Article by Meredith Keeve a.k.a. the Wandering Parisian
Put away your pull bra or Dating Tips for Fifty Plus !
I didn’t even know what a ‘pull bra’ was until I lived in the UK. The notion is not formulated by the French.
While the world at large is very aware of the charms of a Femme d’un Certain Age, the particular allure of the mature French woman in many ways remains a mystery.
Which is quite exactly the point.
And why you put away that pull bra.
Realistically speaking, your charms at fifty plus are probably not of the flesh, or certainly not of the flesh of 20 or 30 or even 40. That being the case, putting too much of it on display is not a good plan. For French women of any age, too much on display spoils the fun.
Create a sense of mystery
When you think about interest, you think about discovery – you discover a book, a painting, a landscape. We are interested in things we can uncover and explore. People are the same way. And in a sense, to have a sense of discovery, there needs to be a sense of mystery.
Dating at fifty is about generating interest.
Generating interest in pursuing a conversation, in pursuing a dinner date, in pursuing a relationship.
The question is no longer how do I seduce a man, but how do I interest a person in being interested in me?
The easiest way to think about it is to realize that – for good or bad – we all seek pleasure and avoid pain.
We want to be listened to and entertained, we want someone who will make us smile, or laugh, someone who can surprise and amuse and enthrall. There is nothing less interesting, or sexy, than someone who simply lays out their life on a platter – he is not interested in the sordid details of your divorce, the annoying habits of your ex or your food allergies.
At French dinner parties conversations on Real Estate, Schools and Jobs are forbidden. Culture, cuisine and politics are interesting and acceptable topics.
Prepare topics in advance
So, prepare for your date by reading the newspaper, going to a film and or starting a new novel or non fiction work. Plan at least three topics of conversation that have nothing to do with your personal life. Furthermore, this opens the vista on his conversational talents, how does he react if you talk about books or movies? Is he curious or intrigued?
Think about useful questions but remember you are not signing him up for a life insurance policy or checking his credentials as a family member. You do not need to ask for his family tree, or spend the evening discussing the cost of higher education. What you are looking for is ways to get to know this person, just the person in front of you. What kinds of questions might help you learn more – open ended questions that inspire reflection.
To ask about a favorite book or to require someone to name their favorite episode of Game of Thrones is to narrow rather than widen the scope of the conversation. Ask about things they remember – the most memorable summer, the most memorable trip, the most vivid sunset, or even the dinner where you laughed the hardest – such questions open the mind to links to happy times, and happy memories are pleasurable to recall and to share.
And remember to ask why – why did you choose to go into that field? Why did you choose to live where you live, to do what you do? Why do you run or read, or follow cricket? Why do you hate the opera, or love graphic novels or follow people on twitter?
Remember that people can exchange resumes on Linkedin and that dating is not for that purpose. Dating is about exploring individual motivations and the dynamics of how people choose to live their lives