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Why is it so hard to get back to dating again?

Most folks looking to date AGAIN are doing so because they have divorced or have become widowed. While as young adults, dating was an ongoing process looking for the right one, now it has become a search for another right one from an entirely different pool of candidates. Back then most of us dated a variety of potential mates until we made our choice. After that commitment, not much was thought about the possibility that we would have to repeat the process. After all, wasn’t it until death do us part? Oh, yes, for some it was death that took us apart. In either case, you now find yourself alone, and perhaps even lonely (big difference). You want to venture out and connect with someone on a higher level. Yes, you want to have sexual relations with someone new after 10, 20, 30 and even more years of being with the same person. You may not even want the sexual relations, but the possibility that your new mate just might want to indulge puts you in a state of confusion, anxiety, and basic fear of engagement (not the type that comes with a ring).

There are a few simple steps to dating AGAIN and moving forward.

Step 1 – Meeting Someone

Even meeting someone new can evoke a level of anxiety in those who were never the life of the party. The wallflower may actually remain alone for fear of socializing. This is not good and you really want to work on first getting out and talking with strangers you meet at various venues like the supermarket, museums, coffee shops and of course, online dating services. If your level of anxiety is overwhelming and keeping you as a shut-in, consider getting some professional help with a therapist. Who knows? You might even meet a nice shy mate in the waiting room (go to someone who has a busy practice).

When you analyze the reality of dating anew, the small talk, the meeting over coffee, the phone conversations and even the first date are nothing compared to eventually hopping into bed. This has got to be a stunning step forward into the unknown and actually the known. Yes, you know what’s coming (oops, that word).

Step 2 Getting Naked

At this stage in life, getting naked in front of others is not just a natural thing, nor a matter of modesty. The fear of getting naked can actually be paralyzing for some. If under your clothing a Hut lays waiting (what’s a Hut – like in Jobba the Hut), you may never want to become involved in a relationship that requires sex. For this you should be upfront and let your date know early-on that you are not looking for a sexual relationship. There are others with the same feelings and you can find them if you let them know that you are looking for a friendship with or without the possibility leading to nakedness.

If you haven't taken care of yourself (eat right and exercise) this may put you at a disadvantage. You may have feelings of embarrassment that actually keep you from seeking a new mate. If you can get past this, you will realize there are others out there who will appreciate your body no matter what the shape. If you still have issues about how you look, you may work toward correcting the situation by diet and exercise. Besides finding a new mate, you will be doing something important for your health.

Step 3 The Nasty – this is an urban word meaning “sex” taught to me by World Heavy Weight Champ, Joe Frasier

The sexual encounter, especially the first one, has got to rank right up there with things that can make you throw up. If you are, or were, a “player” you may actually enjoy the hunt and the kill. If however, you are like most 40, 50 60 or even 70 year old daters, this is not a fun experience. You have the fear of: do you really want to go all the way? Just like when you were a teen, that remains an important question.

For the ladies, you don’t want to come off as a slut and for the guys, oh, wait, there is a double standard. You don’t want to come off looking like a gigolo. It is important to pace the relationship. The older the generation you come from, the more you want to give the relationship a few dates before becoming intimate. Even if you were from the free love generation, being too promiscuous looks, well, too promiscuous. You have nothing to lose by waiting a few (three to five dates if you really like this person) before engaging in the nasty. Waiting much longer than that or sleeping too early sends the wrong message and if you really like this person, you don’t want to scare them off.

Step 4 Managing Anxiety

Beyond the fear of meeting, being naked and finally engaging in sexual behaviors, there is always the performance anxiety issue. This affects both men and women, though men are more at risk because they are required to come to the bedroom with an erection. If he can’t bring one along, that’s a problem, unless he is dating a severely farsighted lady who might mistake a cucumber for his body part.

Both men and women worry about how good they are in bed when engaging in sexual relations with a new partner. “How will I compare to their other mate?” “How do I compare to their life experiences in bed?”

You certainly want to come off well and the comparison has much to do with who they were with before and how good you can perform under duress. Most people should understand that the first encounter, sexually speaking, may not go well and that is not uncommon. An understanding person will not have an issue with that first time unless they are uncaring.

So now you met, got naked and had sex. The next anxiety is all about “will they call back.” And that is another story to be explored next time.

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