By Janice Holly Booth
Joan Price found herself back in the dating world after her husband died in 2008. She wasn’t looking for someone to give her life meaning and joy “because my life already has meaning and joy.” But she did want to bring more male energy into her life and to enjoy a new companion outside her current circle of male friends. If a relationship progressed to something more, Price would consider that “a big bonus.”
“Although I’m newly dating after 12 years, I already have some strong opinions about online dating do’s and don’ts,” says Price, who is the author of Naked At Our Age. Listen up, guys. Could your dating habits use an overhaul?
Price shares a few tips from men who’ve inspired her to agree to a second date (and beyond).
Make eye contact and smile. That may seem obvious, but many men don't do it. It may be out of nervousness, but it comes across as lack of interest and lack of connection.
Show that you've read her profile and know who she is. Mention something specific from her profile.
Talk candidly about your experiences and viewpoints so she gets to know you. Share something that makes you interesting and memorable.
Gauge her interest before going on and on about a favorite topic. Better still, don't go on and on!
Listen to your date—don't dominate the conversation. Show you're listening by formulating your next question or comment based on what she said. Too often, men (women, too?) don't seem to be listening as much as thinking about what to say next.
Ask questions. Some that I like to hear (and seldom do hear!):
"How do you feel about that?" after she has disclosed something important to her.
"What do you like best about being this age?"
"What's the weirdest part of online dating for you?" (and be prepared to tell her the same)
Note that nowhere is there a suggestion to “get a better car” or “get a hair transplant.” That’s because growing a lasting relationship begins with being loved for who you are and where you are. And the only way that will happen is to be honest about yourself, as you are today—not the 20-pounds-lighter guy you hope to be in a year. There is nothing more attractive than an authentic person. A few extra pounds or a receding hairline gets short-shrift when the person who owns them is interesting, sincere, considerate and a good listener. The rules of dating may have changed since we were in our teens, but our desire for truth and mutual trust have not.
Sometimes minimizing disappointment has everything to do with managing expectations. But Price says expectations are a good thing. “We’re right to have expectations, requirements and hopes! There’s absolutely no reason we should just ‘settle’ and be grateful if someone shows us some interest. No, we’re looking for the right person, not just any person. We need to know who we are, what we bring to a relationship and what/whom we’re seeking.”
Photo Credit: Colin Hawkins/Getty Images