physical ones, leaves out many of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes without really giving them a chance.
For example, if most women lower their height “requirement” by as little as two inches, they open up the pool of potential male dates exponentially. Focusing too much on outside appearance or educational level stifles true beauty and real intelligence. Just like it’s possible for a “10” to turn into a “5” the minute she opens her mouth, the opposite is equally true.
Step 2: Open Yourself Up
The next time you are out and about take time to look around you. Make eye contact, say “hello” to strangers, and smile. While most of the people you encounter will not be potential dates, by opening yourself up to the world around you, you allow those who have the chance to see you in the first place.
Start small, make conversation with the barista at the coffee shop or the guy standing in front of you in line at the market. These low-risk situations allow you to build up confidence and, in turn, may help you discover something, or someone, worth your time and effort. Even married people have friends who are single, so the more you talk to others, the more likely you are to meet one of them. [Related: Where to Meet Quality Single Guys]
Step 3: Learn How to Flirt
Once you do actually find someone who you can date, learning to flirt is key in making a connection and keeping the conversation moving in the early stages. People like being flattered and attention from a potential partner is high on the list of flattering actions. Believe it or not, many people, especially those who aren’t immediately “hot” or powerful, don’t get flirted with all that often. And doing it is easy, here are a few basic strategies:
- Laugh at a joke
- Pay him/her a compliment
- Find a way to initiate a subtle touch
- Lean in and make eye contact when speaking
If you are afraid that doing these things makes it too obvious that you are flirting, don’t. Remember, that’s the point. If you want someone to know you are interested, you have to act interested…and get them to recognize it.
Step 4: Take Risks
Pat Benatar said it best: “love is a battlefield”. And, like in battle, the only way to achieve victory is to be willing to put it all on the line. If you want to find love, you have to face rejection and that means taking risks. Too often, people get so caught up in their own insecurities that they miss opportunities for dates, kisses, even phone numbers. Don’t rely on old conventions (i.e. the man should ask the woman for her number) or become so consumed by self-doubt that you let the opportunity to find love pass you by. [Related: What You Ought to Know Before Getting Into a Relationship]
What’s the worst that could happen?
You would end up alone?
If you’re looking for love, at any age, aren’t you already there?
Share your stories with me by commenting below or by contacting me.