I was recently asked how to find that special someone? Where do you look? Is dating different now than it was 20 years ago?
It's just as complicated as it was when we were twenty-somethings looking for a good time. I watch my newly, and some not so newly, single friends struggle with dating. Do you ask the blonde sniffing melons out to dinner? Or is that just too weird? Do you go to the nightclub and pick up that guy, who at 9PM was just so-so but at 1AM he's looking pretty good? Do you start going to church in hopes they'll be someone there you click with? Do you try speed-dating? Safe environment, only have to spend a few minutes together, no commitment.
Oh, don't forget social media. FaceBook and dating sites are introducing men and women to each other all the time. I have a few friends that reconnected with old flames through social networking. They seem to be happy. I have a couple friends that tried dating sites. It was an interesting way to meet people with similar interests and get to know them a bit before actually seeing them face-to-face. I think it's different for everyone.
Self-confidence and just plain bravery are the main key. Meeting someone new is scary. Unless you're an FBI agent or a cop you're on your own trying to figure out if this new person is a good, upstanding individual or a serial killer. I'm not trying to scare you but those things are out there. Group dating is always a safe bet. When you see that cute redhead tugging at leaves on the pineapples strike up a none-threatening conversation. Ask her how to tell if the pineapple is ripe. If she's friendly and responds with a smile continue chatting about fruit or grocery shopping. If you feel she's interested invite her to a quiet bar or to a fun restaurant like a sushi or sports bar. Tell her you'll have two to three friends and ask her to bring the same. You both will feel safe if you don't hit it off since you'll have your buddies to keep you company.
At any age dating is a challenging endeavor. People change from the first time you meet to the twentieth date. In our forties and fifties most of us have set habits we chose not to change so that's important to remember. If you aren't liking that they are a pack-rat, a shopaholic, drink alcohol or smoke there is little chance they will change for you. The same holds true for your habits - are you willing to change for them? Be flexible but cautious as you search for your mate. Love can be around the corner if you're willing to step out of your comfort zone. Remember all they can say is no.