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Dating Refresher Course
Starting to date again after a long period of marriage ending in divorce is not always easy. For me, starting over at fifty was a scary time. I guess after twenty years with the same person, dating know-how can get a little rusty and sometimes confidence has waned a bit.
Little thought goes into the dating process when you are younger. Two people get together for a good time; sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t. For some reason that spontaneity often disappears as you get older and, even more so, if you have been with the same person for a long period of time. After separation or divorce, most people spend their next few months or years thinking about where they went wrong and fretting over the future. It is often tough to “go with the flow” with a spontaneous attitude when dating again for the first time. Too much analysis occurs before, during and after the date. Everyone is looking for the perfect woman or man after recently going through hell and back.
The first thing you need to do is stop thinking, just act. Going on a date does not mean that marriage is imminent. If there is a soul mate out there somewhere, you will know when she/he appears. The important thing is to stay open-minded while meeting others and avoid thinking about a long-term relationship for the time being. At the same time, you need to have common sense and not continue seeing someone you know is totally incompatible with your desires.
So here is a little refresher course on starting over for those of you that need a few reminders!
Before the date
1) Be on time. If you ignore this rule, you will soon regret it! Being late can be one of the worst offences on a first date. In fact, it is probably always a bad offence. Don’t start out on the wrong foot before you even have a chance to talk.
2) Clean up your act. It is easy to forget little things when you haven’t been out for awhile with someone else. In fact, some of you may not have been on a “date” for years. That new man or woman will not always put up with the bad habits your ex got used to over the years! It doesn’t matter if your hair is long or short, whether you have a beard or not, or whether you wear jeans or business attire; be sure to be clean and neat. The first impression is always the most important one.
3) Men…get rid of that excess hair! As we age, hair tends to appear where it never did before, especially in our ears and nostrils. I am only going to say one thing here; if you don’t already have one, buy a little hair trimmer and get rid of it! It will be well worth the money you spend.
4) Easy with the deodorant, cologne and perfume. Smelling nice is a good thing. Stinking up the whole restaurant or theatre isn’t. Scents can be refreshing without being overpowering. Again, use your common sense.
5) Don’t forget about the car. If you are picking someone up in your vehicle, make sure it is cleaned out and gassed up. It is easy to forget what a clean car looks like if you have been on your own for awhile, especially if you have shared it with your teenagers or younger kids! If there is anything in the glove box that you don’t want examined, take it out before you leave (just a precaution!)
During the date
6) Be optimistic, self-assured and confident. But don’t be cocky and obnoxious. Sometime it is a fine line.
7) Be yourself and be honest. Maintain your values. Don’t try to be somebody else just because you want to get in bed with your date. If he/she doesn’t like who you are, there is no point in getting together again. Think and talk about what you want in life, your strengths and weaknesses, your ideals and purposes. The whole reason for dating is to allow the other person to get to know the real you.
8) Be happy. The other person is with you to have fun, not listen to your depressing stories or feelings. Stay upbeat and keep smiling. If you are not having fun, you are with the wrong person!
9) Forget the past. Your date does not want to hear about your ex or your previous partners at this point. When you get to know each other a little better, there will be lots of opportunities to talk about the past. Just remember, “time and place”.
10) Remember the past! You, that is. Believe it or not, your ex was attracted to you for some reason! Think about the way you used to be, what made you excited, why you were a wild and crazy guy or girl. Try to regain some of that feeling and craziness again. Think of it as a rebirth!
11) Stay away from crowded places. You want to talk to each other, not stare at each other and lip-read. Meet in a quiet place where you can talk and get to know each other.
12) Don’t let it all out of the box right away. Keep a little mystery about yourself. Don’t spill your guts right away. Let her want to see you again to find out a little more about you.
13) Don’t argue. This should be a no-brainer. If you disagree with what your date is saying, fine. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let it pass. This is not the time to start arguing with someone you just met. If you have real strong feelings against her points of view, then don’t see her again. You can “discuss” ideas once you get to know her better. For now, give her a chance to show her true feelings and beliefs. After all, that’s why you are going out together in the first place.
14) Avoid too much alcohol. The novelty of a drunken date wears off quickly. You will say things you don’t mean to and you will not remember half the conversation. You need to be able to think straight and carry on an intelligent conversation if you expect to find out more about the person you are with. Neither of these will occur if you are falling off your chair.
Being single again can be great…but try not to be a desperate single!