All right, so you’ve decided the time has come to seek love, romance, and companionship for yourself. Good for you!
But please don’t be upset or shocked if you discover that your family or friends aren’t as supportive of your decision to date as you had expected. They may feel jealous, threatened, or are still grieving the loss of your former mate.
Please don’t argue with them. Just act respectful of their feelings and opinions while not compromising your own decisions.
And whether we’re widowed or divorced, bear in mind that part of dating involves our willingness to make a fresh start.
At first, it’s easy to be deluded into believing we might find an exact replacement—a mirror image—of our former mate (in the event that there was one), who holds the same set of values, ethics, and code of behaviors which we had become so accustomed to.
Nope. We must accept new people for who they are.
It’s also important to remain open to meeting a “match” just by going through the course of our routine daily activities. Just because we’ve signed up on a dating site or matchmaking service doesn’t mean we need limit our thinking.
After all, Russell met Peggy while both were waiting for their luggage at the airport baggage claim. Fifteen minutes of casual conversation was all they needed to spark some chemistry!
That was nearly ten years ago and today they’re happily celebrating their ninth anniversary. But even more astonishing is how fate brought Jim and Marianne together.
Can you imagine—the two met on a flat tire! All he did was stop to help her out on the shoulder of a busy highway, then follow her to safety.
Hmm…could that mean we should take pride in our appearance everywhere we go? Which, in turn, raises such questions as might it be time for a trim or a haircut? A more stylish wardrobe? A newer more updated look?
Or a trip to the fitness center to firm and tone unwanted bulges? Think about it. But in the meantime, here are some important rules of senior dating etiquette for us to consider:
~ Ladies, regardless of how you met the gentleman, always allow him to call you for the first date.
~ If you’re meeting face-to-face for the very first time, for goodness sakes, be considerate. Don’t be late! Avoid raising your date’s anxiety level with the sinking feeling that you might be a “no-show”. Being prompt speaks well for your character.
~ Choose a public place, such as a coffee house, restaurant, or library in which to meet. (Lunch or coffee are more casual, less intimate, and less expensive than dinner.) Offer to pay for your own food or beverage. And you might casually mention that you have another commitment afterwards so you have a polite excuse to leave.
~ Avoid rude behavior such as getting drunk, flirting with others at the next table, or texting or talking on your cell phone.
~ Speak with confidence and not about the fact that you’re a nervous wreck inside! Smile! Be upbeat and pleasant, even if you’re disappointed in your date.
~ Never talk on and on about your former mate, regardless of how wonderful you say they were (or how awful). State the facts about your past, but be clear that you’re now ready to open a new chapter in your life.
~ Men, it’s always gentlemanly to call to thank the lady afterwards. Ladies, following the first date, please allow the man to take the initiative. But if you liked him, it’s perfectly okay to send him a text or email saying that you enjoyed yourself.
~ Use common sense, folks. Never reveal personal information, such as the dollar amount of your pension. Even if you think you’re with the most trusted person in the world, never mix love and money!
NEXT TUESDAY: Don’t miss “ Time for a New Beginning”