Returning to the Dating Scene

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Whether you’re bouncing back after a divorce, or recovering from the death of your life partner, returning to the anxiety of a first-time date, Rosenfeld suggests you “sandwich” the meeting between two other activities you really like.

“Before you meet your date, do something that puts you in a positive frame of mind; then, after the date is over, meet up with a friend,” he says. If the date is a disaster, you’ll have someone to commiserate with. And if it’s great – you’ll have someone to celebrate with.

3. Keep the conversation casual. This is not the time to discuss your favorite baby names or your ongoing feud with your ex. There will be plenty of time for such discussions if you continue dating, but a first meeting should be light and breezy. Ask about his interests and how he spends his time, and share the same information about yourself with him.

4. Don’t forget to have fun. Don’t pressure yourself into deciding if this is the person you want to grow old with — remember, its just coffee! Try to make the outing entertaining and interesting — for both of you. Jonathan Rosenfeld suggests that people view dating as an adventure. “Everyone knows that adventures have ups and downs and they expect that,” he says. “If you think of dating the same way, you are less likely to be disappointed.”

Adult Dating: Getting Physical

Assuming you and your date “hit it off,” invariably the question of sex will arise — sometimes as early as the first date. What’s important to remember here is: It’s your timetable. So, don’t hesitate to slow things down if your date is ready, but you are not. There are no “shoulds” when it comes to dating at midlife and physical sexually transmitted diseases — and wait for reassuring results. Experts warn not to take risks, no matter how convincing your partner may be. If you’re not certain about any aspect of protection, talk to your doctor, or ask a trusted and well-informed friend.

Adult Dating: Things to Remember

Although most experts say dating is much like riding a bicycle — you never forget how – it also means that a bump in the road can lead to a nasty spill when you least expect it.

To help ease the transition from newly single to coupling up again, here’s some additional advice that can help.

Take it slow. Don’t pressure yourself to make any decisions after a first date. In many cases it will be crystal clear that there is no connection, in which case you can tactfully explain this before the date ends, or in a follow-up phone call or email. If you aren’t sure if the chemistry is there, and want to see the person again, go ahead — it can develop over time. In most instances you should know within three or four dates if this is a relationship worth pursuing.

Consider your children. If you have children, it is important to keep their needs front and center. This means protecting them from adult issues and disappointments. Your children don’t need to know all the ins and outs of your dating life, and they don’t need to meet your dates until you are certain they will be playing a significant role in your life. When the time comes, arrange for a casual meeting but keep it short. Experts say it’s not a good idea to bring anyone into your children’s life until you are certain they’ll be around for a while.

Get the memo. This is a phrase coined by Mera Granberg to describe the importance of listening to your date — and really hearing those subtle but revealing things he says that are omens of what’s to come. Granberg contends that whenever we meet a new person, there is always a memo, whether we want to hear it or not.

“It can be something as simple as ‘I’m not very good at relationships,'” Granberg says. But that little “memo,” says Granberg, is an indication of who he is and what’s important to him, so pay attention. Keeping your eyes and ears open can prevent you from building illusions that will come crashing down later on. “When I look at all my relationships that went south,” Granberg says, “I can find the memo and I always got it early. But I didn’t actually read the memo.” Paying attention to a potential partner’s messages, she says, is the best way to prevent a dating disaster in the making.

Adult Dating: Your Reality Check 

While some women find it easy to end one relationship and start another, for others letting go — and starting again — can be difficult and painful. Indeed, experts say that sometimes it’s better to allow some time to pass between a failed relationship and the start of another one — time that can help you reflect on what you really want and need in a partner.

As clinical psychologist Rosenfeld says, “You need to understand why your marriage or previous relationship didn’t work. If you don’t, you are at high risk for repeating the same mistakes again.”

One clue: If you find that you are particularly nervous, uncomfortable, or reactive, or if you find yourself making constant comparisons between your ex and your date (even in your own mind) you may not be quite ready to get back into the dating scene just yet. In which case, experts say, give yourself a bit more time to and then try again.

One of the great advantages of adult dating is that you bring maturity and wisdom to the dating process. With time and luck, you’ll meet someone capable of doing the same.