January 2016
Conscious Dating Singles News - January 2016



Single Again

By: Marianne Oheser

The thought of facing the dating scene again, especially after a long-term relationship, is daunting to say the least. I know. It happened to me when I was 51. With the divorce rate among 50 - 69 year-olds increasing significantly over the past generation, more of us are facing this challenge.

There are two important things to keep in mind as you venture back into the dating world -- be aware of what to expect and know what you want.

The old stereotype -- men and women in midlife and beyond were too old for sex, love, or marriage -- has disappeared. The good news is that there are a lot of singles out there.

According to the 2010 Census, 36% of those ages 45 – 64 are single and there are a lot more ways of finding them than there were 20 years ago.

In a study conducted by AARP in 2003 among single men and women ages 40 – 69, singles reported that 59% are open to dating but only 32% of them are doing anything about it. A little less than one-third of the group is in exclusive relationships and only 9% are not interested in dating at all.

Singles say that:

  • Personality and sense of humor count most for both men and women, but many men emphasize physical attractiveness and sexual satisfaction. So caring about your appearance is important for your own self-esteem and because of the impression you can make.

  • Women want dates to have someone to talk to or do things with; men want the sexual dimension built in as well. While the risk of pregnancy is no longer an issue, safe sex is still important to protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.

  • Both men and women in midlife and older want to date younger individuals. While that has always been true for men, it is becoming much more common and acceptable for women to do it as well.

Today there are many avenues for dating
Singles organizations, matchmaking dating services for all ages, social networking web sites, and support groups are starting to compete with going to church as sources for finding dates. But friends, relatives, and work are still the best bet -- especially among the groups that are not actively dating. You just have to tell people that you are interested in finding someone.

Dating does not necessarily lead to marriage
Although many want a committed relationship, about a third of men and women are not sure it they will remarry if or when they are in a committed relationship again. Cohabitation is definitely an option for many. The purpose of dating does not have to be to find a permanent relationship. It can also be just to have fun.

Benefits of Dating
There are understandable reasons for the third of singles that want to date but aren't doing anything about it – shyness, problems with self-esteem, fear of rejection, perception that it is difficult to meet people who are their age. But there are also many good reasons for making the effort to overcome those barriers.

Self-Esteem Boost
Attraction and enjoyment in dating is either there or it isn't. When it is there, the process can give your self-esteem a real boost. Simple hand-holding has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety. A Scientific American study released on Valentine's Day 2011 showed that romance and love make the brain function better. Many studies show that having a good sexual relationship is associated with better health.

Singles in midlife and later life said that an advantage to dating that they didn't have while they were younger is the comfort they have in the wisdom that comes with age, maturity, and experience.

They also say they feel more carefree and have more freedom and independence with a lack of social pressure. Romantic relationships have the potential to be richer, fuller, deeper, more painful, more turbulent and also more pleasurable because of our experience.

Sliding vs. Deciding
Perhaps the biggest mistake singles at any age make is "Sliding vs. Deciding." The concept is based on research done by Dr. Scott Stanley at the University of Denver. Too often people slide through important transitions in relationships rather than consciously making a decision.

It's easy to get caught in the flow of things without stepping back to be sure the relationship is really right for you. If you slide into a relationship just for companionship, the result could be much more painful than loneliness.

Before you can consciously make a decision you have to have a clear idea about what you really want -- not just a vague impression. This means having a vision about what you want your life to look like, being really clear about what your requirements for a relationship are and knowing what your ideal partner would be like. Being really clear requires a little work and is best done by talking with someone to help you be specific.

Just remember that finding new love is possible at any age.

Copyright 2016 by Marianne Oehser. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission. Marianne Oehser

Marianne Oehser, is a Certified Relationship Coach and educator. She owns Between Two Hearts, LLC which specializes in helping clients work through mid-life transitions, such as retirement, empty-nests, single again, and remarrying in mid-life. She received her training through Relationship Coaching Institute, the largest international relationship coaching training organization. www.Between2Hearts.com

Ask Our Coaches

Can you please give me advice about dating after being divorced?

Dear Coaches,

I have been divorced from my husband for almost two years now. We were married for 26 years. Our kids are grown and I am finally in a place of peace and happiness. I am a little hesitant to get out and start dating, but I want to try. It has been a long time since I have dated and times have definitely changed.

I just want dating to be simple and have fun with the journey. Can you please give me advice about dating after being divorced?

- Joan, from California

Christy Moore

Christy responds ...

Welcome to dating after divorce! When venturing back into dating after marriage, be gentle with yourself as you get started. Begin by taking inventory of your interests, hobbies or passions.

If you're currently involved in organizations or groups pay attention to the men who are involved. Dating someone who shares common interests could be easier and definitely more fun. If you don't currently belong to a group, consider joining a group, like a hiking club or dance studio. Websites like www.MeetUp.com have lots of options for finding groups of like-minded people who share the same interests.

If you're not confident about flirting - practice! Practicing allows you to get some experience with mingling and holding conversations with the opposite sex without the pressure. How? Just by saying hello to men, or talking about the weather, or commenting on a topic, you will get into the swing of how to have a friendly conversation so you are less likely to feel tongue-tied when on a date.

What you're going for here is getting comfortable being yourself. When you practice casual conversations, you just may find that you are having fun, getting to know men and having great dates.

Christy Moore | www.MooreJoyCoaching.com

Wendy Lyon, PhD

Wendy responds ...

First of all, congratulations for having the courage to consider dating after your divorce. At this stage in your life, with grown children and feeling peaceful and happy, you are actually in the ideal place to have fun with the dating journey.

I recommend that you take time to discover what you really want in your life now. Perhaps you'd like to enjoy some playful "recreational" dating or maybe you'd like to consider what is necessary for you to be happy in a long-term relationship.

It's so important to gain clarity about your vision for the future you'd like, where your values are honored and you are living your life purpose. Ideally, you'll identify your essential relationship requirements and needs before you start dating…that way you can avoid a lot of heartache and disappointment.

This is your time to create the next chapter in your life. It may be daunting to try to do this all on your own. I highly recommend getting support to help make your journey as empowering and delightful as it can be!

Wendy Lyon, PhD | www.DrWendyLyon.com

Anita Myers

Anita responds ...

Congratulations! Having inner peace and happiness is a great accomplishment, and one people are still striving to achieve.

Before jumping on the dating scene, here are some ideas:

Get a new journal from a favorite bookstore and start crafting what your values are today: What do you value? What did you overcome? What have you achieved? Now that you are on a new platform of life as a single and happy individual, this is a GREAT time to review what you've learned from your experiences and what your new intentions will be.

Start imagining your limits: What are your dealbreakers? Create a vision board that spotlights your ambitions. You are never too old to say to yourself, "Who do I want to be when I grow up?" Because we are always growing, evolving and changing over time.

When you start sketching out the greatness of who you are today, along with your ambitions, you'll unlock thoughts, opportunities and incredible energy that might propel you into the relationship world with your arms open, your eyes lit up and your smile from ear to ear.

Embrace your moment and enjoy this time, and dates will soon become the result of your effort.

Anita Myers | www.innerscopeconsulting.com

The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.

This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here www.relationshipcoach.org/ask-the-coach and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.



New Book Release: Being Single: A State For The Fragile Heart. A Guide to Self-Love, Finding You and Purposeful Living

By: Kemi Sogunle

Being Single is a State For The Fragile Heart. This book is a Guide to understanding Self-Love, Finding Yourself and Living Purposefully. It is easy to read. Learn how to understand what it really means love yourself. Take steps towards discovering your purpose in life. Learn how to put an end to fear while keeping up your faith. Become empowered and focused towards making progress. Embark on this self-discovery journey that will lead to a transformed life.

For more info click here!

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