But a common mistake is to be so overwhelming that the other person never gets to say anything about him or herself.
If not, pay attention to those areas you need to work on. "I'm totally over my previous relationship." In order to be really available, you must be absolutely ready to move past your previous love and devote yourself to another person.
That doesn't mean you don't honor your 40-year marriage that ended with the death of your spouse, but it does mean that you won't be constantly comparing new women to your late wife or new men to the husband who left you for his secretary.
Seek out a clothing consultant or personal shopper — someone who can advise you on a flattering look and help you pick out items to achieve it. Everyone’s circle of close friends is necessarily limited, however, so mention your quest even to those you don’t know well.
(Some higher-end department stores offer this service free of charge.) Or ask a close friend to be brutally honest about what your ideal makeover would include. Research shows that many opportunities come through our “weak ties,” or people we know largely in passing: hairdresser, chiropractor, a neighbor’s visiting sister—even your seatmate on a flight! Most well-known dating sites have a large contingent of “seekers” in their 50s, 60s and 70s (and some in their 80s and even 90s), and several reputable sites are now completely free.
I reassure them by saying that taking that first step is the hardest part.
If you've been out of the dating pool for a long time, starting up again can be frightening.
But the pointers I offer below can help ease your pre-game jitters. And if your feelings of guilt persist, see a counselor; you’ll want to resolve these thoughts before attempting to date again. As you think about how to present your authentic self, be selective about which of those attributes you share right away and which are best kept private until you get to know a new person better. Take some time to think about the type of new bond you’d like to establish.
In particular, avoid over-reminiscing about your old life; it may make your new acquaintance feel excluded. You may long to clone your lost love, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever meet an exact replica of the one you were with. After all, the person you met at age 25 changed over a lifetime, and so did you.
Ask questions; help them be comfortable with you, and then reciprocate.