I read lots of dating articles when I’m doing research for the Smart Dating Over 60 Blog. One recurring problem I see is that the bad relationship advice in many of them is based on generalizations about what women want and what men want.
Followed blindly, this sort of dangerous dating advice can hurt your search for true love. It’s one of the reasons Daisy and I created this site.
Just look at what daters are exposed to. In the media and popular publications, unstable celebrity lifestyles are glamorized and occupy the headlines. In a sense, it legitimizes dysfunction and bad relationships.
Dating advice coaches are everywhere. One “casual dating” coach goes so far as to discourage monogamous relationships with, “Can you really expect someone to remain monogamous…”? That’s from a woman.
Then there are the dating advice books such as How to Text a Girl, How to Make Him Want You, Attract Women Like a Boss: Secrets on How to Seduce Women Effortlessly, and more. Or online courses like First Date Seduction. They certainly give the impression that it’s a sexual, hedonistic free-for-all out there.
It’s not. Allow me to explain.
Acting on Dangerous Dating Advice Can Leave You Empty
First of all, I don’t want to be preachy and dogmatic. If you’re sure this is the lifestyle that suits you, then by all means pursue it.
Personally, that kind of living would leave me feeling empty. Its sole aim is to satisfy basic, instinctual desires. Yet we are far more than instinctual animals.
A casual relationship lifestyle leaves no room for emotional and spiritual growth and the deep rewards that go with it. Such growth requires time and honest human connection. Casual sex relationships, by design, end too quickly for anything to start.
An even darker side is that for those with obsessive personalities, casual sex can quickly turn into destructive addiction. Statistics on RecoveryRanch.com say “More people are addicted to sex than those who abuse prescription drugs.” It’s one of this country’s dirty little secrets.
And according to the Mental Health America website, 83% of self-identified sex addicts are also dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling or are workaholics.
A Good Source for the Best Dating Advice
Secondly, in my own experience and what I see in others, humans have a tendency to look outside themselves for answers. The growth of the pharmaceutical and diet industries is proof. We’d rather take a pill to fix a problem than do a little bit of work, such as diet and exercise, or counseling.
We’ve been conditioned our whole lives to look to others for answers. When we do, we see and hear a lot of negative and fear-based noise. If we listen too much, it’s not good for us. After all, what we focus on, expands.
It’s tempting to try what everyone else is doing, or to try what seems to be a popular “best practice” in dating.
But we don’t have to sort through all that noise to find an answer.
The solution lies within. All we need do is start by getting to know ourselves better.
We are each unique. When we understand our own lives and personalities, we’ll know our true values. When we know what we value, we can set standards for what we want in our lives, especially in a romantic partner.
If we’re following popular dating trends on the internet and social media, then we’re living our lives according to someone else’s relationship values and standards.
Who do you trust more—yourself or the guy promising you the seduction skills of Wilt Chamberlain?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a man or woman over 50 or 60 who wants to date again, or has started already. My guess is you’ve come to trust yourself far more than when you were young. Our intuition is stronger. Most of us have a pretty good BS detector, too.
Nevertheless, it’s easy to be lulled by the popular headlines and the dating experts, especially if we’re just returning to dating after a lifetime (or many years) away from it.
For instance, there are plenty of dating courses and books that teach men pickup lines. The problem is they’re not your words. They belong to another personality. A woman will instantly sense the disconnect and size you up as a phony.
There are courses that teach men how to read women’s body language. Yes, it’s important to read peoples’ body language. If someone is giving you body clues that they’re tired, you want to be considerate of the fact.
But it’s easy to mis-read and misuse this skill. For instance, just because she’s smiling at you and being friendly doesn’t mean she’s ready for a sincere relationship or wants to hop into bed. She is probably that way to everyone. Or she could be nervous.
The Result—Better Mature Dating When You Know Yourself
The most effective fix for a perceived or actual shortage of skills is confidence in yourself. When you understand yourself and know what you want in an ideal partner, the skills come much easier. Self-knowledge inspires confidence and lets you relax.
You’re ok with who you are and you can be authentic. THIS is what will attract the right partner. You’ll see that your potential dating partners aren’t limited to hedonists as the media might have you believe! It’s quite the opposite.
When you take time to understand yourself, you’ll learn your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll know what needs work and you’ll take steps to fix that which bothers you.
For example, if you struggle with small talk on your first dates, you could prep yourself with a few conversation starters. You could have a short list of complimentary things to say.
When you get to know yourself better, you’ll know your shortcomings. More importantly, you’ll take steps to get better in those departments.
In many ways, the approach to finding your true love is nearly identical to good marketing. (My background is in marketing.)
Good companies in search of good customers (their “ideal partners”) don’t start by sending a skilled salesperson to manipulate the customer into buying.
No. Proper customer acquisition is very much like the dating dance. It follows a parallel process.
1 – The company starts with their own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—the classic SWOT analysis. (Getting to know yourself.)
2 – Next, they create complete portraits of who they want as a customer. (Knowing what you want in your ideal romantic partner.)
3 – Next, they reach out to their prospective customers to get them through the following process in this order:
Know → Like → Trust → Try → Buy
Know—the customer must get to know you. (Your date needs to get to know you from your online dating profile and on the first date.)
Like –the customer must get to like you. (Your date must like you for there to be a second and third date.)
Trust—the customer must come to trust you. (Your date must trust you to continue dating, to invite you into her home, and to open up about her personal life history.)
Try—the customer must be willing to try your product or service or have a salesperson stop in for a demo. (You and your date agree to an ongoing, perhaps committed dating relationship. Perhaps it’s the start of a sexual relationship.)
Buy—the customer commits to a purchase. (You and your date commit to be partners.)
To get the most from my dating life, I had to place strategy before tactics, just as in business. Many online dating courses and books are full of tactics but short on strategy. If your dating tactics don’t have a strategy holding them together, you’ll end up dating a lot of people who are wrong for you.
A good mature dating strategy always begins with knowing yourself. My experience has been that self-examination provides the greatest rewards, often in better-than-expected ways.
With the confidence you gain from setting up your dating plan and from self-knowledge, your dating life will be enhanced. You won’t live or die on every word or movement during those important first dates.
You’ll relax in knowing that your true love will eventually meet you when the time is right. And you’ll get to enjoy the dating process and appreciate every woman you meet on your road to mature dating happiness.