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Online Dating Advice For Middle-Aged Singles From A Man With Experience

04/10/2015 06:45 am ET | Updated Jun 10, 2015

Rejection
Boomer dating requires a fair amount of courage, and it also takes grit, determination, and stamina. Online dating is a high-wire act. The potential for getting rejected exists no matter how cool or good-looking you are, and there's no net to catch you when you fall. You send someone an email expressing your interest, and then you wait to discover whether or not you've been rejected. There's no middle ground. Personal reasons are rarely the reason for rejection, but it feels personal nonetheless.

It's Not Personal
Rejection is rarely intended as a personal statement about who you are, and it's not always about what you look like either. Assuming someone has actually read your profile, being rejected is likely related to how they feel about you as a viable partner. But whether or not the reasons for being rejected are valid, there's a sense that you're disposable. It's an emotional space you don't want to occupy for long.

But rejection is a painful experience no matter how emotionally steeled you are, and it's impossible to ignore your feelings about it. It's important not to let it affect your self-esteem. Since I know from experience there's no such thing as just one right person for someone, and assuming boomer daters have a semblance of a dating game plan, consistent rejection probably indicates issues not already considered.

Classic Mistake
Opposites attract is a myth, and nearly every relationship expert agrees it's a flawed dating philosophy. If your criterion for choosing potential dates is consistently picking your opposite, you're going to continue to be rejected because most boomer daters are acutely aware that this is failed paradigm. Differences get bigger, not smaller. Trying to jam the opposites attract, square peg, into a round hole will continue to garner rejections.

More Than A Face
I don't believe attraction is limited to the physical. Sure, someone's photo is the first item daters notice, but unless you still believe finding a life partner is just luck, you'll read someone's profile before contacting them. Here's a tip. An initial email from someone that lacks a shred of information about you that demonstrates they've read your profile should be automatically deleted. The sender is trolling, cutting and pasting the same lame message onto numerous daters' emails. It's not flattering, and worse, it doesn't even mean they really want to meet you. People who receive emails from trollers are often rejected when they reply. It's a wrongheaded way to source dates, and makes the email sender look desperate and foolish to everyone but the equally desperate and foolish.

No Uphill Battles
We all get rejected for some reason some of the time, but we can limit the number. Age is a common rejection issue. Right or wrong, lots of boomers have a specific and sometimes narrow age range they're willing to date. While I think it's myopic, fighting it is an uphill battle you won't win. If you stray from someone's specified age range, you're courting rejection.

Be Open
Listing tall, dark, and handsome as requirements is as trite as listing petite, blonde, and long-legged, and adhering to narrow physical parameters ensures rejection. I'm not suggesting daters ignore what turns them on, but rather that they remain open to new possibilities. It's wrong to reject an otherwise perfect man or woman because they're not quite tall enough or slender enough. Think outside your fantasy box and don't reject someone simply because they don't fit your fantasy 100 percent.

Not Alligator Skin
No matter how often I remind my clients not to take rejection personally, they always do to some extent. It saddens me to watch someone I care about get hurt, and it reminds me of my own drama around rejection. I urge boomers daters to develop a thicker skin when they date online, because otherwise they'll take rejection personally when it really isn't.

It Works
Very few boomer daters respond to emails from men or women they're not interested in. Everyone would take the time to write thanks, but no thanks in a perfect world, but time is a consideration. Online dating has the unfortunate trappings of impersonal nonchalance that doesn't require politeness. So why date online and risk rejection? Online dating works for too many boomers not to consider it viable. After dozens of coffee dates with women I met online, I finally met my partner. Courage, determination, and stamina paid off.

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