Finding a husband at midlife is a challenge. Since people date for different reasons, if you want marriage, you must differentiate yourself, select men accordingly, and behave differently.

Some of the problems are that there are more women than men at this age, some men prefer to date younger women, and once they’ve left the college campus, there’s no central watering hole where we know we can find the men.

However, and this is the beginning of your new mind set, the percentage of men suitable for you is probably still the same, and remember – all it takes is one.

Men do like to date younger women, and also move too fast to heal a broken heart, grabbing the first women they can find after a breakup, but, hammered by the 60% failure rate of second marriages, they do learn. So don’t rule out the “two-time loser.”

Where do you find them? Anywhere and everywhere. Don’t concentrate of that, concentrate on knowing what you want and how to be receptive to it, on understanding men, and on the dating-for-marriage rules.

Here’s how to make it work for you:

THE TABLES HAVE TURNED

When you were in your 20s, you were sitting in the catbird seat. Men were plentiful and hormone-driven so all you had to do was show up and beat them off with a stick. Being constantly hit on, you probably took it for granted and may even have been a little bored or annoyed.

Remember how this felt and use the information, because that’s where men are now. Remember how you longed for a James Bond-type to saunter in and make a sport of it – someone who was sophisticated, self-assured, and in no hurry? Now it’s YOUR turn to affect this attitude. Act as if there was an attractive men on every corner, and you had all the time in the world. And if he gives you a sorry line, reply the way Wallis Simpson allegedly did to the heir to the British throne, resulting in her marriage – 'Every American girl hears that. I would've expected more from the Duke of Windsor." (You compliment him while making a point.)

Nothing that comes easy is valued and midlife men are spoiled. Spoiled children who get everything they want are bored, don’t respect themselves because they can’t respect others, and devalue whatever they’re given, even as they clamor to receive it. Being told “no” raises the communal self-esteem, and automatically ups the value of the desired object. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION HAS CHANGED THINGS

Not unless you agree to it, and smart women don’t. Like your mom used to say, “If Mary Lou sat on a hot stove, would you?” You aren’t like everyone else, so don’t act like it. To be treated special, you must act as if you expect it. You want this man to marry you, not gratify himself with your body, toy with your affections, waste your time, and break your heart. Granted your sexuality is peaking while his did 30 years ago, but you can wait. Life is about valuing. Gold is valuable because it’s scarce. Become valuable by making yourself “scarce.” Don’t invest time, energy and affection until he’s proven worth it. Stick with blue chip stock and leave the junk bonds to Mary Lou.

TAKE A TIP FROM THE ADVERTISING INDUSTRY.

It’s a constant challenge to make yet another athletic shoe appear strikingly different from all the others on the market, but it can be done, and this is how you want to present yourself.

Study the competition. Find ways to stand out while keeping an air of mystery, allowing space for him to supply his own fantasies.

This doesn’t mean abandoning the core you, it just means that until he’s proven worthy, you “present.” This requires refinement and timing. Entice. Suggest. Hint at. Beckon. Prolong. Tantalize. In other words, FLIRT. This doesn’t refer to meanness, or sexual teasing, but rather to subtlety. Too much too soon makes everyone jaded, and this applies to sex, emotional intensity, self-disclosure, wants and needs. The sheer amount of information and “baggage” we’ve accumulated by midlife – good or bad – would overwhelm anyone in one sitting, so pace yourself.

MIDDLE-AGED MEN ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN SEX / ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN COMPANIONSHIP.

These generalities always apply to some, but not all. Just learn to read the signs and weed them out early. Men who won’t commit to the full deal meal:

1. come on too strong too soon (and disappear just as fast)
2. won’t let you get to know them
3. use your body parts but aren’t good kissers
4. are overly romantic, throwing money at you
5. ogle other women or talk about them in your presence
6. are obsessed with their ex(s)
7. propose in the 3rd email
8. freeze when they start to care
9. are impatient, demanding, petulant, defensive and skittish at the slightest suggestion of what they consider “pressure”
10. seem “too good to be true”

They will also often some right out and say it. While men will make promises they won’t keep, when a man says “I don’t ever want to be married again,” or “I could never be faithful to one woman,” believe it. If you get used, it’s because you didn’t listen.

YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO CONDUCT YOURSELF. IT’S BEEN YEARS.

Well, smart girl, you’ve mastered many things in your life, and have resilience and EQ skills to apply. You’ll start out stumbling, like a toddler, and then one day you’ll be running. Hasn’t it always been like that? Get busy learning. In my ebook, “Midlife Dating Survival Manual for Women,” I give an extensive list of resources you can start with, with helpful tips and how-tos. Read, look around at what others are doing, talk about it with your friends, and consider hiring a coach. Have your experiences, process them and learn from them. You can’t just read and talk about dating, you have to do it. Feedback and encouragement from a coach can greatly shorten the learning curve, and save you some heart-ache.

MIDDLE-AGED MEN ARE TIRED. THEY DON’T PURSUE.

Love is the same at 60 as it is at 26. I’ve seen men who were despondent depressed find a woman they were attracted to and come to life, losing 30 lbs., getting their act together, and hopping on a plane to fly thousands of miles to get to her. One 60 year old man I talked to had run up a $900 cell phone bill in one month with his new love. Another went back into practice because that’s what his True Love wanted. When touched by the divine madness, they behave like hormonal 18 year olds. If you believe in nothing else, believe in love!

THEY DON’T REACT TO ‘COMPETITION’ LIKE THEY USED TO.

Yes they do. It’s true, he’s got to be attracted to you first, but after that, it’s the same dynamics. If you fall too fast – or rather if you SHOW that you have -- you don’t allow him to rev up his engine. Give him time and peak his interest by being a bit mysterious and not too easy to get to, having confidence and good social skills, being attractive physically, mentally and emotionally, showing that you appreciate men, and most of all by acting like a female, not a CEO, a mother, a school m’arm, or a therapist. And be seen with men. Men compete against other men, so date.

IT’S A GAME, SO PLAY!

When you’ve suffered a loss, or been hurt, you can forget that love is supposed to feel good and dating is supposed to be fun. Remember, to paraphrase a quote allegedly from Mark Twain – love like you’ve never been hurt and date like no one’s watching. He’s looking for you just as hard as you’re looking for him, and he’s also hoping you’ll make the courting a great experience for him, so don’t let him down!

Author's Bio: 

©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Coaching, Internet courses, and ebooks for your personal and professional success. I train and certify EQ coaches. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for information on this fast, affordable, comprehensive, no-residency program. Email for fr** EQ ezine.

Susan is the author of "Midlife Dating Survival Manual for Women," available at the best ebook library on the Internet - www.webstrategies.cc/ebooklibrary.html .