Why 50 First Dates?

Why 50 First Dates?

Why would anyone go on fifty first dates if they didn’t have to?  Don’t you just date one person at a time until you find the right one, hopefully way before fifty first dates?

Avoiding the three dating pitfalls

At age 57, I was looking for a committed partner and I wanted to avoid three common dating pitfalls that deter midlife women from finding Mr. or Ms. Right—1) settling for Mr. or Ms. OK, 2) getting hurt and dropping out of dating, and 3) not dating unless someone matches our list exactly. (See previous post for more details).

Dating as a research project

In order to avoid these pitfalls, I approached dating as a research project—exploring the type of man* I might like.  In order to expand my “type,” I chose men to date who represented different types of men, in personality, professions, and lifestyle. I had to like them enough to spend one date with them, but they didn’t have to be potential partners. I didn’t start with a vision of a perfect partner – I wanted that to emerge.

Setting a goal of 50 first dates

I set a goal of going out on 50 first dates. I could go on second, third, or more dates with a man as long as I was learning about what I wanted in a partner and/or if they had potential as a partner. And I had to keep the project moving—even if I was lingering with one person, I had to keep going out on other first dates.

What dating was like with a goal of 50 first dates

  • I moved on easily! Any one date didn’t have much weight.  If we didn’t want to keep seeing each other, I just went on to the next date. If I was rejected, it wasn’t so bad.
  • I had fun! The momentum towards the goal infused dating with optimism, forward movement and a positive future vision. I could enjoy each date because I was moving towards my future partner.
  1. I was curious! Having this momentum allowed me to have a more inquisitive attitude toward each date. What was I attracted to? Did his energy match mine? Did I like myself with him? Did he help clarify my vision of a partner and a committed relationship?
  • I was nicer to the men! I could appreciate the positive aspects of each man but move on without judgment if he didn’t match my vision.
  • I did not settle!  While I lingered with some men who I thought could be my partner, when I realized that they weren’t, I had my enjoyable search to return to.
  • And, ta da! I found my partner!  He appeared later in the project, and I would not have recognized him as “the one” if I had not been through all the other dates.

Could setting a goal work for you?  Share in the comments!

What other research techniques did I use in this dating project?  And how did I find 50 men? See my next posts! 

Goals of this blog

I want to inspire women, especially midlife and older women, to enjoy dating and find the right partner for them. I want to model being sexual in our 50s and beyond for those who want that. I want to share my stories and insights in hopes of encouraging all women to be brave, in dating, or in any part of their life.  Thanks for joining me on this journey!

*I was looking for a male partner at the time, but this method could be used for searching for a partner of any gender.

Published by Carolyn Lee Arnold

I'm the author of Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir, about my dating adventures to find my perfect partner in my late fifties. I found him, and we've been happily together for over 10 years. These blog posts explore what I learned while dating and from writing my book. For more about the book, including dating resources, other writings, and fun interviews with me, check out my website at the top of this page.

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