By Susan K. Thomas
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine.  All Rights Reserved.

thomasSusan K. Thomas is a lecturer in English at the University of Kansas where she spreads the good gay word through LGBT literature and first year composition courses. She is currently researching the impact of HIV/AIDS on the LGBT community in Kansas. She has two cats, Hannah and Hamlet (Ham). 

Q: I am recently getting back on the dating market after being married for forty years. I came out after my divorce about two years ago. I finally feel like I’m ready, but where does a sixty-six year old lady start? I’m a bit intimidated! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! –Vonda

Vonda, you silver fox, let’s chat. I’m quite sure that you are aware that things have changed since you were last on the market. It’s a whole new rainbow of possibilities, and you have options! The important thing at this point is to get out there! You can’t expect the ladies to come to you.

Many people use online dating. If you have access to a computer, this isn’t a bad place to start at all. There are a number of websites just for people in the 55 and older range. This would give you the opportunity to get out and at least meet people. Start by creating an interesting profile that reflects your personality! Be fun and creative. Detail your interests, whether you are looking for a friendship, short-term, or long-term relationship. Have a friend take a couple of pictures of you. Attempt to appear relaxed and have fun with it! Make sure to have a clear close-up image and then a full-body. People like to see who you are.

Now, some people are a little nervous about the whole online dating thing. Take time to get to know a person online before meeting, and then choose something that is a bit noncommittal such as coffee or a drink. If you decide you like the person, you can always add dinner. Always meet in a public place. You might also consider having a friend go to the same location at the same time and sit across the café, bar, or restaurant. Not only is this a safety precaution, but you might feel a little more confidant with a friendly face across the way.

Another idea is to get involved in an LGBTQAI singles group. These groups can often be found through a gay friendly church or a LGBTQAI community center. These groups can help you to meet new friends in the community and perhaps meet a partner. Don’t go in with the attitude of meeting Ms. Right. Instead, go in with the attitude of finding new friends, both male and female. You might find that members of the group have similar interests as your own and perhaps you can meet up outside of the group to pursue these interests. As you get to know people, you might discover a connection with somebody that you can pursue.

You might also consider joining a community LGBTQAI organization (social or political), a book discussion group, a bowling league, or a gardening club. Many areas now have local LGBTQAI magazines and newspapers. Pick one up and take a look at the possibilities.
One thing to remember is that dating can be a lot of fun, so enjoy the process! Don’t consider it a chore or it will be. Instead, imagine all of the people you will meet in this adventure. You have the opportunity to meet a lot of fun people and to expand your social circle. Now get out there and enjoy!

“Inqueeries” is an interactive column.  Readers are encouraged to submit questions for Susan to answer!

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