How different is boomer dating from teenage dating, or for that matter, even twenty- or thirty-something dating? Think of it as night and day! What we looked for in a relationship 20-30 years ago probably bears little resemblance to what we're looking for now.
Let's face it, in school we were probably more interested in who the cutest guy or girl was, and with whom we could have the best time. Looks and "being cool" were at the top of a pretty short list! But now at our current stage in life, we have so many more things to consider - family
circumstances and our past relationship experiences, our goals and values, and our own physical and social changes. Add to that mix children if we have them, our work status and sche- dule, household finances and property, and any other kinships and responsibilities that we picked up along our way. Times have changed and so have we!
For many of us facing boomer dating, these factors will all be major considera- tions, and possibly downright scary. For others, it may simply be the case that the "right one" has yet to come along despite our best efforts, or simply be- cause career, family, travel, or other circumstances took priority in the past. Boomer dating has its challenges to be sure, and many of us will find it exhila- rating and exhausting all at the same time. But to take the "scary" part out of it, we just need to take stock of our selves and our dating practice.
Before jumping right into boomer dating, let's take a moment to get a good look at ourselves, including how others might see us. Is our timing right? How soon did our last relationship end, and what were the circumstances? Would others see us on the proverbial "rebound" and perhaps desperate, simply because we can't bear the thought of being on our own for too long? Do we honestly feel that our happiness depends on being with someone? Or is it better just to spend some time alone, getting fully reacquainted with our self and our feelings, before taking on boomer dating?
Not only is an emotional inventory
helpful, it's also important to take stock physical- ly - do we need to shed some pounds, start a workout program, or just improve our health generally? To enter (or re- enter) the dating market, especially if we see boomer dating as competitive, we need to put the best product forward. Even if "marketing" is not necessarily a priority or even a concern, it's never wrong to focus on good health, exercise and eating habits.
The next key for boomer dating is to decide what we want in our next rela- tionship. Is it friendship, mostly for the sake of companionship for the occasions that we want it, or is it for something more serious and long term, perhaps leading to marriage? The choice here de- pends solely upon what's right for each of us. To help make that choice, we should identify the things that we liked - or didn't like - about being single or being married, as the case may be. Do we want absolute freedom to make all decisions (from the mundane to the serious) without having to meld with another? Or has our desire to share the details and values of our life with another, just gone unfulfilled and we can no longer set those desires aside? The "right" answer to these choices will certainly vary from one person to another, but in all cases depends upon being totally honest with ourselves.
Is boomer dating anything like shopping at the grocery store? Well, when we shop for food, we're looking for specific items, and we probably shouldn't go without a list. If we do, we likely end up with things we really don't need, don't want, and aren't even good for us in the first place. And we also know that if we go food shopping when hungry, we'll grab too much of the wrong stuff. So in that sense at least, boomer dating is no different - we need a list to make sure we're ready and we get only the things that are right for us.
Some items for our personal checklist:
While no list is necessarily ever complete and of course depends a lot on our own unique circumstances, may the above items at least get our boomer dating off in the right direction!
Boomer dating means that we look for things inside the person, things that go well beyond cosmetic appearances. That's not to say that appearance and physical chemistry aren't important - clearly they are, but now we know there is so much more to a solid relationship. Each of us will place greater or lesser importance upon certain qualities, but it seems like the most successful - and lasting - relationships we know have a lot of the following traits:
share the same faith have the greatest chances for success, thereby avoiding the challenges and frustrations of one partner conver- ting the other from long-held beliefs.
Just as the above items might be considered the "go signs" in boomer dating, we also know there are stop signs. In fact, we can easily take the above line-up and look for the opposites, as things to avoid:
<Secretive - unwillingness or discomfort in talking about any parts their past, going beyond natural shyness or humility.
So once we find ourselves ready for the world of boomer dating, where do we look? Any chance that our next partner will simply knock on the front door, or is as close as our next trip to Safeway or Home Depot? Well, we can never say never, but no, not very likely.
As boomers, by now we've likely seen and heard all the different ways of "getting out there" and "making ourselves available". In some respects, those opportunities seem to expand almost daily, for example:
workers; let them know that you're open to the good ol' fashioned blind date.
Back in the day, we might not have appreciated just how challenging it would be to meet the right person. Whatever came along, came along! But now that we're into boomer dating, we can be just a bit more methodical, without taking the "thrill of the hunt" out of it. For example:
characteristics we're looking for; how does this person measure up?
The bottom line - boomer dating should still be fun! Finding a relationship with the right person should never be so business-like and stressful that we don't enjoy our time along the way. Even when things don't work out, we hope we can honestly say, "Hey, I enjoyed meeting you!"Return from Boomer Dating to Boomer Relationships