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Shy singles need to be assertive in meeting a senior mate

By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50

Singles can improve their chances of meeting a potential mate by introducing themselves to someone desirable they encounter. They need to be mildly assertive (notice, I'm not using the word "aggressive.") These six words could break the ice: “Would you like to have coffee?” When senior singles fail to act, opportunity vanishes, as happened to Jackie.

Jackie was walking past the boy’s clothing section in K-Mart. She noticed a handsome blonde-haired man with his young son. “He walked through the clothing racks and stopped in the aisle as I passed. Standing frozen, he gave me ‘the look’ and softly said hello. I warmly returned his greeting. He didn’t stop me, but he made my day,” Jackie said.

She could have made her day even more by initiating a conversation. “Shopping for your son?” would have opened the door. But she didn’t.

Five years later, Jackie and her son were in the parking lot at Best Buy. She saw a man loading a box into his camper. Jackie said, “As he turned toward me, surprise overcame both of us. It was the same look and the same man from five years before. All that was exchanged was a hello and a smile.” They were obviously attracted to each other.

Yikes, two missed opportunities with the same man. What would have happened if either had said, “Care to have coffee sometime?” And yes I know he might have been married. Still, I feel Jackie should have said something, anything, to initiate a conversation.

Missed opportunities affect men as well. John shared his story: “I arranged to meet a date in Huntington Beach (Calif) at a curbside café near the pier. While waiting, a woman asked to join me since seating was limited. We spoke briefly and I enjoyed her company. Before I could think about giving her my number, the woman I was waiting for came and I left with her. It didn’t work out, we departed an hour later.

“When I returned to the café, the other woman was gone and subsequent trips to find her failed. I sensed there was a good connection between us. I regretted that I didn’t give her my phone number before my date showed up. I lost a spontaneous opportunity.”

Being assertive doesn’t always work out. One woman we'll call Jen, said, “At our summer concerts, I ran into a fellow from my writing class. I went and sat with him, and after that for the next three concerts, which was assertive for me. Thought we were getting to know each other.

“When the concert was over, he said, ‘Would you like to see my house?’ It was 9:40 p.m. I was very surprised and said I don’t think so. He looked sad and embarrassed. I didn’t know what to say. He got the wrong idea. Class started again in September and now I am a bit uncomfortable.”

It didn’t work for Jen, but it still might. The guy acted like a jerk. Maybe he’ll rethink the way he behaved, be a gentleman, and ask Jen out on a real date.

When women are assertive and introduce themselves to a man, the guy could be married, a dork, a loser or just not the right one. He might say “no.” But, he also might be the right one and what a shame to never find that out, as was the case with Jackie, and with John at the cafe.

Opportunities seldom come along. When they do, singles need to seize them, even if they’re shy. To be prepared, they only need to memorize six words, “Would you like to have coffee?” Granted, it’s easier to remember those words than to speak them in a live situation, but doing so could make the difference between finding a mate or wondering what might have been.

New York City weekend and Fox TV appearance update. This past Monday, I appeared on the Fox News Network's "Fox and Friends" show. In the East, it aired at 7:52 a.m. and lasted all of three minutes.

Around the country, it ran at different times, as early as 5:50 a.m. on the West Coast. For an entire column about my trip to New York with my partner Greta, click on the link to my website below.

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