My marriage has ended after 15 years and now I have to get back on the horse, rejoin the race and see what’s out there. I can say without a hint of irony that this is not where I saw myself at 40. I was not especially good at dating 20 years ago, so the idea is a bit daunting. However, being one that never backs down from a challenge, I see this as an opportunity to correct past mistakes and finally find the person I am supposed to be with.
I approached this challenge like I do many others. I took stock of my strengths and weaknesses, looked at what I wanted and then jumped in with both feet. On the plus side, I look younger than I am, I’m fit and healthy, I dress well, have a stable job and very little drama in my life. On the list of possible obstacles, I am the father of three kids, the divorce is not quite finished and I am still in the process of rebuilding my identity as a single man.
Since I’d prefer to be with someone that could eventually be my partner, I don’t think cruising bars is the best approach. I joined a few dating sites.
- Plenty of Fish (POF)
To date, I have met women from the first three. Zoosk seems to be the lest user friendly and begs for money at every turn. Next is eHarmony that give you very limited choices, doled out each day a little at a time and goes wildly outside your preferred range. Match.com and POF have the best user interface, plenty of choices close by and most users have multiple pictures.
What I have learned in my short time. Have multiple pictures of yourself and make sure at least a few are full body and recent. Don’t stand in front of a mirror, don’t be shirtless, do not wear hats and no duck lips. For both men and women, there are a lot of people putting pictures of themselves up from years ago. Weight and hair color changes surprise you on your first meet. Treat this a bit like looking for a job. Know what you want, don’t settle for less and send out feelers as much as possible. Network when possible, blind contact as needed. The more your name and face are out there the better chance you have of being seen.
Have a thick skin. You will face rejection…a lot of it. Keep in mind, women have guys copy paste them all day long. They may reach your message at the end of thirty and delete it without looking. Or maybe you aren’t what they are looking for. That’s fine, move on. NEVER contact a person more than twice. Once should be enough, but on that off chance it got nixed. If a woman is gracious enough to to message you back to say no way, say thank you and move on. Every woman has a story about saying no thank you and being verbally attacked for it.
In summary, know what you want, what you have to offer and put yourself out there. No one is going to come knock on your door. You will fail, a lot, but that’s fine because the payoff is worth it. Don’t go looking for love, look for interesting people that compliment your strengths and weaknesses. Most important, have fun. Enjoy yourself even if it does not go the way you want. It’ll at least be a story to tell your friends later.