Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Dating and the Digital Age

Singledom is increasingly prevalent among Baby Boomers where the divorce rate is soaring faster than a banker’s blood pressure. But there are a few undeniable perks of single-life, namely: freedom, peace and quiet, financial savings and not having to worry about your partner no longer finding you attractive. Many retirees who found love in later-life told me they felt stunted by a fear of failure or an inability to let go of the emotional baggage from a previous relationship. 

If your relationship ended shortly after hitting retirement, or you have been affected by the loss of a spouse, you will need time to heal; exactly how long is entirely down to you. You may have friends trying to ‘help’ by trying to set you up with friends or encouraging you to meet new people – but don’t rush yourself, wait until you are ready. In the wise words of modern sage and lead-singer of The Supremes, Diana Ross: “you can’t hurry love/no, you just have to wait.”

“Dating is pressure and tension. What is a date, really, but a job interview that lasts all night?” – Jerry Seinfeld.

My wife first knew me as young and skinny Larry moving into slightly older fatter Larry right through to jobless fat Larry and now – I might add – a slightly thinner Larry, with a mysteriously thicker head of hair. The journey you take together as a couple means that you let your defences down gradually over the years. It is natural to feel vulnerable both physically and emotionally after deciding to get back into dating. There is no shame in admitting this to yourself, or to your date; just don’t make it the sole subject of conversation otherwise you won’t have to worry about things going any further. 

One woman I know pulled down her blouse and said “if you can stand this then fine” – an unconventional, risqué and somewhat disturbing tactic, but it got things off to a flying start as you might expect. They ended up dating for a couple of months – not that I’m advocating flashing as an acceptable way to attract a prospective partner. Just don’t rule it out. 

REMEMBER: Although memories make you who you are, your past shouldn’t define your attitude in the present – don’t let guilt or fear get in the way of your future happiness.