Are you back in the dating game after a divorce?
1. Are You Ready to be Authentic?
You will need to be authentic if you are going to seriously move into long-term committed dating. This means you will need to make sure your self-confidence and self-esteem are high. It also means being vulnerable. Open up and honestly show your date who you are. If she likes the real you, great! If she doesn't like the real you, then move on. It's better to find out the truth right from the beginning, instead of spending time (and money!) dating someone who will not love you for who you really are. The longer you spend dating the wrong woman, the longer it will take you to find the right woman.
You have everything to gain from being authentic, and nothing to lose. You can practice being authentic with a men's group or with a men's relationship coach. I can assure you that by being your authentic self, your dating experience will be ten times better. If you are inauthentic, then sooner or later you will get caught out.
2. Are You Clear About What You Want?
Long-term committed dating demands clarity - you need to be transparent about your "requirements" and "wants". Requirements are elements that you must have in your relationship. They cannot be compromised; they are your deal-breakers. For example, for many people on the dating scene, honesty is a non-negotiable. For others it is monogamy.
Then you have your Wants - these are things that are important to you for your relationship, but are not deal-breakers; there is some wriggle room. For example, maybe you want a non-smoker in your life, but your new date likes to smoke. When you examine your desire for a non-smoker, you realise that the smell of smoke bothers you and that you want to stay healthy, so you communicate this. Your date understands and is willing to work with you. She states that she will only smoke outdoors and will freshen up before re-uniting with you. If that works for you, then the relationship can move ahead.
Have a good look at your past relationships over the last 30 years and list all the best things about them. Put the qualities and traits that are essential to you on your requirements list. Next, look at those qualities of past relationships that you really didn't like at all, or that you found negative. Then, I suggest that you turn these negative qualities into a positive spin and create additional requirements. For example, "can't be addicted" should be turned into "addiction free".
Now you have a complete list of requirements or deal-breakers. It is essential that when you are in a long-term committed dating relationship, once you ascertain that a woman does not have one of the items on your requirement list, you must stop dating her. A happy and successful relationship with that person is doomed when one of your must-haves is missing.
Examine your "wants" - important but not deal breakers. Create a second list called "Wants". Having your requirements and wants lists will help you to clearly see which women you date are real potentials for long-term committed dating. Don't forget - never compromise on a requirement, but wants can be more flexible.
3. Sexual Desires - Are You Being Clear ?
You may not have had sex for a while. This may make you anxious about beginning a physical relationship. If you're over 50, it's important to realize that things may not be the same as when you were 20. Syphilis and gonorrhea have been joined by 18 to 23 other sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STI/STD's) and the number of people infected and are carriers has dramatically increased over the last three decades.
You need to be prepared to protect yourself in modern day dating. Some partners may want you to get a blood test to have proof that you are not infected, and you may expect the same of your new sexual partners. Concerns about rejection and sexual performance are common, so be easy on yourself. Firstly, don't rush into a sexual relationship, as this long-term committed dating allows you plenty of time to get comfortable with your new date. There's no rush. It is best to make sure you are with the right woman before getting involved sexually.
But be careful! Good sex, especially after a long dry spell, will make you think you're with the right woman... even if you aren't! Make sure you talk about what role sex plays in a relationship with your potential partner, to make sure they share similar views. Balance your heart with your mind. Know what you are looking for in addition to great sex, and don't settle unless you have both.