I'm a Widow -- How Can I Meet Men?
Dear Dr. Betty,
I'm a widow in my 50s who is about to enter the dating arena again. How do I learn the new rules of dating? Is it OK to take the initiative to ask him out first? And just how does someone in their late 50s meet nice, eligible men their age? --D.
Hooray for you! As a widow, you've gone through a major life passage and have opted to move on and realize new opportunities for growth. Now, you make the rules for dating. You're older and wiser and that counts for a lot. And, to answer your question of who pursues whom, but the traditional man-gets-woman roles have changed. Yes, men are wired to be hunters, but many, especially if they're widowed or divorced, are willing -- maybe even relieved -- to put down their bows and arrows long enough to answer your phone calls. In many cases, their former wives were the emotional and social managers and made all the arrangements.
If you're still reluctant and believe come hither is the best approach, use body language to flirt -- play with your hair, mimic his movements, laugh at his jokes and flatter him. If he doesn't take the bait, you do the asking. You might be rejected, but you have asserted yourself -- a good move. Know there are more men out there.
Now, the question of where to meet these potential dating partners. A good starting point is to cultivate both men and women friends, which will widen your social circle. Invite people over and ask your friends to bring extra men. Whatever gives you pleasure -- painting, writing, playing the piano -- pursue it in a class! Join organizations that interest you. Use the Internet as a way to meet men. Try your hand at writing a classified ad. Consider attending singles events in your community, at your church or synagogue. Volunteer for a cause you believe in or, if you don't work, think about going back to or starting.
Bottom line? Keep your chin up, shoulders back and try it all! Your positive attitude and openness will bring you rewards in the dating game.