By Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan for YourTango.com.
In a recent USA Weekend post, the results of the latest OurTime.com survey about dating over 50 were revealed. What were the findings? Turns out that the 50+ crowd is very discerning regarding who they will date. Nothing wrong with that if you ask me, a dating coach for women. It’s important to know what will and won’t work for you in a match, especially when you’re dating in middle age and beyond. The survey revealed three big deal breakers that prevent someone from choosing a particular partner. I have also heard plenty of others over the last 11 years in my practice.
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More than 75 percent of the OurTime.com membership participated in the survey, and considered the following “deal breakers” when considering whether or not to date someone:
1. Poor Health (78 percent)
2. Financial instability (76 percent)
3. Not physically attractive (75 percent)
These concerns aren’t too surprising are they? Successful women of a certain age have told me how they do not want to be a “nurse with a purse.” Dating over 50 can be frustrating, because it does seem many mature women meet older men who are ailing physically, financially or perhaps both.
Many singles have worked hard to build their nest eggs and don’t want a partner without means to drain their bank accounts with health or monetary needs. I see the point, but also want to mention that there are degrees of everything. You never know who will stay healthy, get ill or need funds. On the other hand, if you meet someone who is already down the road to poor health and financial troubles, it’s smart to question whether getting involved and taking that on is a wise choice. There are plenty of other singles to choose from who won’t need constant care and attention.
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Now let’s talk about physical attraction. There is no denying that a lack of physical attraction means there’s no spark, no chemistry and no hope for a relationship. Patti Stanger, the Bravo TV Millionaire Matchmaker, claims men are more visual; either they feel attracted or they don’t. Women, on the other hand, have a wider range of what is acceptable in terms of physicality, and can be warmed up by a man’s charm or endearing personality.
The good news about the difference in men’s and women’s attraction is that you can do things to improve your desirability!
Lose some weight, exercise and get in better shape
Getting fit is not only good for your dating prosepcts, but also good for your health. Plus, it might help you avoid being affected by deal breakers #1 and #3.
Wear quality clothing that fits well and looks good on you
If you don’t know what colors or styles work on your body type, ask for help in any high-end retail store. You can also ask a girlfriend who has a good sense of style. The right colors for your skin and the right clothing for your shape can make a tremendous difference in your appearance and confidence as well. Ladies, there’s no need to be a slave to fashion, but current styles do help you look younger.
Gentleman, please get a new pair of shoes and a new belt too. Yes, women notice these details and judge you accordingly. Scuffed shoes and a worn belt won’t do. You deserve to look good and dress well.
Ladies—Update your hair and makeup
Plenty of women wear makeup daily, but others just can’t be bothered. There is no question that makeup helps you look more youthful and attractive. Take five minutes in the morning to put on some blush, mascara and lipstick. In addition, as the years go by, lightening your hair softens the contrast with your skin, especially if you were originally a dark brunette. While short cropped hair might be super easy, a little more length might catch a man’s eye.
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The next three dealbreakers come from my dating coaching clients and are also very telling as to how people judge their dates.
Lack of vitality or activity
To attract love, you should have a spring in your step and a desire to do things. If you just want to sit at home and watch TV, you might need to do that on your own. Most singles over 50 are a vibrant, active group who still want to do and see so much. Perk up and leave the house more often if you tend to be a home body. Getting out gives you more energy and stimulates your mind; it also makes you a lot more interesting and gives you things to talk about when on a date.
So many of my dating coaching clients complain about people with negative attitudes. Both men and women prefer a partner who is optimistic and feels good about life. If you are feeling down about what life has to offer, don’t expect a partner to fill that void. You need to feel good about your own life before you get to share in someone else’s.
I wish I had a dollar for every man and woman who called me to say, “I look 15 years younger than I am, and only want to date people 15 years younger.” Really? While I understand what attracts you to youth, I have to ask these callers: “What will they see in you?” This May-December thing absolutely does happen, but it’s not something you can totally insist on. If you are only willing to date people significantly younger than you, that severely limits your prospects and could impede your ability to find the love you want.
Finding love after 50 is absolutely possible. My clients find love and so do millions of other singles over 50. Knowing what you are looking for and what to avoid in a partner is a smart strategy to find a good mate. Doing your part to maximize your own attractiveness will definitely improve your chances, too.
Are you an over 50 woman struggling to find love? As a dating coach for women 40+, I provide proven dating methods that have helped thousands. Get more tips in my FREE book 5 Big Turnoffs That Drive Men Away. Let me help you find love with the right man and avoid the many potential pitfalls along the way.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Single & Over 50? Watch Out For Dating Deal Breakers.