If you are over 50 and dating again, chances are you are discovering a whole new world. It can be overwhelming. Who should I date? Where do I find someone who interests me? How do I make the connection I want and find something meaningful? When is it appropriate to become intimate?
To raise your success and lower your anxiety, start at the beginning, with you. Take time to know the authentic you. Establish a clear understanding within yourself about whether you are really ready and what you want from a relationship. It may not sound romantic, but you have to develop a strategy to find romance that genuinely fulfills you and meets your needs.
To develop your strategy ask yourself a few questions.
- Why do I want to date? Is it for recreation, socializing, sex, or for my ideal match and a long term committed relationship?
- What are my emotional and physical boundaries?
- Should I date multiple people at the same time?
For today’s blog, let’s examine that last question. With the boom of online dating and the availability of many potential partners at your fingertips, the option of dating multiple people at the same time is very real. We used to call it “playing the field” when we were young, but after 50, the terrain of that “field” is not so clear. While chatting, flirting and determining if you would like to meet is doable with a number of people at once, actually dating multiple people can be a juggling act.
Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to help you decide what is best for you. The potential advantages to dating multiple people at the same time include the benefits of simple practice! You can improve your dating skills, become more relaxed with the process and have fun. Another benefit is that you can compare potential partners. This may sound calculating, but as long as you are being honorable, this process could help you clarify for yourself what you need and want in a relationship. And, as you might apply for many jobs at the same time, hoping to get the best one for you, multiple dating can speed up the process of finding Mr. or Ms. Right. In terms of your own development, the process of dating more than one person at a time can help you avoid focusing too much on one person and being swept away by chemistry. It can also increase your self-confidence. After all, it is very flattering to have so many people interested in you.
But there are equally real possible disadvantages to dating multiple people at the same time. For one thing, the process may feel dishonest and not be in alignment with your core values. On a practical level, it can simply be very confusing to keep track of many conversations and activities. What if you mix up the woman who’s been married twice with the woman who has never married? The man who works in finance with the doctor? Feelings could easily get hurt. The juggling act can be very overwhelming, physically and emotionally, and may, in fact, end up being a self-protective measure that prevents you from ever getting close to anyone. Think about it – if you are dating more than one person, you may be keeping yourself emotionally unavailable. This detachment can create limited experiences and could ultimately be an impediment to successful connection. The more choices you have, the less easily you may find making a decision. Ultimately, dating multiple people at once can trivialize a process of finding someone for a long-term committed relationship.
If you do decide to date multiple people, you might want to set some parameters. Decide how many dates you are willing to go on with any one person, and set clear physical boundaries that are comfortable for you. For example you may decide to limit it to two dates with no sexual involvement.
As I have written before, the most important thing as you enter the dating world is to be authentic and honest with yourself and get to know who you are and how you want your life to move forward. Only you know what the right choices are for you and how best to use your time. Lay the groundwork and then trust yourself. There are bridges to be crossed – decide which ones will take you where you want to go before taking the first step. And remember, when it comes to bridges – never burn them! That way, you can always go back across and rethink your strategies.
As always I’m available to help you find your true love and build a relationship that lasts. Here is my personal online scheduler to get your 30 minute Free “Getting It Right” strategy session. Let’s get started today!