Love is a complex word, which we will be talking about today, specifically finding love during your senior years. Our guest speaker Dr. Joan Bragar has helped successful women use online dating to find a loving life partner. She wrote the book on it called, “Never too Late for Love: The Successful Women's Guide to Online Dating in the Second Half of Life.”
She was certified as a relationship coach and she herself met her husband on Match.com and got married at age 62. So she knows what she's talking about!
Meeting Someone Online
Dr. Bragar got divorced at 58. She's the kind of person who actually likes to live in companionship and love. That is why she knew for a fact that she wanted to remarry. It was her son who was 32 and single at that time, who encouraged her to meet someone online. She'd never heard of it. Her son encouraged her to just try it and she at least thought she would test the waters and try it.
Not knowing the person you are dating is one difficulty you encounter when dating online. It is also more difficult to check them out through other people since you don't belong in the same social circle or community. So the four safety rules must be practiced. You don't give your phone number to anybody; you don't give your whole name out, meet someone in public, and only meet for coffee, not for dinner.
Practices in Online Dating: Meeting the Right One in Your Senior Years
PRACTICE ONE: SET YOUR INTENTION
This practice is more of internal practice. Set your intention and decide what you really want. This is something you need to do before you go online dating. Some people just want to meet casually and meet lots of different people. Others want to be in a committed relationship. It's important to know what you want first, and this takes a bit of work and reflection. There are questions in the book of Dr. Bragar that you can ask yourself to know what you really want at this time in your life. You don't have to tell the person on the first date what you want, but you need to be clear without telling everything.
Dr. Bragar also mentioned not to interview the person on a first date. You are just getting to know somebody and it is important to know if you enjoy talking with this person and if you're comfortable with them. However, it's also important to get to know someone if you're going to choose to live your life with them.
Dr. Bragar was able to meet 40 men in 2 years before meeting the right one. Her husband showed up right before her 60th birthday. She made an intention that she would call him by her 59th birthday but that didn't happen. So she made another plan to call him before her 60th birthday. Joan had had a few dates with two other men that didn't feel right and had she not made the intention to call her current husband before her 60th birthday, it may have never happened. She most likely wouldn't have tried again and probably would have taken a little break from dating after the two men that didn't work out.
She checked on the profiles of some men and she tried meeting them because she learned that you couldn’t tell much about people from an online profile. You actually need to meet someone in person to get a really good reading on them. So, as she exchanged one short message with her husband, she agreed right away to meet when he asked her to meet at Starbucks. They both understood that unless they met someone in person, they didn't know anything.
PRACTICE TWO: LOVE MUST COME WITHIN YOU
If you want to have love in your life, live a life of love. She explained that if you want more love, the place it has to come from is you. So you must build your relationships with family and friends. So when she invited her husband on her 60th birthday, he was able to meet all her family and friends. She was in a loving relationship, and it wasn't coming from deprivation. It is wanting to have a partner with a very different kind of love since she's been creating love in her life.
PRACTICE THREE: LEARNING HOW TO DATE ONLINE
Even if you're in your senior years and this your first time dating online, you must know how to set up a profile. Women must put up the right photo because men are visual.
PRACTICE FOUR: LEARNING HOW TO DEAL WITH DISAPPOINTMENT OF DATING
She advised delaying intimacy until you know what kind of relationship you're in. People get intimate early in relationships even before they commit to somebody. So the key here is to unpack all the early parts of your heart that had been hurt in love and heal them so that every time some stranger doesn't return your call you don't get wounded by it. A lot of healing is very important or else you'll stop reaching out to meet new people and you'll be alone.
PRACTICE FIVE: OPENING YOUR LIFE TO HAVING A “REAL MAN”
At the time they were still in the process of meeting, Dr. Bragar had very professional photos. He thought I was a little too corporate. When she looked at his photos, he was on a dock with a dog in a great big beard and just jeans and I thought he might be too much of a hippie for her. But we said, All right, well, at least meet each other. It turned out in reality, we're both a bit more to the middle of that spectrum. We have a tremendous amount in common. And so, you know, he's a guy, he's not me.
He's always open to talking with me. He loves to talk to me, but it's a different relationship than a girlfriend.
Yes, we are in our senior years, but we now have an extra decade of our lives. If we're lucky and fortunate, which most of us are, we have an extra decade of healthy living, We're no longer worried about establishing a career or being successful that way. And we're no longer child-rearing. Even in our senior years, we're looking at 10 or 20 years of a healthy life. And that's why there are more divorces not only a healthy life but women who you know, know how to support themselves and are not financially dependent on men. So you want to have a choice, to live that part of your life as happy as possible.
About Our Co-Host
Dr. Joan Bragar helps successful women use online dating to find loving life partners.
She is the author of Never Too Late for Love: The Successful Woman's Guide to Online Dating in the Second Half of Life. Certified as a relationship coach by Katherine Woodward Thomas, the family therapist and New York Times best-selling author of Calling in the One and Conscious Uncoupling.
You can ask for a digital copy of her book by writing her at [email protected]
Side Note: If you haven't read my article on what the future is for the Rock Your Retirement Show, you can read more about it HERE
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This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com