Midlife Dating Podcast

Episode 3 - Your Dating Plan

October 23, 2021 Paul Nelson Episode 3
Midlife Dating Podcast
Episode 3 - Your Dating Plan
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

One of the things many daters need to embrace is the Abundance Mindset, the reality that there are plenty of really great guys and gals to go around. If you're struggling with dating, remember that the number of available men and women is not static. Like real estate, where there is a constant change in the lineup of homes for sale and coming off the market, the number of available dateable people also shifts.  

To better explore how people communicate love to each other, Paul herein reviews the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The dating question in this episode focuses on a potential retirement community romance.

Good daters need a plan. Here, Paul explains how Boomers and Gen Xers who are dating without a plan are wasting their time and effort. Paul lays out his own plan and explains why it saves time. He takes a closer look at the second part of the 3-1-1 Rule outlined in Episode 1: getting to the phone call as quickly as possible. Finally, he shares the message that gets him ghosted 50% of the time in online dating and discusses why both guys and gals should be using it.

50 Dates at 50 Website:  https://50datesat50.com/

The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.

Episode 003 - Your Dating Plan 


Paul Nelson: Hello 50 Daters, and welcome to episode three. Today I will highlight and review the message I send to each and every woman I interact with on the dating platform messaging system. The message is a real test and it gets me ghosted 50% of the time. It goes back to the second part of The 3-1-1 Rule we discussed in episode one.

I want to clarify the importance of using this message and to help you understand why getting ghosted after you send it is actually a good thing. So, you'll want to stay tuned.

Coming up, we have this episode's glossary term, our book review on The Five Love Languages, and a rundown on formulating your dating plan.

Remember: good daters have a plan. I'll go over my personal plan as an example to help get your stuff. Having a strategy in place for dating is extremely important because, in our age group, time is a precious commodity. We need to cast a wide net in our search and use our time as efficiently as possible, and I'll explain how to do that.

Glossary Term

Paul Nelson: Today's glossary term is The Abundance Mindset. This is an attitude where one honestly believes that there is more than enough to go around. In dating, this means believing there are plenty of available high-quality men and women who have good relationship potential. When you have this mindset, it allows you to be yourself on dates and more easily close out past relationships, opening you up to new relationship possibilities. This is also known as the abundance mentality. 50 Daters, seek to gain this mindset.

The 5 Love Languages Book Review

Paul Nelson: Our book review for this episode is The Five Love Languages, published in 1992 by Dr. Gary Chapman. Dr. Chapman drew upon 35 years of pastoring and marriage counseling experience in the creation of this book, which has sold over 11 million copies. In it, Dr. Chapman explains that there are five distinct ways each one of us feels and expresses love.

So, let me go through the five here. Love language number one: words of affirmation. These are words of appreciation, like compliments. They express encouragement, support, kindness, and humility. Choosing to use words of affirmation in a relationship can be very powerful. 

Love language number two: quality time. This is about spending time giving each other undivided attention. It takes the form of focused attention, in a conversation, or an activity. It's also important to make an effort to learn how to have an appropriately quality conversation. 

Love language number three: receiving gifts. Gifts are visual reminders or symbols of love and they take many forms. They can be purchased, made, or they can be found. A gift can also be physical presence in the time of crisis.

Love language number four, and that's acts of service. This entails doing things for each other. This consists of simple things like washing dishes, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, or making breakfast.

Love language number five: physical touch. Examples of this would be holding hands, hugging, a foot massage, giving back rubs, or giving gifts that have kinesthetic value, like high thread count sheets or a particular type of clothing. 

Once a couple learns what each other's primary love language is, a deep and meaningful relationship becomes possible. Dr. Chapman draws upon many examples in his practice where he has healed and brought back many marriages that were almost past the point of no return.

The book emphasizes that love is a choice. Both individuals in a relationship have to choose to love one another and to work with each other's love languages. Chapman also points out that these languages pinpoint our vulnerabilities and how, if abused, not recognized, or ignored, they can also hurt us.

Additionally, he extensively discusses the honeymoon period of a relationship. The "in-love" phase wears off after about two years for a couple, and then they move on to the “emotional need” phase. 

The book contains many exercises for a couple to discover what each other's love language is. This includes ways to address those languages once they're learned. 

What is the 50 Dates at 50 take? Personally speaking, this book was a real eye-opener to me. I read this a couple of years after I was divorced, and I can say had I been privy to the knowledge in this book, I would have approached things so much differently in my marriage. I was so impressed with the material in this book that I purchased many copies and give them away as gifts.

This is a must-read for any man or woman who is in a relationship or eventually looking for one. Not only will this book radically upgrade any romantic relationship, it will work wonders in relationships with family members, friends, coworkers, and other acquaintances. This book gives you the tools to not only connect, but also connect at a very high level. Be aware though, the trick is finding that special one who is also willing to put in the effort.

Retirement Community Romance Question

Paul Nelson: For the dating question for this episode, we have what I'll call a retirement community romance. Question: I recently moved into a retirement community and have fallen hard for my neighbor. We have been involved with each other for about three months, nothing intimate. We spend time together and there has always been this give and take between us.

Sometimes she'll really show me a lot of affection, and other times we just ignore each other for days at a time. I can tell she's really holding back her feelings for me, and I don't know what to do. I'm consumed by how strongly I feel for her. What is the best way to tell her how I feel about her? Adam, 57, from Los Angeles.

Answer: Adam, I recommend you do nothing. And, you're getting mixed signals and there's nothing you can do to magically win her over. Attempting to do so would be a waste of your valuable time because of three big problems. 

First is that you’re neighbors. Attempting to date her would be the same as trying to date a coworker. Dating is a process of finding out if you're compatible with someone, and most of the time, it doesn't work out. When that happens, you still have to see her on a daily basis and things will get very awkward. With the availability today of online dating, meetup groups, and speed dating, it makes much more sense to date away from where you live.

The second problem is that you're convinced she's really holding her feelings back for you. This is nothing more than you projecting your male ego onto her, and it will only lead to trouble. Men have a tendency to read mixed signals as a woman demonstrating a reasonable degree of attraction for them, and that's not reality. If she were really interested, she'd be making herself available to you and not ignoring you for days at a time. 

The third problem is your desire to profess your feelings for her. The act of professing only works in the movies and you're going to come off as creepy. Don't do it, Adam. Nothing good will come from it. I recommend you check out the definition of professing in the dating glossary at the 50 Dates at50 website. 

It's better for you to move on, and keep it to being a nice, polite neighbor whenever you see her. I highly recommend you take up online dating and get involved in some meetup groups and go from there.

Now I know it's tough to do in a COVID 19 world, but there are plenty of women in our age group who are more than happy to meet outdoors for coffee in a socially distant fashion.

Potpourri Segment - Your Dating Plan

Paul Nelson: In our Potpourri segment for today, we're going to talk about your dating plan. Now, earlier in episode two, we worked on discovering what we're looking for in a partner. We reviewed a chapter from Dr. Robert Glover's Dating Essentials for Men and Vince Guaglione's Why Are You Still Single?

In those chapters, this helped us to write down our five deal makers and deal breakers in what we're looking for in a partner. 50 Daters, it's imperative that you write down what you're looking for.

Now earlier in episode two, I took the lead and told you what mine were as an example. If you have not done this yet - written down your five deal-makers and deal-breakers - I highly recommend you review the Potpourri segment in episode two. 

In this episode, we're going to take a closer look at putting together your dating plan and take a hard look at reality for 50 Daters. Let me draw upon a section from Rachel Greenwald's Find A Husband After 35 Using What I Learned in Harvard Business School, and she talks about casting a wider net. 50 Daters, as you get more into online dating, it takes time, but you're going to have to learn to cast a wider net or to open the age range, or the height of people that you're looking for. 

So one of the phases that Rachel talks about is accepting reality. Later in life, you accept a real person who comes with more history simply because he or she has a longer past, he or she has more failures and problems. They also have a complex web of long-term relationships, which you must fit into. Many ideal men and women will be a lot further from your ideal picture of the man or woman you dreamed about in your twenties. The silver lining is gen Xers and boomers, we're more seasoned and we're more mature. 

She talks about phase number two, and that's forgetting your type. Most men and women have a list of criteria that consists of five to 15 items, and we gotta be flexible when it comes to this. And to show you my flexibility and to give you an example, I'm going to tell you what I'm looking for in a woman. First has to do with height. I'm looking for a woman that's between 5’3” and 5’11” tall.

But Paul, why are you looking for somebody in this height range? Well, that's easy. I take dance lessons and in order for me to dance properly with a woman, they need to be around 5’7”. I'm six feet tall, personally. I've dated women that are five feet tall and dancing with them in ballroom or similar, more formal types of dances can be very difficult.

The age range that I'm looking at is between 48 and 61 years old. This is a 13-year range. When I initially started dating back in 2014, my age range was two years either side of my current reign. So, for example, at 52, I would be looking at 50 to 54. After reading Rachel's book and going through online dating for a while, I've learned to open things up, hence the 13-year range.

Profession. She must be employed or retired, must have some type of passion that she seeks or is pursuing. 

Positive attitude. Negativity is unacceptable. I'm allergic to the negativity. 

Beliefs: She needs to have some type of belief system that she lives her life by. 

Behaviors: Must be kind and responsible with money.

Next is they need to physically take care of themselves and be in reasonable shape, as I am. I've taken care of myself and all I'm looking for is a woman that puts in equal effort. Nothing more. 

Now here's my dating process and plan initially, based upon the must-haves, must-nots, or deal breakers or deal makers that we talked about in the prior episode. Now I'm going to be going over a lot of items here, so some of this stuff is going to come at you pretty fast. Absorb what you can, but remember there'll be a transcript at the website. 

Now I'm being very general here because many of the items in the plan deserve a more detailed look, which we will do so in further episodes. Remember now, dating is a very nuanced activity and you can't learn all this in a few hours or execute within a few dates. The learning here at 50 Dates at 50, never stops. 

I'm seeking a Really Great Woman for a long-term relationship. What I also do is I open myself up to GWs or Good Women to see if they have RGW potential. I could easily set up dates all day long with RWs and RWWs. That would be Wrong Women and Really Wrong Women. I could easily have a date every day of the week with those types, having a lot of fun, but the hell it would create is simply not worth it. Remember 50 Daters, we only need one Really Good Woman or Man.

My ideal couple is Gomez and Morticia Addams, and I like them because of the Us Bubble they have. Many of us remember the original black and white series of the Addams Family from 1964 to ‘66. You'll notice that whenever Gomez and Morticia interact with each other, they can be with the family, but there's also a bubble that they have that is unique to them. And this is one of the things I seek in my Really Great Woman for a long-term relationship. 

I'm also dating with purpose, and I know what I'm looking for. I have it listed again on paper from episode two. I limit my profile search and my app messaging to about 15 to 20 minutes per day. If you don't, you're going to end up being on the dating apps and the websites all day long. And, there are usually plenty of potential choices because of my firm belief in The Abundance Mentality and my commitment to dating with purpose, good quality dating pictures, and a well-written dating profile.

Next, we need to pick a dating platform. The dating platforms I currently use are match.com, which is currently in hibernation. I use Bumble, currently in use. I use Tinder, currently in use. Coffee Meets Bagel… That one is in hibernation right at this time. And also Hinge, which is the newest app and probably one of my most favorites right now.

So why do I use so many apps? Not all women are in all apps, and in my opinion, I've learned that it's generally best to stick with three active platforms. When things on one app begin to slow down, you can put it in hibernation and then turn on a different one. 

So, as I was explaining a little earlier, I have a list of five and only three are active right now. I respect the time of others on the apps and I use Right Swipe Discipline. I make it a practice to not have too many irons in the fire. I also practice 3-1-1 to minimize time on the apps, and on the phone, and focus on getting things to a meet up.

While the many choices on the dating apps may look good, the majority of the men or women that you meet will have significant flaws and are not compatible, and I can usually weed them out on the phone call or by the first date. 

Usually, the call is the deciding factor. Weeding them out on phone calls can easily mean that I talked to them and set up the date, and they ended up declining or ghosting and thereby eliminating themselves. 

I want to give them the benefit of the doubt under most circumstances and I set up the date. If they decline, they were most likely never serious to begin with about meeting up, or they may have too many irons in the fire, or are using the app for entertainment purposes. Most of the time they eliminate themselves. It usually has nothing to do with you personally, just understand that it demonstrates that the process is working. Ask yourself, do you really want to go out with someone that doesn't respect your time? This is what they are telegraphing. This reduces negative experiences and helps me remain positive. 

I am patient and I trust the process. Patience eliminates those that are seeking instant gratification, and even though I am patient, I make the effort to move things on at a steady and deliberate pace, because it's important not to lose momentum.

You need to trust the process. Daters that don't show up on dates, or cancel at the last second, or ghost you, is part of the weeding out process. It's frustrating and you'll become deeply disappointed and lose faith in many people at times, but you have to understand that the process is actually working for you when this happens. 

50 Daters, that's why we're here. We've got your back. 

Now, I also maintain my passion, focus, and commitment with my blog, my podcast, my music, playing in the band, my job, and other home projects. I set aside one or two evenings a week for meetups and dates. If those meetups and dates fall through, I fill that time with plan B material with the commitments that I just mentioned.

I want to remind 50 Daters; there's absolutely nothing wrong with seeing multiple people as long as you slow it down. You have to slow it way down. The key to this is staying off the phone and minimal text messaging. The less, the better. 

If you're on a dating app, what you are technically doing is, you're testing the waters, and you're not in a committed relationship, and it's okay. Getting to know someone does not mean full-fledged dates. You can do afternoon meetups for lunch. You can keep it light and casual, but proceed with purpose. 

I've learned to zig while the others zag. I focus more on afternoon meetups for coffee and tea. I used to focus on meeting for a drink because the drink helped, but I no longer need that. I'll still meet for a drink, but it depends upon the situation. 

Now, also in my plan are my dating standards and etiquette. I do my best to return messages within a few hours during normal hours, the next day by noon if the message came in late. When I set time aside for a phone call, I make sure I'm available for it, and I always make the call. Even though half the time the women have agreed to a specific time for the call, they end up not being available. 

I also act with class at all times, no matter how badly I might be sniped at or treated. 

Under most circumstances, the second date or the third date is my choice. If I do not plan to date them, I let them know I didn't feel chemistry. 

Additionally, I have no problem stacking meetup dates in one day. I prefer to avoid this because it's time-consuming, but sometimes you have to do the date stacking due to the feast and famine nature of online dating. 

Now I want to emphasize that dating is like putting your toe in to test the water. Testing the water is not the same as intimacy. It's not ethical to be intimate with more than one man or woman at a time. Testing the water equals meetup dates and initial dates. 

Now, I've also found that many of the women I've been meeting are also testing the waters. I have no problem with competition. 50 Daters should not have a problem with competition. It keeps me on my toes. I just don't want to know about it. 

On many, many occasions, I've had several women call and cancel a date because they'll only test the waters with one man at a time. That's their basic policy. They want to see how it goes with this guy, and I say, fine. It ends up not working out most of the time, and then they end up calling a week later and then they want to meet. I usually am no longer interested at that point.

50 Daters can easily compete and shine. All we need is the opportunity. This is why we are open to competition. We don't need the competition thrown in our face, however. Guys, if you want to see who your competition is, watch the movie Gloria Bell.

But Paul, but Paul, where do you find the time to have a text conversation and additional phone calls with all these women that you were meeting? This could take hours throughout the day. This is true. Again, this is why you need to slow it down. 

I had a coworker a few years ago, working with three dating profiles, who spent hours and hours messaging the women in these profiles. The secret on how to handle this was explained by a dating coach mentor of mine, Doc Love, who is unfortunately no longer with us. Doc explains that the phone is for setting up the date, and text messaging is used for logistics, not for carrying out a conversation. My coworker was texting several different women per day, sending them lengthy messages through the dating app interface and on the phone with them for hours at a time. It ended up filling all of his spare time when he was not playing golf. 

So here's what I do. I stay off the phone and I minimize text messaging. I save the time that I would've been on the phone for the face-to-face meetup. If things progress towards a dating relationship, and it eventually gets down to just one person you're seeing, and you're no longer testing the waters, here is where you can spend more time on the phone, and with the occasional flirty text message. 

Unfortunately, most men in our age group have embraced the millennial mindset and purchased a program like Text Your Ex Back. They utilize what they learn in that to attempt to romance women through endless text messages. The problem here is eventually, by sending all these messages, one of them's going to get misinterpreted or misunderstood, and this is going to end up nuking the entire process that you've been working towards in the dating relationship. 

Next is, I embrace rejection. Rejection is my friend. The faster I get to rejection, the better. The faster I get to rejection, the less time I spend pursuing someone that's not interested. 

Remember, 90 to 95% of the men and women that you meet in these online dating apps, they're not going to be compatible. This is why when you look at that number, 90 to 95% of them not being compatible, this is why you need to be open to meeting more than one person at a time. It also makes me laugh because I've run into several gals out there that find a keeper after meeting just five or six people, then you find them back online again a few weeks later. So again, only one out of about every 10 meet updates has good potential. 

Now you've seen my plan and it's time to put your plan together. Between episode two, putting your list of deal-breakers and deal makers together, and combining it with a dating plan, you're now ready to cast a wider net, and experience some personal growth, and find who you're looking for. 

A word of warning, though, 50 Daters. Whenever you make changes and put a plan together, things usually don't go well at first as you grow through those changes. Things will seem like they're getting worse before they get better. That's because you're sorting out the time-wasters and eliminating them instead of squandering time trying to date them. 

Now, growing to be a better dater involves a learning curve, so I highly recommend that you watch the movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, to understand what personal growth looks like.

The Message that Gets Me Ghosted 50% of the Time

Paul Nelson: Okay! And now, for the message that gets me ghosted 50% of the time on the dating app message platforms. I brought this line up in episode one as part of the 3-1-1 Rule process. And here it is. “Are you comfortable moving our conversation to a phone call?” This is an essential request, and I want to spend a few moments on the specifics of why you need to move things to a phone conversation.

This message immediately eliminates most of the game players, those on the app for entertainment, and the fake profiles, or the cat fishers. Now from the gals’ side, your task, by about the third message interchange, to ask the question, “Hey, that's a good question. It will be a lot easier to answer by phone.” Or, you could say something like, “Let's move our conversation to the phone,” and see what the guy does.

Many guys and gals like to hide behind the app messaging interface or in text messages as they attempt to keep a conversation going for days and weeks. Cat fishers will try and keep a conversation going through text messaging and will never be available for the call. If they can't take the initiative to set up a call within 48 hours, delete or block them. 

Now let's remember that dating apps and websites are nothing more than tools to enable people to meet. They give us many more options than we had 20 or 30 years ago, so asking to move things to a phone conversation equals a 50% rejection rate.

I embrace rejection. The faster you get to it, the better. You will also need to learn to get to rejection as quickly as possible. I move things along to request a phone call within the first three message exchanges. Sometimes I do it within four, sometimes as early as the first, but it just takes practice and a feel for the right time to ask, if you're going to ask early.

Some people won't give out their phone number. That's okay. In that case, especially for gals, if you're not comfortable giving out your phone number, just use the app call interface or a video interface. Just make sure you've got a good internet connection when you do this. 

Now here's the elephant in the room that no one talks about in online dating. I run into many women who have not gone out on many dates through the dating apps. Why is very simple. Very few men follow through and ask for the meetup. They're too busy using it for entertainment. Guys and gals, I want you to embrace the 50% rejection rate and move from the dating app messaging conversation to the phone call as quickly as possible. Remember, this is all about getting to a meet up in person. 


Paul Nelson: Single guys, I want you to make the effort this week to ask for and schedule two phone calls. Take the lead and make it happen. Single gals, make the effort to steer guys that you're interested in to make a phone call to you. If he hasn't asked you within the first three message exchanges, or if you don't want to give out your phone number, point him to the dating app voice call option.

Remember guys and gals, I'm in the dating trenches with the rest of you singles. We'll get through this on our quest to find a Really Great Woman or a Really Great Man. Here at 50 Dates at 50, we've got your back.

Now, couples in a relationship that are listening to this, men, you need to take date night very seriously. Take the lead and pick out an activity and begin to consult the Date-A-Base at the website for date ideas. The Date-A-Base is where my ex's and dates that didn't work out go to give their boyfriends date ideas because those guys can't make it past dinner and a movie or Netflix and chill. 

So, let me end with this question. If you joined a Christian dating website and got into a conversation that stalled on the messaging interface, would that mean you were being Holy ghosted? Until next time.

Episode 003 Introduction
Glossary Term: – Abundance Mindset
Dating and Relationship Book Review: The 5 Love Languages
Dating Question: Retirement Community Romance
Potpourri Segment: Your Dating Plan
The Message that Gets Me Ghosted 50% of the Time and Why You Should Use It