Why going on dates (even bad ones) is good for you

When I talk to singles who’ve been single for long – they often tell me they haven’t been on many dates, not recently, not for years. Some even never.

And I always ask them: well how do you expect to find a partner then?

I know – going on dates can be really scary. It comes with no guarantees and no predictable outcomes. That’s why many people dread dating.

Sometimes it’s very hard to find someone to go on a date with, because people you ask on dates reject your invite.

But still, you have to go on a few dates… once in a while… more than once a year maybe, to actually meet some potential partners. It’s great when it happens randomly and organically, and I always yes to that. But you can’t rely on fate, if you want to get a relationship, you’ll have to get dates first.

Watch my new video blog to see why is dating important, why bad dates can be good for you – and how to approach the whole dating issue so it feels more like fun and less like a chore.



How do you feel about going on dates?
When was your last date? How often do you go on dates?
Do you feel you’re putting enough effort in it?

Get the discussion going in the comments section below!

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26 Responses

  1. Ms Jones says:

    Hi Petra –
    Good video. I’m still trying to get a date, anyway I can.The group of girls I have been hanging out with are not as enthusiastic about meeting men as I am. So I go by myself. Still trying to make an online date. They message, leave numbers, I call, they do not follow through!!
    So it’s me, myself and I for the moment. Just met one new woman who likes to prowl – though she has an unpredictable schedule.
    My late Aunt had an old friend. Her advice: “You gotta try honey, You gotta try!” I asked her what she meant by that. “fix yourself up and go out!”
    Sound advice indeed, as there does not seem to be a line of men waiting outside my door!
    Ms Jones:)

  2. patricia says:

    True miss jones am its not easy especially when you not used to staying out late, am finding it hard too to meet a guy.


    • Ms Jones says:

      Hi Pat –
      Did you watch Petra’s video?
      You do not have to go out late.
      There are loads of things you can do in the daytime, early evenings and on weekends. Clubs, gyms, museums, parks, lectures, volunteering, and so on.
      Nighttime is a great time for me to go out, but there are loads of people that don’t like to go out at night.
      My Aunt goes to lectures, takes a non matriculated college class, joined a “meet up” group (to keep up her Italian), takes Yoga classes at the Y and hits the local bookstore. She has more dates than me!
      I do not know if you work or not, but you must actually step out of your home to meet a man. Perhaps you have a friend that can set you up. Have you been to any class reunions? How old are you?
      It is very hard to meet the right man there is no doubt about that. Don’t get discouraged. As Petra says, sometimes you meet a lot of frogs before you find the prince.
      Check out her video. There is a lot of good information on this topic.
      Get out there! Good Luck!
      Ms Jones

  3. Gab says:

    When you over 50 trying to date they are all married or undateable.

  4. Ms Jones says:

    I am over 50. I am a woman, swim a mile every day and wear the same size I did 25 years ago. Not as easy to find a good match, but I only need ONE.

    Ms Jones

    • Ms Jones says:

      And it is true that alot of men that age are “undatable”. I have met loads if them. I keep myself “dateable” by taking care of my physical appearance and my health. Then there are more possibilities when an agreeable man finally comes along. At least I am ” dateable”.
      All you need is one. Just think about that. As I have mentioned before, I have 2 brothers in thier 50’s who are divorced with grown children. I make no excuse or explanation for their failed marriages. I can tell you only this. Both are attractive and in good financial and physical condition. And both are dating women OLDER than themselves. So it does happen. One is planning on marrying the woman. He is 55, she is 58. The other is 58, his girl is 65. They have been dating over a year now . Just saying unexpected things do happen.

      Ms. Jones

      • Sheila says:

        Ms Jones – re your brothers – a three and seven year age gap is nothing. Hardly enough to call those unexpected. We women must not expect too much must we.
        Id like a man 10years younger than me. Men expect a much younger partner – its the norm. But for women! Not a chance.

        • Ms Jones says:

          Hi Sheila –
          Yeah, I agree a few years does not make a difference. I just had a date with a man 10 years younger than me (from an Internet dating site). The guy was nice, asked, but seemed to seemed to not really care what my age was. He may not be a great partner for me – we may end up being friends.
          But you are right. Most guys “want” a younger woman, but they can’t really land them.
          In my case my only concern is if the guy wants kids. I cannot provide them with one. I am 57 year old woman and a 47 year old man who has no kids may still want them. If that is not an issue, I don’t think they really care.
          Interestingly, I visited the site of a NYC matchmaker. In an interview she cites that woman in their 40’s & 50’s have more in common with younger men. She does not encourage them to date older men in general. I am quite fit as I am sure you must be. The guys my age simply cannot keep up with me.
          When I was very young I dated men a few years older than me because the young ones were so immature.
          As I got to my 30’s I found that all the “older” ones had been spoken for. This my discovery of a whole new dating pool – the younger man.
          Like I said, the older guys may want a younger woman, but how could they keep up?
          I have a girlfriend who is an actress and dancer. Her husband passed away. She is in her 70’s. Through the Internet and a very long and open minded search, she met a man (from another State) who has daughters in this area. When he came for frequent visits, that is when they became friends. They now live together. He is about 12 years younger than her, fit and has money of his own.
          I think men become more circumspect about this as they become older. The physical compatibility of the person is very important.
          Personally, I am tired of looking. At least you’ve bee married! I never have been -yet.
          I will continue to be hopeful about it. You just never can tell.

          Lynn Ann:)

  5. Sheila says:

    Hi Ms Jones – i liked Petras discussion on trying to meet new people. I network a lot for all sorts of reasons, if the miracle happens and someone asks me out on a date then I would accept. I would faint with the shock.
    Men are scared of asking women and if women ask men the men are even more frightened. LOL. I brainstormed two lists 1) where to meet people (men and women) 2) how I can/will live a solo life in an effective and enjoyable way. Both useful I think.
    I think sitting around waiting for something to happen doesnt work for any context. I reckon what makes meeting new people difficult is that many make no effort at all to increase their social circle.
    The ‘dating model’ for older people may differ from younger folk. This ‘find more single women’ to go out with us not suitable for us older ones. All the people I know are married and most tied up with grandchildren – so forget the girls night out and ‘wingwomen’!
    I have been single for five years. I only got out on something resembling a ‘date’ kast year was because I sourced the guy from a website. I honestly dont think men in my age bracket ‘do anything’. My recent foray on a singles holiday reaped 18 women and 2 men. Token men – says it all.
    Yes we know we need to date but its virtually impossible to find one. I get very frustrated about this, (i think ive said this a few times now)
    Best wishes

    • Sheila says:

      Hi everyone
      Basically ive become clueless as to how you ‘get a date’. Meeting single men(extremely difficult in my demographic), getting them to talk and for them to ask me out. How is it done? Please suggest a strategy. Thanks.

      • Ms Jones says:

        Hi Sheila – Apparently I am not exactly your demographic, but where do you live? There is a very funny website called midlife bachelor. It is run by a middle aged man. It is very interesting to see how “the other side” thinks. Some of the posts one must take with a large grain of salt – so be forewarned.
        As much as you and I may be perplexed, it is interesting to note that there are many men trying to figure out the same problem.
        I have found that site insightful in certain ways, and have submitted comments to which the middle aged male writer has responded.
        It brings a little levity to the situation.
        I do not know under what circumstances you have found yourself single – break up, divorce or widow.
        A male acquaintance of mine suggested that I post “divorced” as my status on an Internet dating website (I have never been married) because the men feel less “pressure” from a divorcee than from a never married woman. Interesting. I did not do it, but it sort of gives me insight into how certain men think.
        All in all, I would always tell people to be true to themselves. I was alone for 5 years before I met my last ex (bad ending) because I was very ill. Thankfully I recovered. I was in my late 40’s when we met. I have found that men have a general prejudice against older women. That is likely because they are having the stereotypical “midlife crisis” or perhaps some other type of crisis. Maybe they are in poor health. Maybe they are going through an economic difficulty. Maybe….. anything.
        I believe time does help to heal many wounds, but it is still hard to keep trying.
        Visit that bachelor website. Take the load off yourself. The men are also insecure about midlife dating, and they are not all very well prepared.
        As you say, it is good to be prepared to take care of yourself. After all, why would any woman leave her fate in the hands of a man she has not yet met?
        Still, there are some out there that really are seeking a partner. I think some older men are more passive about “looking” or following through. But there are exceptions.
        Also, I can personally say that it is an exhausting proposition to keep holding out for “him”, I think Petra’s advice is very good. Going on any date, even one that is less than ideal or perfect, can be good “practice” and even good for your ego.
        It certainly was nice to hear a man tell me how beautiful I looked and to be in the male “energy zone”.
        I wish my ex was still my partner, but that is not the case. Better to try out some new guys than confirm my fear that I will be alone forever.
        I have so many girlfriends that have just thrown in the towel and also hear a lot of negative talk about how bad the men are, it will never happen, etc. Those are definitely not your “wing” people. They are not as eligible as you are and may be unwittingly (or not) be undermining your efforts.
        I do not know what your economic situation is, but there are loads of tours and cruises that provide an opportunity for longer exposure to members of the opposite sex, rather than a single “event”. Also you’d get to have fun and see a new place at the very least.
        Keep the faith Sheila. And I hope you are well.

        Lynn Ann:)

  6. Sheila says:

    Hiya Lynn – aha! You should get a job as a dating coach (lol x)
    You really buck me up.
    No – you can’t go round ‘holding out for ‘the one’. What I thought was the dating model of guy meets girl and asks her out just May not work in my demographic (62ish). May not work for younger people as well. Men really are nervous of women.

    However I had a laugh to day – I was very smart – and when out walking – gave a good old stare at a good looking guy who walked past me. He responded. I loved it! His wife of course did not notice which made me laugh. There is no harm of course in trying it ‘on’ . (Wouldn’t go far with a married man- but one with a girlfriend is of course fair game hee hee).

    Ok joke over – but Im going to get bolder. I’m very good at engaging with strangers and very rarely get kicked into touch. I am continually scoping for places to go, groups to join (that suit MY interests – not looking for a man).

    I still enjoyed the singles holiday – other women my age are great fun and there are always opportunities to make another friend. I have had to work at friendships – you do – and many of my friendships are very good.
    I did go on a cruise last year. I suspect there would have been opportunities in giggolo city (the ship) – you can pick out the young guys scoping for older women. Had I not been with a girlfriend – who knows! At least some fun might be had!

    I also note that some tour companies offer a list of dates for a tour and maybe one or more dates are for solos. Solos might prefer to travel with other solos for all sorts of reasons eg you can team up and go for meals together – being a single amongst couples can be awkward. Exodus is good for this.

    Despte the fact I like a moan here – I don’t give up. But whoever he is – he has to be a good’un. Hugs.
    Hope Petra doesn’t mind us taking over her blog…

    • Ms Jones says:

      Hi Sheila Hi Petra-
      I certainly hope that Petra feels neither I nor anyone is taking over her blog.
      Petra, you are presenting a forum about finding a mate which, to me, has been very helpful and uplifting. Any person who is sitting at home wondering if they are all alone in thier pursuit of finding someone special has found your space a gift to them. I am sure Sheila would agree!
      The dating concept of boy meets girl and calls for a date is certainly not ridiculous. It is just not as common as it once was. Due to technology and some generally blurry current ideas it can be difficult even for young people. I have met many young attractive women and men who are so lonely. I feel grateful that at least when I was in my 20’s and 30’s I did not feel like a hopeless case. And they are not a hopeless case either.
      Modern technology and communication is a double edged sword. There is more access out there for those who want to cast a wider net. There are also more people living in the “virtual world” who find it hard to get out there. So some feel that if they have not connected on the Internet all hope is lost. This is a modern day breakdown.
      Ladies and gentlemen, remember to connect with your fellow humans in person!
      I have spoken to many people who have left their entire social life in the hands of the Internet. People are busy, they work hard, they do not have that much free time.
      But the Internet, while it is a useful tool, is not the end of the line for dating for anyone. Young people especially have so many opportunities to connect in person (school, jobs, gym, alumni associations, bars, parties, weddings, many single friends) it seems a pity that they pour all their hopes into the “virtual” world.
      The regular world (Sheila’s boy meets girl) idea is actually really good!
      Youngsters, don’t lose confidence in that concept please. I think people fail on their self confidence for many reasons, but do reflect on what role technology plays in all of this. It is in addition to being around others, not in place of it. Take a walk out, as Sheila did, as I do, and smie at another person. Say hello. This is the connection so many have forgotten about.
      Your smile is a gift to others. Pour it on. It does come back.

  7. Ms Jones says:

    Sheila – I will look into Exodus. Thanks for the tip!
    Ms Jones

    • Petra says:

      Lovely ladies, Sheila and Ms Jones – you are not taking over my blog, and even if you are – it is in the most wonderful way! This is exactly why I encourage people to comment, because not only they’ll get responses from me, but they’ll get support, love and great insight from other readers as well. You are both amazing wise women and I am sure younger (and older) readers appreciate your input just as I do. Having said that – if you have any desire to connect directly with each other, I can connect you via email privately. Looks like this could be the start of a beautiful friendship 🙂

      • Ms Jones says:

        Hi Petra –
        Thanks for your reply. I always assume a blog is for dialogue. There is a “reply” and “comment” choice. So I guess that’s the point!
        On some blogs the posts are moderated and assume you would do the same if you felt the comments were inappropriate. It seems to me at that you encourage the readers to communicate with you and to one another if they like and share.
        As I said, your blog has been of great help to me.
        Ma Jones

        • Petra says:

          Hi Ms Jones, yes of course I read and moderate comments, but I always allow any opinions as long as they are not offensive. And you two are great! Thanks for your feedback, really appreciate it.

  8. Sheila says:

    I think my comment – the dating model of woman attracting man, man asking woman for a date is either non- existent or simply does not ‘work’ – it is a fiction – at least for me throughout my life. A suggestion for Petra is she works on an article on the ‘science of finding a date’ . There must be something. I know I’m going round the houses again but I’m exhausted with going to places, keeping smart and interesting and still I never seem to meet anyone who says ‘come on a date with me’ .
    I know if I were to approach a man he is likely to be terrified and not do anything.

    Also this issue of prejudice against older women – I know of an introduction agency in London (that) informed me that they had to expend a great deal of time and energy getting the men on their books to accept women of their own age. Why do they think they have a divine right to younger women? I would like a younger man, lots of women would! Many older men really are ‘plods’.

    I think I just have to be bolder – at least I can have fun doing that.

  9. I really like the idea you mentioned about always getting out and making yourself available to meet other people. It’s so much better to do that than stay at home and sulk. Constantly being in an environment that encourages social interaction will greatly benefit your dating life.

  10. dave says:

    I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve not had dates from hell, although there has been a couple who were hard work. They have largely been sincere and honest girls I have met, although not everyone was compatible for me and vice versa, but then again, that’s life, not everyone can be your type and not everyone will be my type. Honest truth is that unless the very first person you meet online and you hit it off straight-away and your together for the next 40 years and never have to go on any more dates, (which is highly unlikely) then the chances are that you will have to go on many dates and yes, then the chances are you may date some losers. But if you refuse to go on dates and sit at home, you won’t date any losers, but you will be single all your life. So if you want to meet your future partner, you got to confront reality by going on dates and with experience, you can separate the losers from the genuine.

  11. Scott Jennings says:

    I don’t know why I can’t delete my own comments on here?

  12. Petra says:

    No idea, you should be able to if you have a WordPress account. I can delete it for you.

  13. Scott Jennings says:

    Never mind then. This is my last visit to the site. Thank you for all the wonderful and insightful advice that you’ve given me while I’ve been on here but it’s time I went out into the world and tried to discover my own happiness for myself. I’ll bear in mind what you told me: I’ll attempt to love myself before I start to love anyone else. If truth be told I found some of your wisdom hard to swallow but at the same time I found it innovative and inspiring as well. Goodbye and all the best of luck to you, Petra. xx

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