In the beginning, online dating can seem like an overwhelming process. Once you have your profile up on the dating site, you’ll need to figure out who you want to date, and who you don’t. That sounds easy enough. Back in the day, if the guy was cute, had a good job and drove a nice car, the answer was yes. Now, I’m looking for a bit more substance.  I guess at the age of 81, I’m finally growing up!  These days I’m looking for someone who has similar interests and a compatible lifestyle. So, how do you figure out what you’re looking for? I strongly suggest creating a list of qualities and interests that are important to you. That may sound like a very calculated way to begin dating, but trust me; it’s a very useful tool.  Creating a concrete roadmap of what you are looking for is a way to prevent you from getting sidetracked by looks, money or superficial charm. It’s quite easy to fall for the wrong men when we don’t have a clear idea of what we are genuinely looking for.

So, how do you decide who to let into your life? I’m a romantic, so for me, it’s quite easy to get carried away in a romantic haze when there is immediate chemistry. Fortunately, I also have a practical side and have learned to heed the warning signs of a Mr. Wrong even if he’s dashingly handsome and devastatingly charming.  Although chemistry and physical attraction are both very important elements in deciding who to date, other factors are just as important.  Do you have common interests, compatible personality traits and a similar outlook on life?

Here’s an example of a mismatch. He climbs mountains, loves to camp, hikes, bikes, loves football and is an avid outdoor guy, while I do not like sports or the outdoors and do what I can to avoid spending time in the sun.  I prefer museums, the theatre and lovely hotels. So, looking down the track, I would be hanging out in hotel cocktail lounges waiting for my man while he was off hiking up some mountain top. Everything else can click, but if there’s a major difference in interests or physical ability, it unfortunately makes him Mr. Wrong.

Next. He seems perfect. He brings candy and flowers on the first date. He is very attentive and interested in knowing everything there is to know about you. You are flooded with flattering emails and phone calls, that is until the first time you have other plans and cannot accept his invitation. Then he becomes irrationally upset and manipulative. He tries to convince you to change your plans. He acts jealous and possessive. He wants all of your attention and he wants it now. Anyone who seems to be moving things along very quickly is a massive red flag! You will know when it happens. Something just feels “off.” At this point, don’t try to investigate this person’s motives, just cease all communication immediately. Do it politely, and move on. The man is either a player, a con artist or a sociopath. This type of encounter can be very flattering at first. However be aware that mature relationships do not move at supersonic speed like they do in the movies. If someone is fast tracking your relationship, they have an agenda. These men are usually extremely handsome and incredibly charming. They seem to be successful, accomplished and are great storytellers. They are also Mr. Wrong.

Next. You have had numerous fun dates. On paper he seems like the ideal guy, but he never asks anything about you and doesn’t share anything real about himself either. This guy isn’t looking for anything serious. He’s probably dating multiple women and is just having a bit of fun. If you’re in the same headspace and simply looking for an occasional fun night out or a “a friend with benefits” then this is Mr. Fine For Now. If not. Move on.

Next. He has many good qualities and there is chemistry there, but you hate the way he dresses and his table manners are terrible. You have nothing in common with his friends and you hesitate to introduce him to your friends, yet you really enjoy being with him. Unfortunately, this is also a red flag. If a man doesn’t fit in with your family and friends, then he can be a casual date, but it will never evolve into a serious relationship. There’s nothing wrong with dating someone casually for companionship while still looking for Mr. Right. However, don’t date Mr. Wrong exclusively hoping that you can mold him into Mr. Right. You can’t, and you shouldn’t try. Mr. Right is out there waiting for you, so keep on dating other people as well.

So, now you get the idea, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and recognize that dating is a process. You are going to meet a lot of different men and a lot of them are going to be Mr. Wrong, so learn to spot them quickly. If you relax and enjoy meeting new people, the chances are very good that you will find you’re Mr. Right. However, you need to be willing to go through the process of meeting quite a few Mr. Wrongs. Dating is an adventure, not a chore. Human beings are fascinating. We all have a story to tell….and bad dates make the best stories!

~ Dorrie

Senior Style Bible