About last night: At 70, I would like to meet someone attractive

June 19, 2017

Q: Since my divorce, I’ve seen a couple of women, but am basically single. At 70, I’m fearful of growing old alone. I’ve joined a dating site, and have met some pleasant women, but nobody special. One woman had used an outdated photo, and I was dismayed when we met. I’ve tried to be honest in my profile, and, while no Adonis, I do try to keep fit and healthy. I’d prefer to connect with someone I find attractive, as well as likeable. Although semi-retired, I keep very busy, so taking time out to meet someone totally unsuitable is frustrating.

A: The ageing process is daunting, and there is nothing like a birthday ending in zero to focus the mind. You sound like an active and vital man, but no one can predict what life will throw in his or her path, and it can be frightening to imagine walking it alone, so finding a partner could be wonderful.

Many older women would also love to meet a life partner. Online dating sites are one tool that can bring people together, but it is not as straightforward as online shopping. How you think, and feel, about this process will affect your chances of success.

Ask yourself some hard questions, and be honest. Are you really looking for a soul mate and partner, or are you looking for an attractive, live-in nurse? What do you have to offer that might enrich and enhance another person’s life? Are you willing to be a carer? Do you actually have the time needed to form a genuine relationship? Are you willing to make changes to your life to accommodate someone? Are your expectations realistic?

We often focus on what we are looking for in a partner, but spend much less time listing what we have to offer. Meet each person with an open heart, as well as a critical mind.

 When using a dating site, it can be hard to assess the accuracy of the profiles. Some people are deliberately misleading, but many are inaccurate because it is difficult to describe oneself. How difficult was it when you wrote your profile?
It is a big mistake to use an excessively flattering picture when you know you hope to meet people. You might think a glamorous portrait will get your toe in the door, and your personality will do the rest. However, if your date believes you have been dishonest, it could close that door forever. Better to only meet those who have agreed to meet when they have seen the real you.

Dread of a lonely old age might lie behind your dating site adventures, but engage with every woman you meet in good faith. They are all precious human beings. If you like someone, do not try too hard. An underlying whiff of fear or desperation could be off-putting.  Get to know each person, without an agenda. Go beyond first impressions.

Listening is far more important than what you say. A date is not a job interview, so you do not need to itemise your resume. By listening, you will find out a lot more than what you have read on a profile. Also, being a good listener is very attractive, and will elicit far more goodwill than a self-promoting monologue.

We all have a history that impacts on our present. Some women have had bad experiences with men, and are fearful and defensive. A widow might keep comparing every man with her lost love. Some older women are struggling financially, while others find themselves comfortable, and fear engaging with someone who wants to access their assets. Some feel free for the first time in their lives, and would run a mile at the idea of taking on someone who wants to be looked after. Some feel all at sea on their own and yearn for a rock to stand on.  All of them want an equal, loving connection.

None of them were put on this earth to be your helpmate, so be careful not to seem entitled.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

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