After my divorce at age 40, I fantasized heading out to bars, whooping it up at late night parties, and endless hours in local coffee shops hoping to catch the eye of the cute guy at the next table.
Instead, I needed the matchmaking to be efficient, so online dating fit the bill—but it only worked once I learned a few tricks. After some very unsuccessful attempts at readying myself for romance, I realized I was in pretty bad shape and needed to spend time refilling my emotional tank—focusing on my daughter, my job, my friendships, and self-care.
Think of it as nurturing yourself with a balance of activities that you enjoy, as well as solitude and introspection. I made the mistake of snapping a quick picture on my cell phone and posting it on a popular dating site. This yielded absolutely zero interest, which was a big blow to my fragile ego at the time.
When I complained to a friend, she told that most women have professional photos taken for their online profile. No wonder everyone looks amazing! Add to that getting my hair and makeup done, and just like that, the board lit up like the Fourth of July. Golden urges us to think of this photo as the first impression in an interview: You want to wear your best suit and your best smile. They still held the outdated belief that the man should make the first move, so they sat around waiting to be contacted.
In my dating days, I was known for approaching guys and found this was not only empowering, but kept me busy with boyfriends during my 20s. I knew I had to use the same approach for Internet dating and discovered my traffic would soar the more I contacted men.
The more traffic you create, the more you receive. Check out the tips this dating coach swears by for meeting and attracting new people. The first few weeks it was a thrill to have people contacting me, and I responded to almost every one who reached out. But it was time-consuming, exhausting, and I met some serious weirdos, to be honest. Over time, I learned to limit my contact to guys who sounded sane, patient, and knew how to spell. In the beginning, I had fun making elaborate plans for first dates.
I quickly realized that this was not the efficiency dating I had envisioned! I learned the hard way not to make elaborate plans for date number one.
As a long time yogi and meditator, I took a peek around at men in my age group who had similar practices. I did eventually meet a fellow meditator who happened to live 60 miles from me in a town I never heard of. Six years later, after much wear-and-tear on our respective cars, we are still dating—and meditating together. I learned how key it is to not take things personally and just try to have fun with the process.
Forever is still a long time.