Relationship Tips

Midlife Dating: Where to Meet the Men

April 15th, 2006

The recent proliferation of dating websites makes it clear that you’re looking for him, and he’s looking for you, so how do we get the two of you together?

AT WORK

Most people meet their future mates in the workplace, despite the distinct possibility of Double Jeopardy: you could lose both the guy and your job. Inherently risky, it’s never been my favorite, but it isn’t stopping lots of other people, sexual harassment laws notwithstanding.

There are ways to make it work such as testing the waters carefully as to intent, initially flirting only when part of a group, and later, keeping it strictly off-campus, and after-hours. See my ebook, “Midlife Dating Survival Manual for Women” for more tips.

THROUGH FRIENDS

Word is this produces the most promising dates, though it isn’t surefire. I recall a friend who introduced a friend of ours to a man of her acquaintance, and later found out the man’s wife had left him because he used to beat her. That having been said, don’t forget to ask people for introductions. People won’t assume your interested unless you say something.

AT SCHOOL

Demographically, you’d think the #1 place would be college/university (I mean oveall), but I guess we’re putting off marriage until later.

Returning to school as an adult provides opportunities and is a win-win. Whether you meet someone or not, you’ve improved yourself and enriched your life. When I first divorced and returned to graduate school, I found it a great place to meet folks, including professors who were closer to my age than many of the students. One of my fellow-students did end up marrying one of the professors.

Learn a new language, brush up on your computer skills or get a post-graduate degree. Most learning institutions cater to the schedules of older working adults, with night and weekend classes.

ON THE INTERNET

The second best way to meet eligible others is probably the Internet, especially for females, as there are many more men seeking online.

The websites give good instructions, including that you should take care when meeting them in person, and the importance of a really good photo.

One resource you can take advantage of is Glamour Shots (no, I’m not an affiliate). Depending upon the location, they do great work, nice touchups, and can also submit your photo directly to the website. You’ll get more action if you include a photo, and it should be current.

Which brings up the point of deception. If someone’s deceptive, they’ll do it anywhere, including the Internet. You just have to keep your wits about you. (See my ebook). However, if you submit a misleading photo you’re only fooling yourself. Why put on there a photo of you 6 years ago, and then be rejected when you finally meet? On principal, if nothing else. (And why do you have a problem with what you really look like??)

The Internet seems to have been created for introverts. For dating, it allows a slower pace, in writing, that introverts love. From personal experience, I recommend meeting the person fairly quickly (once safe), so the fantasy doesn’t get out-of-hand.

A quick look at the profiles will inform you that everyone is “sensitive,” “caring” and “loving” — at least in their own eyes. We all know what to say, especially seasoned seducers, but misconceptions are are also provided by those who aren’t being willfully deceptive, but just aren’t very self-aware.

We’re all alike - we all want the same thing; but we differ in what things mean to us, and the means by which we hope to acquire them. Everyone’s looking for love and most find some version of it. Didn’t Hitler and Mussolini both die with their mistresses at their sides?

One person’s “financially secure” is making enough to pay the bills, and another’s is a million dollar trust fund.

“I’m a sensitive guy” can mean he’s full of self-pity and insensitive to others; or too hyper-sensitive to be able to relate.

See them face-to-face. No one really looks like their photo, no matter how current, and while appearance isn’t the deal-breaker for most of us, that illusive thing called “chemistry” is, so get it over with. This is the best way to check out their health, as well.

AT PLAY

Meeting someone while you’re doing what you love to do is a great idea, don’t you think?

Here’s an example. Recently I went to a Sunday opera matinee. It turned out to be an incredibly unique group of people. The variance was small, and the overall median age must have been 55 (MEDIAN). Surprisingly there was a large number of men there alone. Who knew?

It was a small crowd, and during the long intermission, I wandered outside. Immediately several men, there alone, struck up conversation with me.

Now here’s the kicker: I found myself asking a friend, “What kind of man over 55 would go to an opera alone?” She reminded me that the last great love of my life fit that profile!

I personally know clients who met their future husbands taking SCUBA lessons, learning German at the community college, and volunteering at the homeless shelter.

DANCE LESSONS

Dance lessons deserve special mention. Many dance venues are now offering free, or nearly-free lessons. In my town, one C&W dance hall has lessons Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m., for $3, and most attendees are midlifers. There’s free dancing afterwards, and the atmosphere is very different than Friday Night at Billy Bob’s.

In addition, private studios attract midlifers as well, offering all levels, beginner to competition. You could meet a great two-stepper and dance your way right out of the studio!

FAITH GROUPS

Don’t miss this often-overlooked possibility. Many places of worship consider it an outreach and do a great job, and they aren’t always religiously oriented. One of the largest ones in my town meets at a church, but the speakers are secular, self-help types. They carry a full calendar of activities. Take a leadership position and you’ll get more exposure. Yes!

IN YOUR FANTASIES

This may not be what you want to hear, but the best place to meet him is in your mind. To get what you want, you have to know what you want, with clarity and also with feeling. This man you want to meet, how does it feel to be with him? Best time to envision is just before you fall asleep.

Be mentally prepared for the possibility. If it can happen in the universe, it can happen to you. I wish you could hear the stories I hear as a coach. It can happen at the most unlikely places.

I’m thinking of a wonderful man I met at a restaurant on a vacation in Chicago. It wasn’t in my paradigm, so I thought “What’s the use?” When I recall the impression he made in our brief meeting . what a lost opportunity. And ironically, since then, none of my better matches has been from my hometown, or even home state.

Last word - I’m told there are a disproportionate number of single men at upscale jazz clubs. “But don’t bug them during the show,” my informant said. Good advice. A woman who interrupts a man at work or play, is requiring multi-tasking of him, which men aren’t good at. It’s always best to let him approach you, because then it’s his idea and all that other stuff you know about guys and you’re smart, right? If not, get some coaching and get up to speed. You don’t want him to miss the woman of his dreams, do you?

©Susan Dunn, MA, EQ & Dating Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Susan is the author of “Midlife Dating Survival Manual for Women.” She offers coaching, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal, dating and professional success. She trains an certifies EQ coaches internationally. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for info on this fast, affordable, comprehensive, no-residency program. Email for FREE EQ ezine.

When Your Heart is Broken

April 12th, 2006

By Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach

Alexander is inconsolable over his recent divorce, instigated by his wife of 10 years. Perhaps you know or love someone like this. His behavior and reaction to the loss are driving other people from his life as well. His family tell me they’ve “done everything they could” and are at their wit’s end. They understand the sadness, but are concerned about his litany of physical complaints ranging from what looks like chronic fatigue syndrome to the heart pains he claims to be having.

He’s driven off a new girl-friend because of his “obsessing about his former wife,” his flash anger, and his ambivalence about plans, activities, and their relationship.

His friends have quit inviting for dinner because he’s so withdrawn and forlorn, and his business partner is becoming increasingly concerned at Alexander’s neglect of their business.

Alexander’s personality has changed and increasingly he is adding more and greater problems to the initial problem. Evidence mounts daily that calling it a “broken heart” is an astute bit of folk wisdom.

When you lose a love relationship, a set of symptoms ensues that other people usually try and talk you out of: the dragging around, sleeping too much or too little, crying, weight gain or loss, talking and thinking obsessively about the lost love, inability to enjoy life and the things that used to bring pleasure, and also a host of physical ailments.

Some people focus on the psychological pain, while others focus on the physical suffering, but usually there is both, and there’s mounting evidence that the physical symptoms aren’t “psychosomatic.” Well, not in the old and common use of the term. We recognize the seamless mind-body connection in the field of emotional intelligence. What we feel emotionally, is “felt” physically in the cells of our bodies.

When we see it in others, we want them to “just get over it” - to quit thinking, talking and acting that way and get back to normal. We can understand the loss, but in many cases we know it will fix itself in time, and also it isn’t we who are suffering. We remember having gotten over things in the past, but we may not remember what it was like for us during the worst of it. In fact, we try not to remember it and apply our “selective remembering.”

What have been the remedies? At one time the cure was, at least for the wealthy, to take an ocean voyage.

Well, there’s wisdom in that, as well. Let’s take a look at what happens when our “heart is broken,” because it could be the result.

If it’s happened to you, you’re probably aware that it isn’t something that lends itself to a “quick fix,” and that it’s somehow more than “in your head,” as some seem to imply. At your better times, you’d like to get over it too. But if you’ve survived this sort of heartbreak, and gone on to thrive, as many of us have, you also know things can get better, and can shine your light on the dark corners of someone else’s life and be patient while time works its cure. However, there’s something else they need to be doing as well besides having hope and waiting.

That time will heal isn’t an absolute.

The panoply of symptoms of “the broken heart”, it turns out, were aptly named.

Studies are showing that there are measurable physiological changes that take place that can be detrimental to our physical health and exacerbate the psychological suffering. After all, if it were “all in your head,” you yourself know that, as well-meaning others tell you, you’ll probably love again, most do; that time will heal; it usually does; that if they didn’t want you, you’re better off without them; that other people have gone through what you’re going through and seem to be okay; and that moping around, eating poorly, drinking too much and neglecting important things and people in your life isn’t going to help anything.

Research is showing that people in the state of what’s called melancholic depression, have a heart rate and blood pressure significantly higher than normal people in normal times and other crucial health measurables get significantly out-of-kilter.

In typical medicalese, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, reported that patients with melancholic depression could “experience an increase in norepinephrine levels of a similar magnitude to that associated with twice the risk of mortality in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).”

Translated, this means that it can put you at two times the risk of death from a heart attack as someone who has chronic heart failure (CHF). Correlations continue to be found. It turns out that levels of cortisol and epinephrine peak in the morning, a time when depressive symptoms are worse (thus the not wanting to get up and go to work), and also the time when many heart attacks occur. (You’ve heard of the Monday morning heart attack.)

What can you do about this? If you’re in the life of the suffering person, understand it’s more than “in their head,” and encourage them to go to their healthcare professional for a checkup. If you’re the person, understand the health ramifications and see your health care professional.

Things known to help include talking about it in therapy, exercise, cognitive work (like EQ), medication and other physical treatments. And yes, also the folk cure often recommendeded of taking an ocean voyage … even gazing at water can raise the levels of those brain chemicals that make us feel good.

While this is not intended as medical advice, which you can only get from a healthcare professional, if you have any propensity for heart trouble (physically) and receive heart trouble (emotionally), keep in mind, as always, the mind-body connection and take care of yourself. And do this especially when you don’t feel like it, because that’s one of the symptoms.

This is especially important for men, since men are more prone to heart trouble of the physical kind, and less less resilient in the face of heart trouble of the emotional kind.

© Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach. Susan is the author of “Depression: The EQ Approach”. She offers coaching, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional success and wellness. She trains and certifies EQ coaches internationally. Email her for info on this fast, affordable, comprehensive, no-residency program. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE EQ ezine and visit http://www.webstrategies.cc/ebooklibrary.html for books

Renewing Passion in Your Relationship

April 11th, 2006

Spring is the time when everything renews itself; its a time of new beginnings, feeling fresh and alive and a great time to make a conscious effort to renew the passion in your relationship.

Relationships go through cycles just as nature does and levels of passion will vacillate. In the early stages of love passion is a blazing inferno that cant be put out and doesnt require any work, but as the relationship progresses, passion will not stay alive without effort. And just as your garden or flowerbed need nurtured with love ,water and sunshine, your relationship needs nurtured as well.

Here are some great ways to keep the passion alive.

~Romantic gestures such as sensual cards or intimate gifts
~Show respect and appreciation
~Be adventurous and spontaneous
~Seek variety and creativity in lovemaking activities
~Express desire, love and affection
~Selfless behaviors (acts that are done purely for the satisfaction of your mate)
~Take your lover on romantic a date

And dont forget that spring is the perfect time to enjoy some delicious outdoor sex. An outdoor tryst is one of the best ways possible to renew passion, because it combines several passionate activities into one. Being naked outside elicits deep, primal, wild and uninhibited desires, its adventurous and can be spontaneous. With the right scenario you can make it romantic.

You can surprise your lover with an outdoor quickie, or a beautiful lovemaking event or plan a whole day of savoring. Get more creative by adding some role-play or pack a picnic basket with some of your favorite foods to play with, like strawberries or bananas, whip cream, ice cream or whatever you desire and feed each other like Kings and Queens or place it strategically on the body to be licked and eaten.

Nature provides you with a fantastic sexual playground to ignite passion, where different textures and varied places such as on the grass, in the water, bent over a stump, in the wind, hanging from a branch, on the sand, on flat land or on a hill etc. will enhance your sensations and provide you with the ability to maneuver many different positions and techniques. The whole world can become your bedroom.

For wildlife spring is the natural season of mating so take their cue, let the seduction of the elements turn you into wild animals and renew your passion to new heights.

Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed. is a sex coach helping couples have great sex, deeper intimacy, be better lovers and keep the passion alive. Get your Free Sex Guide “25 Tips for Great Sex” and ignite even more passion and excitement in your relationship.


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