View from the Trenches: Advice from a Dating Coach

(c) www.PhotographyByAlexander.com
(c) http://www.PhotographyByAlexander.com

When I heard about dating coach extraordinaire Erika Ettin, founder of A Little Nudge, I thought she would be a great resource for Dating, Sex, and Life in your 60s.

Erika helps her clients with the world of online dating: writing a unique profile, composing emails that get answered, choosing the best photos, and planning dates. She also offers date coaching to clients.

Erika has a background in business and economics. She applied her professional and people skills to achieve great personal success with online dating. Since starting A Little Nudge, she has worked with hundreds of clients who have gone on to date confidently, marry, get engaged, or enter a relationship.

Let’s relax and learn from an expert while enjoying grilled halibut with mango/avocado salsa.

What is the best way for a 60-something woman to meet a man? Is it online?

As I tell all of my clients, there isn’t a best way to meet someone. There are many options—online dating, singles’ events, classes, groups. The important part is to put yourself out there in some capacity, online or otherwise.

Do you have any recommendations for meeting men in the wild?

Be approachable. Oftentimes, a man wants to approach a woman, but her nose is in her phone, or she has a scowl on her face. The best way to attract someone is to smile and show that you’re open to meeting new people. Men get scared, too!

What is the single biggest complaint you have about online dating from women? From men?

Bad pictures!! I recommend 3 to 5 photos—at least a clear headshot, a nice full-body shot, and a photo of you doing something interesting. In addition, make sure you’re alone in your photos because the last thing you want is for someone to compare you to your friend or family in your own profile. And NO MORE SELFIES!

Is there anything you would do differently now if you were dating (based on what you have learned from your business)?

Have a list of about five non-negotiables and beyond that, give people a chance.

Do you ever “match” your clients?

I do! I have what I call “matchmaking mixers” to get my clients together. It’s always a well-attended, fun time! I’ll be holding another one in DC in June!

What do you think about matchmaking services?

Some are great, and some are not so great. Try to get recommendations from others who have used the matchmaker to see if they were satisfied.

Do you have any tips for writing a great profile?

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/02/he-likes-me-for-me/

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/03/the-curse-of-the-empty-adjective/

What are your tips for the first date? What if the first date is not spectacular? Should you see him again?

Start with just drinks or coffee (no dinner!) to see where it goes and if you have some rapport. Also, it’s important to go into a first date with no expectations. Simply having a good conversation should be considered a success.

I tell my clients if they’re on the fence about someone to give it one more date. More here:

http://www.gatherthejews.com/2013/11/whats-the-whole-point-of-dating-gtj-dating-series-with-erika-e-no-78/

http://www.alittlenudge.com/2011/03/the-rule-of-two/

How should one handle corresponding with 2 or 3 guys at once? How long can a woman date more than one guy?

This is a personal preference and everyone feels differently, but generally, the point of dating more than one person is to find the one who you like best. Once you do that, there’s no need to keep seeing the others. Don’t just see them as a fallback plan, because that means you’re already assuming the outcome of the one you want to pursue… and it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How can one keep from losing hope?

I do recommend taking a break if you’re feeling jaded… just as long as you get back on the horse. And, as hard as it seems sometimes, remember that it only takes one. 

Is a man who has been married 2 or 3 times someone to be wary of? What about a never married man? Should a woman stay away? 

Everyone has a story, and nothing is black and white, so rather than making generalizations about people based on their prior marital status, I would hear the story and then use your judgment. 

Do you have clients in their 50s and 60s? Do you have any particular advice for women in this age group/stage of life?

Sure do!

http://www.jdate.com/jmag/2014/06/the-five-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-dating-over-50/

Can you share any photo advice? Should one invest in a professional photo?

Check out: http://www.alittlenudge.com/2012/03/a-pictures-worth-a-thousand-words/

If you proactively reach out to a guy, is it a good idea to comment on what you have in common or does that look desperate? Should a woman reach out first? Don’t men like to pursue?

See: http://www.alittlenudge.com/2013/05/online-dating-email-etiquette/

Desperate? Not at all! What man wouldn’t be flattered when a pretty lady reaches out to him? J

What if you find out before you meet that a man lied about his age in his dating profile? Should you address it before you meet or during the first meeting?

I generally do not recommend too much “research” before you meet your date, however, I know as well as the next person that, if given enough information, people are going to do their due diligence.  If you do, in fact, find that your date has lied, first decide if you’d still like to meet this person.  Ask yourself if the lie was too egregious, if you think he’s lying about other things, if he had a good motive, etc.  (For the record, I never recommend lying about one’s age.)

Now, if you do decide to go on the date, it’s up to you whether you want to address it or see if it comes out organically.  If you think it’ll eat at you the entire time, preventing you from enjoying yourself, then bring it up.  He’ll have no more right to be upset with you for bringing it up than you have to be upset with him for doing it in the first place.  But ask with some tact.  Rather than, “Why did you lie about your age?” which will put him on the defensive, instead perhaps say, “Since I had your info, when I looked you up, I noticed that your age differed a bit from what you posted online.  It made me feel a bit uneasy, so I just wanted to address it.”

Are there any games worth playing? Is it important for a woman to play it cool, not be too available?

The long and short of it: No games! We’re all adults, and the mature ones will appreciate that you’re straightforward with your feelings.

Are the “rules” for sex any different for 60 year olds? Do you think baby boomers are having sex any earlier in a relationship?

Just as with a 20-something, 60-somethings all go at their own pace. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you, and that will differ for every two people. But, it is extremely important to build a foundation with someone before you go too far in the bedroom because once you start having sex, it’s harder to go back to learn about this person’s ins and outs.

Should women lie about their age to compensate for the age bias that exists?

Nope. A lie about your age (even a small one) starts out a relationship on the wrong foot. And it makes your date think, “What else is she lying about?”

Thanks to Erika for providing this guidance! Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

I have a special treat for you on Mother’s Day – a guest post from my friend and Renaissance woman Donna A. Lewis. Donna has way more experience with men than I do and I thought she would be a great resource for all of us dating re-entrants!

Donna lives in Washington, DC where she dabbles obsessively in law, writing and art. She is the creator of Reply All comic strip and Reply All Lite cartoon, both of which are syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group.

I have the perfect lunch for us while we sit back and read Donna’s post. Let’s enjoy spaghetti al pomodoro (http://tinyurl.com/m9d37f9), Audrey Hepburn’s favorite recipe, recreated by food blogger Tori Avey.

reply all PIX 5 10 2015

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Donna A. Lewis

For five or so decades, my mother has been talking to me about men. She considers herself an expert on men because she’s been married to one man for a really long time. In fact, she’s been married to that one man for as long as I’ve known her.

It’s hard for me to explain to my mother in a respectful, discreet way that what she actually knows is a lot about one man.

“Yeah, mom, you know about men. You know about one man named Joe.”

For the record, Joe isn’t my father’s real name. I changed the name to protect my father’s identity.

“Yeah, mom, you know a lot about ‘Joe’…. but I know somewhere between a little and a lot about hundreds of men.” 

See? I told you. There’s not really an easy way to respectfully and discreetly say that the reason you know a lot about men is because you have actually known a lot of men.

But I do. I do know my fair share about men.

Now maybe I don’t personally know a lot about hundreds of men, but I do know about a large enough number of men to provide a scientific sampling upon which we can base supportable conclusions.

And maybe I don’t know a lot about staying with one man forever, but nobody I know really has that as their top priority these days anyway since forever is different from the forever we grew up with.

What I do know about is how to meet men. And I know how to have a really good time with them. And I know how to get rid of them.

Now THAT, my friends, is valuable information for the modern woman.

To be honest, I didn’t realize how valuable that information was until so many of my married friends became unmarried. All of a sudden, I had some information they needed and didn’t have.

But before I tell you my 50 all-time favorite ways to leave lovers, let me tell you how to actually get a lover. Or two. Or ten.

Tip #1

Want a lover.

Sounds simple and kind of obvious, but do you really want a lover or do you just think you should want a lover? And if you actually want a lover, are you sure you want a lover now? Are you lover-ready, emotionally and otherwise?

The gist of this tip is really ‘don’t look for a lover before you’re ready for a lover.’ If you look for a lover too soon or at the seriously wrong time, all you’ll do is cripple your self-esteem with rejection resulting from bad timing.

Don’t go there until you’re ready to be there.

Tip #2

Smell good.

Look good. Feel good. Be intentional about being in the best condition to attract a lover. You don’t need to be a perfect hourglass size zero with double D boobs, high slit skirts and perpetually tanned skin. And hopefully you’re not, since that’s…well…you know.

But you need to generally look like you want to be attractive to those you wish to attract.

If you’re not sure whether you look like you want a lover, ask one of your most honest friends. An honest friend will tell you whether you look like you’re thinking about loving a lover or thinking about eating double stuffed pizza while learning to make your own curtains.

Tip #3

Go where the men are.

If you want to go where the men are, join a few local meetup (or other) free social groups and look at the male to female ratio before attending. If the group boasts one man for every twenty women, then you won’t be going home with a lover.

And don’t spend too much time hanging out where the men aren’t. Most men are generally not painting pottery or attending Pilates. They’re not usually at Sunday brunch or the shopping mall.

And if you’re thinking it’s a shame that your interests don’t include men, then prepare for a lot of time spent without men. Or find a few new interests.

Tip #4

Go where there are more men than women.

Go to a local dive bar that has televisions playing sports. Ask the men silly questions about sports and let them talk. Go to a local Comic Con, gaming outlet, car show or gun show. Hang out at Home Depot in the area where they sell wood. Ask the men at Home Depot silly questions about wood – the kind of wood they sell at Home Depot.

If you hang around places where men tend to be, the odds of meeting a man increase significantly and naturally.

Tip #5

Consider everything practice.

Remember when you were in the sixth grade and you had to present a book report to the class? Remember how well you did at home with your mom watching you and cheering you on? Remember how you then got to school and felt like throwing up when you realized you forgot what the notes on your index cards meant?

The same thing happens when you’re looking for a man to love you. You feel great when you’re safely at home being all cute and funny online with men who want to chat. Then you leave the safety of your house and remember that you have cellulite, a crooked tooth, and a top on top of your muffin.

When you leave your house, instead of thinking in terms of success or failure, think of everything you do as practice. Go on practice dates or practice trips to Home Depot. Ask practice men your practice questions. Don’t consider any activity the ‘real thing’ and you’ll be more relaxed. More importantly, you’ll be better prepared to accept whatever happens. …since it’s just practice.

Tip #6

Have fun no matter what.

Enjoy whatever you’re doing. Laugh at whatever is happening, even if the joke is on you. If you can have fun no matter what, more things will be more fun.

And people who have fun attract people who like having fun.

Tip #7

Talk to people.

Remember that people are shy, including men. And remember that other people are waiting for you to make a move, create an opening or give a sign.

So just say hi. And be really friendly. And make a stupid joke about something simple that makes them laugh and realize you’re one of those people who are easy to talk to.

And then be easy to talk to.

Tip #8

Leave the unsexy topics at home.

Talking about your ex, your divorce, your custody problems, your toe fungus, that weird bump that might be cancer but might just be a bump….none of these are part of foreplay.

And talking is foreplay if you talk about the stuff that turns people on.

If you’re not sure what turns people on, talk about delicious food, your favorite music or hot cars. Don’t talk about food issues, music you hate or the car problems you can’t afford to fix. Stick with the stuff that makes people feel good. When the listener feels good, the listener is more likely to like you.

Tip #9

Touch others appropriately.

If you’ve been talking to someone for more than five minutes and it’s going well, try an appropriate, light, gentle touch on their forearm or shoulder. Start making contact.

Practice by touching their sleeve or watch or ring and saying you like it and asking where they got it. Combine flattery with a gentle touch and you’re closer to getting a lover than you were before.

Tip #10

Be proud of rejection.

Rejection means you tried. Rejection means you’re out there. Rejection means you’re human and that you’re interacting with humans.

If you’re not getting rejected, you’re not out there enough.

Okay!!

There’s ten tips to get you started!

And please, let me know how it goes! I need material for my future posts!

xoxo, d