Swipe Left, Swipe Right!
MIDLIFE DATING HAS changed, with 56% of midlifers using apps and dating sites, but the experience is not so straightforward. Relationships have always been challenging to navigate; now, it's even worse with online selection's swipe left, swipe right ambiguity.
Anyone dating again in their forties and beyond using dating apps to try to find The One while presenting themselves as a potential One knows how boring, random, and completely difficult the whole process is.
One of the biggest problems for most men is entering into a committed relationship when they are not honestly ready for one. Because once a woman starts to display signs that she wants a commitment, it can make them nervous. They see it as a threat to their freedom and often want to do a runner.
There is no secret to a great relationship – you need to work at it. According to recent research - but most certainly not the men I've spoken to - post-midlife men are more open to settling down and committing to one person (I do wonder). Most guys will be disappointed when they go on a date because it won't work out. The whole thing is a numbers game for the 77% of midlife daters who have only been on between one and three dates in the past year.
In your youth, the policy may have been to go to a party, get drunk, and have fun – no attachment necessary. With maturity, you have become aware that emotional intimacy is essential in a relationship. In fact, at this point in your life, it is a prerequisite and is actively encouraged.
A tricky one, most men start with the best intentions, but dating apps have made relationships like busses. Swipe left, swipe right; there will always be another one regardless of your choices. So saying what kind of relationship man you are is easier said than done. You may be "the relationship type" that is not scared of responsibility, emotional intimacy, or commitment (a survey showed that 25% of midlifers are looking to get married)? Or do you tend to run from relationships because you are used to the freedom of being single and don't want to be weighed down by responsibility? On this one, you're not alone, and 63% of midlifers are open to dating without commitment – no shit Sherlock!
Just be yourself
They say don't be a fake on a first date; be the best version of yourself. Because if you try too hard to impress and be more than what you are, you will come a cropper at some point. But for most men the little head tells the big head what to do, and the first thing that comes to mind is what are my chances of a leg-over. In the days of internet dating, you've already covered many of the basics before you meet, but the body is a chemistry set; chatting online is a different beast than meeting face to face. So please do yourself a favour and choose a first date where you're being active, take her to a gallery, a walk along a river, anything that doesn't commit you to stare into space in some random coffee bar. If you ask her for a date, offer to pay: this is a straightforward "Rule No. 1". If she says she doesn't mind splitting the bill, refuse. But if she insists on splitting it again, say yes and split it.
Turning up scruffy on a first date is a big no, no. Making an effort is good for you, but it will also be appreciated. First impressions really do count.
Body confidence is an issue regardless of age, but 58% of midlife women report concerns. Compliments are a good thing and will always be welcomed; if she is well-dressed or pretty, then say it. Avoid being crass by complimenting the size of her arse or breast size when it comes to physical attractiveness.
You may want to get her into bed, but don't treat her mean, and don't play the hard-to-get character. Listen to what she says, ask her questions, and don't dominate the conversation by talking about yourself.
Physical intimacy is one of most men's most critical elements in a relationship. There is nothing wrong with having sex on the first date. Just don't make it your objective. Go with the flow; the key is don't be in a hurry, take your time, and understand that the end game isn't necessarily having an orgasm as quickly as possible, if at all.
If all goes wrong
Dump by text. It's easier because face-to-face can be too traumatic. What is the point of asking someone out for a drink to dump her? You will only be making it more of a drama than it needs to be. Also, in a text, you can heap the reason for the breakdown on yourself, so she can laugh and joke with her friends about why you were not the one.
When you were in your twenties, being single was a rite of passage, but now you're a Midlifer and back in the mix, be clear about what you want and the language you use. It's all part of the process.