Friday, March 15, 2013

Middle-Aged Dating and the Gag Reflex

Yeah, I know. Middle-Aged Dating and the Gag Reflex is the weirdest title I’ve ever used for a blog post. But stay with me—it’s not what you think.

The idea for this story about dating over 50 came to me earlier this week at the dentist’s office—which is the first time I ever got an idea for the Middle-Aged Babe Magnet blog while sitting in a dentist’s chair. I was in for my six month cleaning, and it was time to get those “bite xrays” taken. You know the kind—you bite down on this cardboard thing and the dental hygienist runs out of the room so she won’t get zapped with radiation. Then she runs back in and takes the cardboard contraption out of your mouth.

I don’t know about you, but I hate the whole bite xray process. Those cardboard things stick into my gums and make me gag. I have what can be described as a strong gag reflex, and I hate having foreign objects in my mouth.

I know I’m flirting with TMI here, but stay with me. When I told my new dental hygienist about my tendency to gag during the dental xray process, she asked me if I had ever tried salt. She said putting a little salt on your tongue can interrupt the gag reflex.

“Do you have any salt?” I asked. She said yes, and put some on my tongue. Well, Holy New Pontiff from Argentina, the freakin’ salt worked. No more gagging. I’m 58 years old, and somebody just taught me a new trick. From now on, I’ll be putting a little salt on my tongue before I get dental xrays—even if I have to bring my own salt.

I love it when I learn a new trick, and I’m a firm believer in continuing to learn new tricks no matter how old you are. I certainly learned a lot of new things after my mid-life divorce, and a lot of them were about dating, women, and relationships.

In fact, I even wrote a Babe Magnet Rule about that topic that appears in Confessions of a Middle-Aged Babe Magnet:


Babe Magnets are not afraid to learn new tricks.

One of the things about dating after 50 for a lot of people is being in a situation that’s unfamiliar to them. They’ve probably just gotten divorced, and they’ve forgotten how to go out on a date. They have to relearn the whole courtship process. And sometimes they have to learn new things—such as online dating.
If you’re not willing to learn new things, you’re going to crash and burn in the dating world. You’re going to approach dating as if it were 1983, and you’re going to look and act like a doofus. (This is equally true for both men and women.)

The best thing you can do is to be open to learning new things. Read books about dating. Talk to your single friends. Talk to your recently married friends, and find out what worked for them when they were single. Be open to new ideas and trying new things.

Dating over 40, or dating over 50, or dating at any age can be a time of new growth and new learning. Please don’t be one of those people who says, “dating over 50 is so hard” or “there aren’t any interesting women” or “all of the good men are already taken.” None of those things are true—and there are millions of later-in-life relationships to prove it.

So, learn something new. Try something you’ve never done before. Even if that means putting a little salt on your tongue.

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