If you want to minimize spending time with potential suitors who clearly aren't a match, screen contacts ahead of time through email and the phone. Converse several times before agreeing to even coffee.
San Francisco (Vocus) February 27, 2009
You've been unlucky in love lately. You think this St. Patrick's Day the luck of the Irish could rub off on you. But your goal is not to get lucky with a one-night stand. You'd like more. You'd like a long-term relationship. How do you begin?
In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, the Dating Goddess, author of 13 new books in the Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 series, offers tips for midlife daters. She should know - she's gone out with 91 men in 3.5 years after her 20-year marriage dissolved five years ago.
- Get out your lucky charm -- you! Before you join any online dating sites, first get on your dating attitude. The Dating Goddess says, "You've got to spend time identifying your positive qualities. This will help boost your confidence, as it takes courage to date. Meeting a variety of potential suitors means most won't be a fit. So you've got to build up your rejection muscle. Most people are kind about telling you when they (you) aren't a match, but a few aren't. Don't let it get to you. Just say, 'Next!'"
- Dance a jig -- or salsa. A great way to meet new people is at a singles dance. Search Google by "singles dance" and your zip code to find ones near you. Usually people are friendly and the organizers encourage people to mix it up and dance with multiple partners. You never know with whom you'll end up shaking a leg.
- Look at each encounter as a pot of gold. The Dating Goddess says, "There is treasure in nearly everyone if you are willing to look. Not all your dates will result in a second date, but most people have something valuable inside and it will be a rewarding experience to meet them."
That said, you want to make sure you aren't wasting your and his time with men who will never be a match because of different values. In her book, Check Him Out Before Going Out: Avoiding Dud Dates, she says, "If you want to minimize spending time with potential suitors who clearly aren't a match, screen contacts ahead of time through email and the phone. Converse several times before agreeing to even coffee."
- Start with coffee -- but not an Irish one. When alcohol enters the picture, judgment can be impaired. An Albert Finney look-alike starts resembling Colin Farrell the more you drink. Dating Goddess suggests, "Start with a short (hour or less) coffee date when you are clear headed and can rationally assess whether he's someone with whom you want to spend more time."
- Watch out for the Blarney. Some people have dated a lot and are as smooth as Bailey's Irish Cream. So watch if someone comes on too strong too fast by too much flattering, calling you pet names, touching you as if you are an "item" on the first date, or going for a passionate kiss within minutes of meeting you. Best to head for the hills as if chased by snakes!
- Progress slowly to corned beef and potatoes. Don't start with a dinner date. If you haven't followed the advice in Check Him Out Before Going Out: Avoiding Dud Dates and pre-screened the person then met first for coffee, a dinner date can be excruciating. If your date continually complains about the ex, talks incessantly, or swears a blue streak, excuse yourself quickly. Only accept dinner for a second date, not a first one.
- Don't flail yourself -- or your date -- with a shillelagh. If it doesn't work out, don't beat yourself up, nor blame your date. Be grateful that you quickly found out it wasn't a match and move on. Let it go. Get back into the dating pool and try again.
- Wear green. Unless, of course, you want to be pinched!
If you don't have a special someone with whom to dance a jig on St. Patrick's Day, cut a rug with the Dating Goddess and her new books. For more information, go to http://www.DatingGoddess.com.
We are dedicated to providing uncommon information, insights and advice for midlife women reentering the dating world. The Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 book series consists of 13 books on critical issues faced by midlife daters.