My clients have shared a fair number of first date stories with me. While some are amusing, others reflect a surprising lack of social skills. Maybe it's time to rethink boomer dating, especially if you're a newbie.
A client told me about a fellow she met for a coffee date who began the conversation with his health issues, listing each medication he took, and the dosage. Even drug companies' spurious television ads save the disclaimer for last. What would possess someone to blurt out his or her medical history to a complete stranger? Sure, a major illness needs to be disclosed, and in fairness, perhaps before a first date if it limits a person's ability to function.
Lots of boomers develop health issues along the way, but unless yours limit your ability to be physically active, hold off on sharing. A couple of ibuprofen before a hike can ward off pain from old injuries, and unless you have a noticeable limp, save your downhill ski accident story for another time.
Alternatively, the aspects of your physicality that a man or woman might find attractive are worth mentioning, such as bicycling, working out at the gym, hiking, swimming, golfing, tennis, boating, or taking long walks. Sharing any of these with a partner is wholesome, and healthy physical activities help keep a relationship healthy. Exercise translates into other aspects of relationships. A boomer who's physically active generally has a fair amount of sexual energy. There's a link between regular cardiovascular exercise sexual energy.
This one's a guarantied deal killer. A date that talks incessantly about his or her ex is still hurting and/or angry. Your date's responsibilities don't include helping you heal old wounds. Worse, talking about an ex is incredibly boring, and a boring first date isn't followed by a second. Emotional health is important to every dating boomer. Anger and unresolved pain and sadness are non-starters.
If you're hurting, or feeling sad or depressed about your last relationship, stay home until you've put it behind you. Hang out with friends who will to listen to you and help you heal. My advice is never date anyone who was in a long-term relationship less than a year ago. Dating isn't a panacea for past relationship pain.
Nothing says, "Where's the exit?" faster than an emotionally needy date. Unless you're prepared to coddle someone emotionally 24/7, walk away. Pull yourself together emotionally before dating, or limit yourself to men or women who haven't done their work either. Every relationship experiences problems, and it takes two people who've done some amount of emotional work to resolve them. This isn't second-nature stuff by any stretch of the imagination either. No one can single-handedly save a relationship.
The real you will eventually have to cash the checks that you write with your ego, so instead of inflating yourself and waiting for the inevitable crash, be honest about the man or woman you are. Women aren't looking for a romance novel version of a man, but rather a guy who lives in integrity with himself and treats others with kindness and compassion. And I never met a guy who wanted to be in a relationship with a woman who was doing crazy either.
A client told me about her first dinner date with a guy that became their last when he verbally abused the waiter because his water glass hadn't been refilled. That he continued seething about it during dinner sealed his fate. Nothing is less attractive than a man or woman lacking self-control.
Keep It Simple
Dating isn't rocket science, but it does present difficult moments. Look for a date who is as much like you as possible, which means not trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Knowing when to move on sooner rather than later can spare you a lot of grief. Honor your core beliefs and values by dating someone who shares them.