Dating over 35 is a very empowering place to be. You are embarking on a journey that you alone create based on everything you desire your new life to become. Very few women have this opportunity and are stuck in a life that isn't their own. Like with any life experience you've created it takes focus, effort, discipline and commitment. You'll need the willingness to be uncomfortable and the ability to alter your mindset to begin enjoying this journey and taking control of your circumstances.

To help rediscover the strength you've demonstrated over your life, make a list of all the things you've accomplished. Think back to your earliest memories and start from there. As you read over this list, remember the discomfort you felt as you embarked on each journey. If it was losing weight, remember the first day you went to the gym. If it's graduating from college, remember the application process, first day in class or moving to a new city. You began every accomplishment feeling overwhelmed and you did it anyway. Finding your life partner and creating a new life takes the same logic of working through steps to achieve your goal.

The excuses that distract women over 50 while dating are vast but include 1) there aren't any great men 2) It's takes too much time 3) I don't want to do things that make me feel uncomfortable 4) I don't want to settle and 5) Men don't want a women with children.

Using these external factors to prevent you from pursuing your goal gives away your control and makes you a victim of your thoughts and misperceptions. In actuality, you are in complete control of every life experience you create, even finding a suitable partner. When you're able to really accept this truth, you will feel liberated and free. Since you are the one controlling your life's path, nothing can get in your way. Are you ready to recognize and own this responsibility? Being on the cusp of anything is a very powerful place and by changing your mindset, you will make this one of the most exciting journeys of your life.

When I work with clients we spend the first few sessions figuring out who they are at this moment in their lives. It's not about who you were but who you are now. Let it go. Wallowing in the past is just a way to dramatize it so you never have to let it go. Do not give you past the strength to define this new stage in your life.

"What I 'become about, is what I bring about". We draw people to us who are compatible with who we are now. For example, make a list of the qualities you want in a partner, Now ask yourself, "Am I doing these things on a consistent daily basis?". If you're looking for someone who's nurturing and loving, ask if you are loving and nurturing to yourself - on a consistent daily basis. When we portray the images we wish to attract in ourselves we naturally magnetize people with these same traits toward us. To do this, start treating yourself the way you want to be treated.

Create a clear vision of who you want based on values, personality and interaction style, physical attraction, life circumstances, etc. Just remember, do not be too narrow or too specific. Any and all doors left open are an invitation to chance and increase your odds of finding The One. You'll never love everything about someone. The qualities that initially attract you to a man are not necessarily the ones that will make him a good long-term partner. It's not about finding a perfect person; it's about finding the man who's right for you in this moment of time.

Be compassionate to yourself and the men you meet. They're in the same boat and discovering you're not compatible does not mean you can't have understanding and compassion for their efforts. By changing this mindset, you automatically set yourself up for an enjoyable, relaxing time opposed to a stressful, energy zapping one. Admire the fact they're taking a risk just as you are, and appreciate they're willing to spend this time with you. Even bad dates are an opportunity for growth. When you get home, reflect on the things you didn't like and use that to strengthen the things that you do.

Creating a Motivation sheet to refer back to when things get tough is VITAL. Fill it out when you are feeling completely connected and honest about your goal. This sheet should have 5 questions 1) Why do you want to achieve your goal? 2) What motivates you to pursue this goal? 3) What thoughts and/or behaviors get in the way of you achieving this goal? 4) Are these thoughts true? If so, how do you know they're true? How do these thoughts get you closer to your goal? 5) What is the alternative? What happens if you don't reach your goal? 6) What happens if you don't meet your goal? 7) List 5 things that are unique about you. When you find yourself falter, refer back to this sheet.

Change your attitude and create a fresh mindset that views this journey as the start of a greater life - because you've decided it's time. Do not entertain negative thoughts. Instead flip your negative thought into present, positive ones. For example, instead of "there aren't any good men" think "there are plenty of good single men out there", Any thought that prohibits you toward reaching your goal is self-sabotaging and will only inhibit your progress. If you find yourself falling into negative thought patterns, stop yourself in that moment and write down a positive opposite. Post it where you can see every day and practice saying out loud. Another way to actively change negative thoughts is to write 10 things for which you're grateful. Do this every evening for at least 1 month. This is conditioning your mind to think more positively, which is the key to continuing on your journey while finding peace and ease along the way.

Positive Action Planning takes away the burden of contemplating whether or not to follow through on dating commitments you made whether it's a date, joining a club, or attending an event. This helps get your thoughts out of the way. Setting goals and following through takes the emotion out of your decision and strengthens your resolve that you can do this. Get a desk calendar for your home and write specific engagements you will attend throughout the month - this will take some research. Put them on the calendar and don't think about it - just do it. I promise it will get easier every month. After 3 months, you can look back at the calendar and see how far you've come.

Being single affords each of us the opportunity to discover who we are, what we do and don't like, how we deal with things, what we want out of life, what our expectations are, what our potentials and limitations are, what energizes and empowers us, and what discourages and disappoints us. The goal of being alone should not be to prepare us for couple hood. Rather, the goal of being single is learning to fulfill ourselves, to meet our needs, and develop as a human being regardless of whether or not we choose to enter into a relationship. By learning to love and care for ourselves, we diminish the risk of starving for someone else to fill the void within our souls; a void that only we can truly fill. The purpose of entering into a relationship is to share oneself with another person opposed to getting from someone what is lacking in ourselves. Expecting someone else to fill this gaps usually results in grave disappointments, a sense of failure, and endless resentment.

Dating Tips

1) Engage in activities your potential partner would also be likely to engage

If you want someone to go to cocktail parties with, sign up for an etiquette class.

If you want someone who eats healthy, sign up for a healthy gourmet cooking class and don't sit at home and eat junk and fast food

If you want someone who's active, sign up for Karate, outdoor Frisbee, or a running/biking class

If you want someone who's outdoorsy, join an outdoor club

2) Do activities by yourself

Find something you enjoy whether a class, club, wine tasting, poetry reading, art opening, and go by yourself. Going with friends while looking for a partner creates the illusion that you're open to meeting someone. However, it has the opposite effect - either men are too shy to approach the group or you're operating from a group mentality. Going to events by yourself allows you to be completely authentic and open talking with new people while allowing them to see your true self. It's OK to be nervous - do it anyway.

3) Speed Dating events are a great way to introduce yourself to the dating world.

They provide the opportunity to start getting comfortable answering questions about yourself, and asking of others. It's a safe environment and when done right, you'll leave feeling really proud of yourself and ready to keep moving forward.

4) Do things outside your comfort zone

This whole journey is about moving into the unknown and creating your life based on what you do and how you do it and the people you meet along the way. To facilitate this change, you need to engage in activities you wouldn't have before. Do different things and you will achieve different results.

5) Say YES to all invitations

Most women who meet their partner do not find them at a singles event. The singles events prepare you to be open enough for when you meet new people whether it's at a friend's company picnic, a party where you think you'll know everyone in attendance, out with friends or even on an elevator. The purpose is getting to a point where you're open enough and comfortable to recognize potential love every day.

7) Internet Dating

Internet Dating is a viable resource however it's not a requirement for finding love. Online dating is like a phone book of single men looking for a relationship - that's it. It's up to you to do due diligence of weed out the ones that might be wrong for you. If you do pursue this option, it should only be about 10% of your dating portfolio. Spending any more time will only zap your energy and give credence to any thoughts you have that there are no men out there. It's harder to weed through the men to find authenticity online then to be in the physical presence of someone and sense whether there's chemistry or not.

8) Tell everybody you know

Let your friends, family and co-workers know you're looking for a relationship, and what you're looking for. This is a good resource and great conduit for helping you meet people they feel might be compatible.

Life has taught me a few things about relationships and the first and foremost is that having good relationships is an inside job. If I want to have a great relationship with another person, I must have a great relationship with myself. If I want someone to love me unconditionally, I must love myself unconditionally too! If I want to create a deep and intimate connection with another person, I need to have a strong connection with myself. If I want someone to respect and care for me deeply I must respect and care for myself. You are in complete control of your life. You need to not only know this, but own it. It's yours to own.

Author's Bio: 

Rebecca Savidge Gray is a Certified Dating Coach and Pre-Dating's National Dating Coach since 2002. She works primarily with single women over 35 who are re-entering the dating scene following divorce, death of a spouse or end of a long term relationship.

Rebecca is a local speaker, author and runs Dating Workshops nationwide.

For more information or to create a personalized Dating RoadMap, please contact Rebecca at (720) 364-7588 or email to You can also visit her website at or follow her @datingover34.