How old were you when you last dated?
What were the dating rules and customs at that time?
Many people report that when they first re-enter the singles’ world, they feel like Rip Van Winkle – on the inside it’s as though they were still the age they were when last single. On the outside, though, the world has changed.
Some of the biggest changes you’ll probably discover include:
a) Women making the first move. It’s not uncommon now for a woman to initiate a phone call or email to invite a man to a movie or a sports/cultural event.
b) Sexual conduct. Even in this time of increased caution, many people engage in sex sooner than they once did.
A WORD OF WARNING: Don’t believe that just because you’re a certain age, you’re safe from sexually transmitted diseases. For example, according to Centers for Disease Control, over 50% of newly reported case of AIDS in 2005 were in people (heterosexual as well as homosexual), over age 40. It’s wise to play it safe. Check with your doctor about safe sex practices.
c) Women paying for themselves. In some cases, a woman may view paying her own way as freeing her from any obligation to the man. Or it might just be a case of economics. If both people live on fixed incomes, it’s more thrifty to share the expense of a night out.
Regardless of what others are doing, you are the best judge of what is right for you. Keep in mind, however, that if you were a teenager when you last dated, you probably followed your parents’ guidelines about what was permissible. Now that you’re an adult, you’re able to make choices about what’s right for you.
In Part 3, we’ll move into strategies for easing into dating.