“Somewhat Shy”

I am in my 60′s and would really like to start dating again. I have been single/divorced for many years.I am confident professionally, but somewhat shy socially.  I don’t even know how to flirt to get started.What are your thoughts on online dating services to find a mate?

Dear “Somewhat Shy”:

This is Len. I never thought I would say this, but on-line dating services have apparently become the “real deal.” I am discovering that more and more friends, acquaintances, and colleagues have met their partners, spouses, and soul mates that way. Although I have never used a dating service personally and can’t speak from experience, I would hazard to guess that you are just as likely to have a successful encounter via an on-line service as you would by meeting someone in the more traditional ways. Remember to do your homework and take the time to find an on-line service that seems to be tuned in to the kinds of defining qualities of a person that are meaningful to you. Whatever service you end up using, I strongly encourage that you be cautious in the beginning, not revealing too much about yourself right off the bat and meeting for the first time on neutral ground. You also probably want to avoid discussing controversial issues such as politics or religion on your first date. And finally, don’t rule out meeting the love of your life through other means. For example, a good way to meet people with interests that are similar to yours could be by volunteering for a good cause in the community and discovering who else has chosen to do the same. Oh, and by the way, don’t pretend or try to be someone you are not. Being a little bit shy is not a bad thing if that is who you are – it can result in you coming across as rather mysterious and a challenge for someone meeting you for the first time. Good luck!

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Len Kaye

About Len Kaye

Dr. Lenard W. Kaye is Professor of Social Work at the University of Maine School of Social Work and Director of the UMaine Center on Aging.