If you’re an over-fifty woman, you were probably raised to believe that being shy and retiring is the “ladylike” manner of presenting yourself. You were told it was “proper” to remain quiet, smile a lot and be agreeable, regardless of your inner feelings. It was not acceptable to be seen in public alone or to go to public functions unescorted. Moreover, there was an uncrossable line drawn between male and female behavior; male-oriented activities and acting like a boy were frowned upon by both adults and peers.
Happily, morals and mores have changed considerably since we were youngsters, and the differences between the sexes are not so clearly drawn. Still, although the younger generations are comfortable with today’s greater degree of androgyny, many of us over-50′s are still unsure of proper procedure when it comes to dating.
Is it okay for a woman to make first contact, or should she wait for a man to reach out to her first? Well, thirty years ago, the answer was clear: except on specially designated occasions (Leap Year Day, Sadie Hawkins Day) a lady never approached a gentleman. If she did, she was considered “fast” or, at the very least, “forward” and if she valued her reputation would never consider doing such a thing.
How lucky for us that those days are gone forever! Although many women may still feel a bit uneasy about making the first move in person, on-line dating makes it both proper and simple for them to be the first to open a conversation. Sites like this give you all the tools you need to introduce yourself to a likely partner, with as much or as little exposition as you like. You can start with a quick message or, if a person who catches your interest happens to be logged on, you can start a real-time conversation.
There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when you’re approaching someone for the first time. First of all, don’t come on too strong. Tell him what there is about him that attracted you, but don’t be coy or fawning about it. Don’t weigh the conversation down with a litany of your problems or your life history. Keep it light, but keep it honest. Above all, be yourself, but don’t give the store away. In other words, tell him the truth, but offer just enough to keep him curious to learn more about the real you.