Anew study published by the Pew Research Center reveals online dating is rapidly on the rise – and the 50 to 64-year-old crowd’s forays into finding love online has nearly doubled in just three years. With yet another highly personal aspect of our lives being outsourced to the internet, many stay faithful to their belief in fairy tales – still envisioning a spontaneous connection with someone “in real life.” If you’re still a die-hard dreamy romantic, we’re all for it, but you won’t find the partner of your dreams at home on the couch or even in line for coffee with your face glued to a smartphone screen. We say, if you’re going to stay true to meeting your soulmate in the flesh, here are some tips to increase your chances.
1. Set intentions and practice non-attachment. You can’t be open to a new relationship if your heart is holding on to an old one. Try a ritual like writing your former love a letter or singing a farewell song as a way to let go once and for all, to make room for the unexpected. Speaking of unexpected, approach meeting someone new with an attitude that remains unattached to any outcome. Go into your adventure with the mind set of just trying to have fun and meeting new and interesting people in the real world.
2. The art of approachability. Ask your most honest loved ones whether you give off signals that you are safe to approach. Are you constantly immersed in your phone or are you present to the world around you? Do you slouch and wear a frown or are you ready for something wonderful? If you see someone you like, whether you are a man or a woman, don’t be afraid to make eye contact and smile. Just displaying a feeling of warmth and friendliness makes it easier for others to approach you.
Don’t forget to practice grace. Sometimes “trying to hard” is
harder on you than not trying at all. Remember to be patient
and gentle with yourself – what you give off is what you receive.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. While out and about, at the park or a volunteer event, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If a person who appears interesting is eating or drinking, ask about their wine or dish. If you’re at an event ask about his/her connection to the group or cause hosting the event. Keep questions open-ended and avoid yes or no questions that could stall a conversation before it ever gets started.
4. Pay attention to the subtleties. As the interaction progresses, remain aware of the nuances. If you find you’re only getting one-word answers, try to discern if that is a function of shyness or disinterest. If the talking flows with ease, compliments and curiosity, you’ve begun igniting a connection.
Have you recently found true love “in real life”? Email us your story to editor@LifestylesAfter50.com.