I asked Lisa Clampitt, co-founder and owner of The Matchmaking Institute, a professional matchmakers trade association based in New York City, for some dating tips for my female clients over 40 who are getting ready to jump back into the dating world.
I'm a life coach in Atlanta, so the first thing she suggested was to contact Sarah Kathryn Smith, who runs Eight at Eight, a dating party dinner club. Sarah is the go-to person in the South for matchmaking services, and also offers her services one-on-one.
The next thing she said was, while it's unfair, women in their later years have to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to dating — especially online. Although many dating sites and services are free for women, it can feel frustrating to watch younger women receive more attention from men. Online dating can be intimidating, as well, if you're just dipping your toes back into the dating pool after being in a committed relationship or marriage. Luckily, there's plenty of success to be had if you put effort into the process.
Here's her advice for one of my dearest clients, who is in her 50s (but looks 35)! If you're considering dating again, this is a great list to give you confidence and finesse while meeting new people.
1. Women need to be proactive. Don't wait for them to find you, especially online, because the search functions eliminate lots of great women over 49 (and a lot of great guys under 6 feet tall). Do some searching on your own, and don't rule out men based on unfair assumptions — you wouldn't want them to do that to you!
2. Your profile needs to be amazing. It should feature fantastic photos (consider more than one, so people get a sense of what you really look like), and a great write-up. Hire professional photographers, writers and stylists to help. As a bonus, it can be a ton of fun and a great confidence booster to get dolled up and have a glamourous photoshoot.
3. Start chatting with everyone. Wherever you go during the day, be it the post office, the grocery store, the bank or for a run in the park, start talking to people. Successful dating is about making lots of connections and expanding your network. That guy with the bunch of broccoli might have a lot in common with you, but you'll never know if you don't strike up a conversation.
4. Consider going out at night to places men like to go: sports bars, cool new museums, gallery or restaurant openings, MeetUp events or even the frozen food section of the grocery store (apparently many bachelors don't cook).
5. Put away your judgement. Be open to different looks, different body types, different personalities. You wouldn't want anyone to judge you unfairly, so make sure you're keeping an open mind as well.
6. In general, a friendly, open and happy person is going to have more success in the dating world. So find new ways to be more friendly and less closed-off. A real zest for life can do wonders for your health and success in meeting people.
I think this is great advice, and working with a life coach can also help you tap into your friendly, open, non-judgmental self. This new confidence will shine through and make you look even more fantastic in those profile pictures!
P.S. I offer coaching to women who have a pattern of unfulfilling relationships, or long periods of not dating. Coaching packages start at reasonable rates, so stop by my site and contact me for a free mini-session! -Hadley Earabino, TheLoveLifeCoach.com
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