Before I met my second husband online in 2004 at age 51, I was in the post divorce dating world for 10 years. During that time, I learned a lot about what men over 40 want in a date, the dating challenges they struggle with, and the confusion they sometimes have about women they’re attracted to.
Now, as a personal coach specializing in dating issues, I’m passionate about using that knowledge to help midlife and older men have more success in their dating lives.
It all starts, of course, with a sincere, warm opener, whether you meet in person or online. Here are five simple, effective ice-breakers that I know worked with me:
1) Anywhere: “I’m new here, and I’m wondering if you know a good place for lunch?” (When she names a place, say “Would you like to join me there on Sunday?”)
2) At a party: “How do you know the hostess?”
3) On a hike: “Have you hiked this park before?”
4) At a workshop or class: “I’m learning a lot here. How ‘bout you?”
5) At a restaurant or wedding: Ask the waiter to drop your business card on the table of the woman you admire and on it write: “You really caught my eye! Can I stop by for a minute to say hi?”
6) Online: “You sound like a fascinating woman. I can’t wait to hear more about you!” or “Tell me more about your kids.”
It also helps to know the signs that a woman is into you BEFORE you ask her out. Here are six sure-fire ways to tell she’s likely to say “Yes!”:
1) She touches your arm while talking on your first meeting.
2) She laughs at your jokes and seems to be genuinely amused.
3) She tells you about someplace she loves and says she’d like to show it to you sometime.
4) She asks for help with a technical problem or “guy task”.
5) She puts her head on your shoulder during your first slow dance.
6) She offers to cook or bake something you said you like to eat.
Many men I met during my dating years didn’t understand why I wanted to be “exclusive” earlier in the dating process than they did. Here are the three main reasons, as I see it:
1) In general, women are more likely to be “committers” who want long-term relationships vs. playing the field because they’re socialized to believe that playing the field means they’re of “questionable” morals. I was never prudish, by any means, but women of my generation may definitely still be hesitant to stay “casual” for too long.
2) Before saying yes to sex, women often feel the need to “justify” it by convincing themselves they “love” you, and then they want you to be exclusive and emotionally involved too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gayle P. Crist, M.S., founder of HealthyLife Planning, is a personal coach based in Doylestown, PA. Trained at the Institute for Life Coach Training, she has been coaching individuals since January, 2002. A “natural cheerleader” all her life, Gayle’s passion is helping people live healthier, happier lives…especially helping single people find love. As Bucks County’s Dating Coach and Singles Social Director, Gayle hosts monthly singles parties and book discussion groups, offering singles 35-65 easier, more comfortable ways to connect. Gayle knows from personal experience how hard it is for older singles to find partners nowadays. Married for 16 years prior to her divorce in 1995, she was a single mom for 10 years before meeting her 2nd husband online at age 50. She says love “the 2nd time around” is amazing and adores helping others make the same discovery!