A return to dating when you’re over sixty can be stressful, especially if it’s been decades since your last date. Back then, meeting people seemed simpler. You met someone at a social event or at work and decided to ask them out. Or perhaps a friend set you up on a date.
Today, you can meet people without ever looking away from your phone by using one of the hundreds of dating apps and websites.
Yet you can rest assured that while the technology associated with dating has changed, one thing has not—the human psyche.
A Dating Mindset for Men and Women Over 60
I learned that my own mindset about dating and love was probably the biggest factor at determining my success in the strange new world of mature dating.
How I met Daisy is a case in point. I’ll get to that in a moment. First, what is mindset and how does it affect my dating life?
A Fixed Mindset versus a Growth Mindset in Senior Dating
Carol Dweck is a Stanford University psychologist whose research offered up insight on how our beliefs shape our lives. Writing in Mindset – The New Psychology of Success, she writes that a fixed mindset is one in which people believe their abilities are inherent. These abilities must be discovered to be successful.
On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset believes that abilities can be developed, regardless of their current skill levels and interests.
Dweck’s research discovered that those with a fixed mindset are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset. The proper growth mindset can lead to better, more fulfilling lives at work, school, in business, and in our relationships.
“Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
As with most things in the human mind, there are no hard and fast rules. We might think ourselves open-minded and ready to grow, but in certain situations we revert to a fixed mindset.
For instance, we might have told ourselves long ago we’re not good at public speaking because we were uncomfortable or nervous. So we never bother to learn public speaking skills that could have helped us throughout our life.
In dating, I’ve heard people say “online dating isn’t for me.” That fixed mindset severely limits their choices. It’s comparable to saying, “I’m only going to date people within walking distance of my home.”
How Growth Mindset Helped Me Find True Love
My original mindset about online dating would have prevented me from ever meeting Daisy. (I hate to even think of it!) In my late 50’s, here I was reverting to beliefs and feelings about dating from when I was 16!
At the time I was unsure of online dating and didn’t quite know how to approach it. Although I’m computer savvy and know my way around the internet, I felt it was perhaps for younger people only.
But I’d learned over the years to remain open to new ideas as an avenue to growth and opportunity, in both my business and personal life. So, I decided to give it a shot. I figured the worst-case scenario was that I’d have a few lousy dates.
And what if I did? One or two dates is not a commitment to a relationship. Plus, I could continue to use other traditional ways to meet women.
I read up on online dating, picked a couple of mature dating sites to get started, and made the plunge into online dating.
Within a few weeks I met Daisy online. During the course of our first date over coffee, we discovered that we lived right across the street from each other.
Although we’d lived there for many years, we’d not once met or seen one another! Had I not had an open mindset about trying new things like online dating, it’s likely I would never have met Daisy.
Final Thoughts About a Growth Mindset in Senior Dating
Face it, dating at any age is stressful. Certainly, you can expect dating after a life time away from it to cause some anxiety. It would be strange if you weren’t stressed!
Why not just accept the fact that you’re going to feel funny about dating later in life?
The men or women you’re dating probably feel just as scared as you. That acceptance is the key to transformation.
After all, it’s not going to last forever. And at the end of it, there’s a good chance you’ll find your true love.
Consider your mindset first and remain open to growth and new experiences. You can worry about technology later, or maybe get one of your kids or grandkids to show you the ropes.
Be sure to get your free copy of The Secret to Mature Dating Success which includes our weekly email dating newsletter. For women and men over 60…or getting there soon.
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