I’ve said it before. Dating after divorce is scary. It’s scary because none of us were born knowing how to date. Some people seem to learn quickly and are adept daters by their early twenties. Others, and this includes yours truly, never feel particularly skilled and then after years of marriage are at loss as to how to approach the whole endeavor.
My current guest, Elizabeth had a good friend, who was also a dating coach, to guide her. Since Elizabeth was in her sixties and knew she wanted to be in a relationship, she says she didn’t have time to waste. Here’s Elizabeth:
My dating approach was pretty much that I’d meet anybody for coffee. I didn’t lie about my age. I did for a brief time about my location, I wanted to see what it would be like dating men in New York, but that didn’t work out. What I found was that I had to be the person who was doing the emailing, saying your profile was interesting.
When people didn’t respond, my dating coach friend said, “Don’t even think about it. Next! Just go to the next one. Don’t take it personally. There’s an acronym – QTIP – Quit Taking It Personally. Whatever their response is, it has nothing to do with you.
So, I committed myself to doing two or three emails a day to people that would come up as eligible. That was how I met my present boyfriend. His profile came up on Match one day and I wrote.
It was funny, he said he would get eight or ten emails a day. I got zero and I’m an attractive person. Nobody emailed me.
When I emailed him he had a very nice response. He was very kind. The funny thing was when I called him, I almost hung up because his message machine said something really corny, and I thought “Oh no.” But, I thought just go ahead and leave a message and so I did.
We had a lovely conversation. And it was just got better and better.
I am a relationship person and to be in a relationship is one of the most important things for me. So, I decided I would devote a half an hour a day to being online. That was just a commitment I made. I’m an early morning person so I would do it early in the morning.
I would get up and go do my morning ritual, meditation, prayer, reading, inspirational things and I would go online for half an hour and do that daily. So, it was work, but if you want to get results you have to put in the time.
It doesn’t sound very romantic but Elizabeth’s message is exactly what I hear from dating experts like my good friends at Fit4love: the process for finding true love is just like finding your dream job. The good news is that if you’ve ever found a job you wanted, then you already have the skills to find that special person.
I think it’s a great analogy that really speaks to me probably because I am very methodical and process-oriented. I think I would really enjoy having a partner, a companion but I know I haven’t made it a priority and I don’t commit to spending the time it takes. This is an encouraging reminder.
Two more takeaways from this segment for me – don’t agonize over making the initial contact and be willing to have coffee with just about anyone.
I’m getting more comfortable with making the initial contact. The way I see it is that when someone first joins a dating site they get swamped with matches and it’s really hard for them to sort through all the possibilities. So by making contact, I’m making it easier for them. And definitely, QTIP.
And the coffee one? As a journalist, I’ve interviewed many people, and often people about whom I knew nothing. I have had one or two occasions where my interviewee responds with short, blunt sentence and I haven’t been able to get them to open up but those are rare. So I know I can have a coffee and I’ll probably enjoy it even if we don’t turn out to be a good match.
Is this a helpful analogy to you? What skills do you think transfer from job-hunting to dating?
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