Dear Lisa: I am new to dating. I’ve been divorced about six months and recently a friend suggested I go online. But when I got there, I found thousands of men. I felt like a kid in a candy store being given so many choices of the penny candies, but unable to choose cause there are too many. As you can probably tell, I am overwhelmed by all of their pictures. Is there a something I can do to figure out which ones might be good for me to date?
Dear Tracy: It sounds like you could use some of what I like to call “Male Online Sorting Filters.”
Start by making a “Male Wish List.” Figure out what it is you want in a man you’d like to date. Next, head to the profiles of men on your favorite dating site.
Begin looking at the pictures. This time, view them as holding the clues to a man’s life, whether it’s the way he’s dressed, the background surrounding him or who’s in the picture with him.
If family values are important to you and a man has a picture with his kids, you know it’s important to him as well.
If he displays a picture with his German shepherd, you know his dog is important; but if you are not a dog person, you know to move on.
If any of the clues in these pictures make you curious about him, then read his profile.
Pay attention to the words he’s written to see if it matches with the values and qualities of your wish list.
Look for what he likes to do in life and see if it’s 70 percent to 80 percent compatible to your lifestyle. If he rides motorcycles every weekend and you’re not into motorcycles, it might be best to move on.
Yet if he says it’s a hobby he can do with or without you, he’s a possibility.
If you like his picture and what he has to say, wink at him or make him a favorite and see where it goes.
Dear Lisa: I haven’t dated anyone in eons. In all honesty, I can’t find anyone worth dating. I had a pretty decent first marriage but sadly, my husband died and I just can’t find anyone to replace what I had with him. I go online, but no one is as handsome as he was; and my friends try and fix me up, but the men all seem like old geezers even though they are my age. I’m tired of being alone and would like to find someone. How do I get started? By the way, it’s been almost 10 years since I lost Don. I so miss him!
Dear Jane: I am so sorry about your late husband. I will give you some tips for getting out there to date again, but if Don is still holding a prominent place in your mind and heart, it might help to turn to a professional therapist for help with this.
Let’s begin with the idea that 10 years is literally a lifetime ago. Don was probably in his 40s at the time. That’s still a pretty youthful age especially in appearance, which may explain why everyone looks like an “old geezer” to you now.
Sadly, he is gone and you can’t replace him. He was unique and your relationship was unique with its own set of qualities special to the two of you.
But you can find someone to share your life with, if you can let Don go from being the standard a man must live up to.
And you can create another good, unique relationship in your life if you can try not comparing every new man to Don.
It would help you to start looking at the men around you and see who seems handsome to you. Look online and do the same.
Then start talking with men — especially those older than 50 — whether you are at the grocery store, the drug store or online. This will help you get used to interacting with men of this age.
If you’re ready to date, be aware of being too picky. If no one is OK enough, you’ll continue to be alone.
Also, consider going on dates with no expectation other than to have fun with a man. Try dating all types of men so you can see what type of man you’d most like in your life at this age.
And just have fun getting to know someone new and interesting. If it turns into something more, great! If it doesn’t, you’ve had the opportunity to learn more about yourself and the men you do and don’t want to date.