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Open to Love: The Secrets of Senior Dating | Illustration by John Klossner

A cartoon of a person smiling  Description automatically generatedGloria

Ok, ladies.  Like the women in the cartoon, we all naturally dream about the “perfect partner” – the one who has it all.  When you’re a teenager, partner preferences can be more superficial. For example, my granddaughter requires that all her dates be over 6 feet tall, while my grandson is looking for someone with the perfect body.  It’s fun to dream, but let’s get real… The best indicator of what will work for you in the future is what has worked for you in the past.

I recently had drinks with a couple of women after playing golf and shared Frank and my online dating story.  With a big smile on her face, Mary, a cheerful lady in her mid-60s, said, “Bet you haven’t got any stories of people who killed themselves.  My husband took his life 30 years ago, and I am still angry at him.  I don’t want to go through that again!”  I said, “Wow! You haven’t dated for 30 years!”  She admitted that she had tried online dating once, but it hadn’t worked out.  Her friend Fran also said that her husband had been an alcoholic, and thus, she vowed to stay away from dating, adding “Never again!”  It was obvious to me that both Mary and Fran were still traumatized by their husbands’ deaths and their history of depression and substance abuse.  

I gave both Mary and Fran my condolences, but then suggested that the stories they shared could help them turn a corner in finding the ideal partner.  Instead of avoiding all relationships in fear of getting hurt, they should use this information when creating an online dating profile.  For example, Fran’s profile might say that she is looking for an ideal partner who is a moderate drinker, while Mary’s profile might stress that she is looking for a stable partner with an upbeat personality. Both were quite intrigued with the idea that they could use their history in a positive and productive way.

A black and white drawing of a person  Description automatically generatedFrank

Hey, men!  How many of you have sat around and reminisced with an old friend about relationships you have had in the past?  Try doing this, but in a more clinical way.  With a friend, talk about your past relationships and about the qualities of the partner that you really enjoyed.  Ask your friend to take notes about what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past.  It’s fun to reminisce, and it has tremendous value when developing your next relationship.  Look at the list and circle the things that come up frequently.  Now, you can use this list to develop an online dating profile.  

Gloria and I feel so strongly about developing a self-awareness in order to create a positive future that the entire first chapter of our book Open to Love: The Secrets of Senior Dating is devoted this, as well as how to create an online dating profile spotlighting who you are today and what you desire in a lifetime partner.  Each new person you meet will be an exercise in learning more about yourself.  

Below is a simple activity to help you create or re-shape your online dating profile. Try it now and increase the chance of finding an ideal partner!  It’s fun and interesting!  Get creative! 

Past Relationship Exercise

Make two lists:

    More information and tips on dating apps and finding the next love of your life can be found in our book, Open to Love: The Secrets of Senior Dating, which is now available on Amazon.

    Until next time,

    Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Frank Powers

    “The Golden Dating Doctors”

    About the Authors: Two years ago, Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Frank Powers, both nationally recognized relationship therapists, met on SilverSingles and co-authored a new book, Open to Love: The Secrets of Senior Dating, which features their SilverSingles love story as well as tips and tricks on how those ages 60+ can not only survive but thrive in the world of dating. For more information, log onto

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