We find ourselves in mid-November 2023, it's astonishing how quickly time has passed.
We're circling back to another season of obligatory festive cheer. Once the John Lewis Christmas advert hits, we're plunged into a six-week barrage of Christmas-themed ads, store playlists filled with seasonal tunes, sweets and presents everywhere, and much more.
For some, this time is joyous, but for others, it's not so great. Perhaps in previous years, you celebrated with children, family, or a partner, basking in the warmth that the season brings.
But circumstances change, and some now face the prospect of navigating this once warm and busy season alone.
While some readers may think, 'I have plenty of friends and family,' others do not. I understand this because I've heard their stories and felt their pain, something they never expected to endure in their earlier years.
On Christmas Day, many have family to go to, yet that alone doesn't replace the warmth of having that special someone during this particularly lonely time of year.
As we approach the six-week countdown to Christmas, I'm sharing these simple but crucial tips with the hope that incorporating them into your approach might lead to a few consecutive dates before Christmas, alleviating the sense of loss or loneliness.
My main tips for singles on the dating scene are:
Read the Profile
Understanding a person's profile can give you valuable insights into their interests, values, and lifestyle. It helps in determining if there's a potential connection.
You also need to present a profile that clarifies your passions, and interests. It should reveal your unique personality - attracting like-minded people.
Don't Concentrate on the Image:
This is a crucial factor. You need to remember that not all people take a good photo. I always use the viewing-a-house analogy, where we look at a house online or in a brochure in the area we want to buy in and it looks fabulous, so you go along and view it. When you get there, you are instantly disappointed because the agents used all sorts of camera tricks to make it look more attractive. Then the next week you see a not-so-fabulous-looking house, in the same area you want to move to but you decide to go along but not with any excitement or expectation. When you see this house, it blows you away. It is beautiful and much better in real life than in the brochure or online......think on singles!
If the first date is not a disaster, go for another date. So many people, especially us mature singles are quite nervous and don't give off the best impression, but on the next date, we are much more relaxed and in many ways a different and more engaging person.
Be open and honest about your intentions and expectations from the beginning. Clear communication helps in establishing a foundation for a healthy relationship. This is one of the biggest dating issues I have to work with when mentoring mature singles. They think the other person knows what they are thinking!
Embrace Your Individuality:
YOU are unique and you don't need to change who you are for anyone. Embrace your individuality and be your true self on dates - this gives you a better opportunity to connect with someone who appreciates who you are.
Approach dating with a positive mindset. I always advise my membership and mentoring clients to look at each date like they are meeting a new friend or acquaintance. Take the pressure out of the situation and each experience is an opportunity for personal growth and discovering what you truly want in a relationship at this later stage in your life.
I encounter singles over 50 who have been unsuccessfully dating for years, those who have dated but couldn't sustain a relationship due to avoidable differences, and others who are just entering the daunting world of dating.
What frustrates me the most is that mature singles often fail to pause and reflect on who they are now, what their current values represent, not those from decades ago, and what they desire moving forward. When I ask these questions during conversations with prospective clients or dating mentoring sessions, the common response is, 'I didn't think about that.' This realisation reshapes their perspective on dating and the kind of relationship they seek.
In my work alongside dating or mentoring clients, I challenge them to discern the difference between their values and preferences. Attraction or 'the spark' invariably comes up in these conversations. I am sure many of you know my feelings on "the spark" - documented in a previous blog!
The modern dating world has made us more superficial in our pursuit of a soul mate, potentially causing us to overlook someone who could genuinely make us happy in this chapter of our lives. In our quest for physical attractiveness, we sometimes forget that real connections are built on shared values, experiences, and personalities, not just on a striking profile picture. I consistently advise my clients that great pictures don't always translate to real-life appeal, and some people who struggle to take a good picture are genuinely lovely in person. I was watching a movie last night and to cut a long story short, the couple were reflecting on how lucky they were and agreed that when they first met they didn't like each other, but after a couple of slightly difficult dates they started to find more about each other that they liked, and then they fell in love (no, it was not a Disney Movie 😊). We no longer give 'getting to know' someone the time and effort that it requires and everything has to happen 'on the spot' or it's on to the next one!
If you are struggling to date successfully, then please join me for my upcoming webinar on Sunday, November 19th, where I'll delve into the world of online dating for individuals over 50. I'll provide practical advice tailored for both men and women, covering topics such as identifying signs of becoming a serial online dater, embracing authenticity in your approach, and maintaining respect in your online dating experiences.
It's crucial to acknowledge that people have various motivations for using online dating, and while some genuinely seek companionship, others find value in the less tangible benefits it offers.
In this webinar, you can choose to remain anonymous, and you can submit confidential questions beforehand if you prefer to keep your inquiries private. Your anonymity and confidentiality are important to us.
Also, watch out for my profile writing and dating 101 courses which will be available on the website from Wednesday 15th November.
Jacqui Baker www.select-connections.com