9 Things You Want to Know About Your Date

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Dates are part of the audition for both partners over 50, just like daters of any age. So the question is: What parts of your personality do you want to express, and what would you like to see in your partner? Here are some questions to ponder:

  • How competitive are you, and how competitive is your date?

  • How collaborative are you?

  • Does conversation lag or is there never enough time to discuss all you want to talk about?

  • Do you feel funnier or smarter when you're with this person?

  • Does your date come up with good ideas about what to do or where to go, or is it all or mostly up to you?

  • Is your date solicitous? Does your date make sure you're having a good time?

  • How do you each handle problems, such as one of you being late, getting stuck in traffic, or going to a restaurant that turns out to be closed?

  • How does your date treat the people who you come in contact with?

  • Do the differences between you and your date help you be a better person or are they merely irritating?

If you're smitten by your date's looks or wit, you may forget to take in this kind of information. Or if you hear a discordant note, you may be tempted to excuse it immediately or doubt your own perceptions.

But you really need to keep these kinds of questions in mind. If your partner displays spoiled or egocentric behavior, it's better to notice it early on than suffer from it in a long-term relationship.

The most important part of the date is to expect that both of you will get something out of it, even if you don't end up together as life partners. You want to set up your dating experiences so that you have fun, try things you haven't done before, or go back to beloved places or activities that you haven't taken the time for in a very long while.

You want to make sure that your experiences start to stack up so that you're far happier than you were, even if some experiences aren't as consequential or emotionally fulfilling as you may have liked. You want to date in such a way as to build your optimism — if not about a specific person, about the fact that dating has given you so many new things to do and see, and so many new people to understand and converse with.

When you genuinely enjoy dating, you'll feel more optimistic about eventually meeting a person to love and be loved by.

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