The Gray Divorce Podcast

Dating After Gray Divorce with Maria Spears, Part II

June 03, 2023 Andrew Hatherley Episode 17
Dating After Gray Divorce with Maria Spears, Part II
The Gray Divorce Podcast
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The Gray Divorce Podcast
Dating After Gray Divorce with Maria Spears, Part II
Jun 03, 2023 Episode 17
Andrew Hatherley

In episode 17 of The Gray Divorce Podcast, I welcome back dating and love coach Maria Spears.  

In the second part of our conversation about dating after gray divorce, we focus on the nuts and bolts of real-world dating once the recent divorcee has decided to take the plunge and enter the world of dating after divorce. We talk about online dating and the opportunities to meet people in the “real world." 

Thanks for listening! We'd be very grateful if you'd subscribe to the podcast and give us 5 stars! Please visit Transcend Retirement or Wiser Divorce Solutions. Follow Andrew on LinkedIn too!

Show Notes Transcript

In episode 17 of The Gray Divorce Podcast, I welcome back dating and love coach Maria Spears.  

In the second part of our conversation about dating after gray divorce, we focus on the nuts and bolts of real-world dating once the recent divorcee has decided to take the plunge and enter the world of dating after divorce. We talk about online dating and the opportunities to meet people in the “real world." 

Thanks for listening! We'd be very grateful if you'd subscribe to the podcast and give us 5 stars! Please visit Transcend Retirement or Wiser Divorce Solutions. Follow Andrew on LinkedIn too!

Announcement: [00:00:00] Welcome to The Gray Divorce Podcast, hosted by divorce financial analyst and retirement planning counselor Andrew Hatherley. Join Andrew and guest experts as they help late-life divorcees build the financial and mental foundation for a meaningful future. There is life after divorce. Now on to the show.

Andrew Hatherley: Hello everybody and welcome to the Gray Divorce Podcast. I'm very happy to have a returning guest today, Maria Spears. As you may know from episode 12 of the Gray Divorce Podcast, Maria is a professional dating and love coach. Maria empowers her clients to date smarter and confidently choose a compatible life partner without wasting time with the wrong person or settling for being single.

Maria has coached hundreds of men and women to overcome blocks to [00:01:00] achieve the love and life that they want. She guides her clients through transformational processes based on her training in professional coaching, psychology, neurolinguistic programming, positive energy, and much more. Suffice it to say she has a lot of experience studying dating and relationships.

Maria has developed a process to work with her clients as she herself recovered from divorce and decades of unhappy relationships. I think you're really going to enjoy our conversation today. Maria, welcome. 

Maria Spears: Oh, thank you so much for having me again, Andrew. I'm delighted to be here. 

Andrew Hatherley: Maria, I'm so glad to have you back on with us today.

Those who've already heard you on episode 12 will know that we couldn't cover everything that we wanted to chat about in our half-hour discussion two months ago. So I'm very grateful that you could come back so [00:02:00] we could continue the chat. Are you ready? 

Maria Spears: I am ready. 

Andrew Hatherley: All right. So just to recap, for everybody in the first part of our conversation on episode 12 we discussed some of the internal work that we need to do with ourselves to determine what we want and what we need in a relationship.

We also discussed how our brains are wired from early relationships to seek out what's familiar to us and how we can help ourselves by being open-minded and perhaps challenging some of our limiting beliefs about other people. Am I right so far, Maria? 

Maria Spears: Yes, really important. Thanks for reiterating that.

Andrew Hatherley: Something you said in our first conversation really resonated with me. That it's important to recognize that we all bring something unique and [00:03:00] beautiful to the world and to our relationships. And when we enter into relationships with brightness and confidence and being our authentic selves, we're more likely to attract a partner who's looking for what we have to offer.

Do you have anything to add to that? 

Maria Spears: I hundred percent agree. And if you do nothing else, if someone is looking for love, is to just show up as yourself. Because you do want to attract the people who are looking for your qualities, and you want to ultimately repel the people who aren't looking for that so that you save yourself heartache and wasted time.

Andrew Hatherley: It's funny, it sounds like marketing. 

Maria Spears: [00:04:00] It is marketing, isn't it? They're trying to attract clients that become your fans and repel those who will be difficult and who wouldn't be happy with you anyway. Or vice versa. 

Andrew Hatherley: Exactly. Exactly. Let's get it, which is, I think something that we'll touch on in the conversation about honesty and truthfulness when going into the dating world. Because what's the point of starting on the wrong foot by not being true to yourself and to the other person? And that assumes that when you're entering the dating world, you've done this internal work that we discussed that everybody should go back and listen to again on episode 12. So having said all that, in our last conversation, we really didn't touch on the nitty-gritty of dating.

This is the fun part, assuming that we've got our heads on straight and that we've done this internal work that we've just discussed, what comes next? How does this dating thing work? And I'm wondering, what do you say to your clients when they say they're ready to enter the dating world?[00:05:00] 

How do they go about getting into it? Because we all know there are different ways to meet people. So when people say, okay, I'm ready to date now what? 

Maria Spears: Okay, you've mentioned some of the key things, which is to know what you bring to the table. But another thing is to know what you're looking for, to have an idea of why you're out there.

Are you out there for companionship? Are you out there for affection and physical connection? Are you out there for a long-term relationship? Then if you're honest with yourself about that piece, then that drives the whole rest of what you do to initiate your search to put yourself out there.

Andrew Hatherley: Okay. So that makes me think immediately about online dating sites. Because they each have, now it's how many years removed? Four years removed from online dating sites. I started [00:06:00] dating my wife in 2020 and, Online dating sites have reputations. Now, you're probably more up on this than I am.

So when I think of it, I think of the old standby, which I think is, I dunno, a wide-ranging dating site. Then you've got Tinder, which is maybe a little bit more hookup-oriented, and then eHarmony, which tends to have a reputation. Is that even still around or, I'll let you do the talking.

Maria Spears: Yes. So eHarmony is still around and it's still geared towards people who are looking for a serious relationship. It probably has the most robust questionnaire that you have to go through so that they match you up or propose matches to you. But you were right, is still the largest database specifically for people 50 to 64.

It's growing all the time, and so for [00:07:00] anyone who wants to dip their toe out there, whether it's just for companionship or to remarry, again, I recommend Match because of how big the database is and especially in this age group. And because on your profile you have a lot more bandwidth on what you can put, a longer essay than most of the others about yourself.

You can see verification on who's a real user in that database as opposed to a scammer. You can use their video and their audio chat features. 

Andrew Hatherley: Yeah, which is, wow, they didn't have that back in the old days. 

Maria Spears: Yes. I believe you might need to be a subscriber, but this is not a really expensive app to subscribe to and I really recommend it if you're looking for a relationship specifically.

So there's a lot of built-in [00:08:00] safety that there didn't use to be in a lot of the platforms. So now Match has that covered? With Tinder, Tinder is one that does not allow you much space to talk about yourself. It's really profile and swiping oriented. 

Andrew Hatherley: Yeah. It has to be much more superficial.

Maria Spears: Photo and swiping. Exactly. But I want to stress that for those who want to put themselves out there on a dating app, no matter what you say, all of us are mostly visually oriented, so people won't get past your photo if you don't, make sure that you put some decent photos up there.

And by decent, don't do those selfies. 

Andrew Hatherley: The ones we're talking about, the bathroom selfies. 

Maria Spears: Especially the bathroom ones. Yes. So that one is good. You know [00:09:00] that everybody in Tinder and that's also a huge database it skews more towards younger people and I just want your audience to know that.

And it also skews more for more casual situations, hookup. But there are people on there looking for relationships. You just have to make sure whatever you say about yourself on there makes it clear in like the one sentence or whatever small real estate you have on their site that you are looking for a relationship right now.

Andrew Hatherley: Is Bumble still a thing?

Maria Spears: Yes, definitely. And it's growing. Bumble, honestly, I'm on a couple of those apps myself to do reconnaissance and see what my clients are seeing. And I see that Bumble has some of the same people that show up on the other apps, Match example.

But the difference is that [00:10:00] the ladies get to be the first to flag a gentleman that they might be interested in, then the gentleman has a chance to flag them back and then they get 24 hours between the two of them to make a connection. I think if you have a paid subscription though, that you can extend that time period.

Andrew Hatherley: Yeah, I think all of these sites have their little bonuses that you have to pay for. Now you mentioned briefly photos and I think photos are so key I wonder because always was, had an attitude that, if my approach to looking at a woman's profile was if she had the same picture, essentially repeated 12 different times of her, just her face making a selfie face and then.

That wasn't [00:11:00] interesting to me. But then that maybe does interest other people. It's like I think some women said, yeah, I don't need to see a guy with a fish that he caught. Maybe there's outdoor women that were attracted to guys with fish. I don't know. What are your thoughts?

The whole, I guess the old cliche is there's someone for everyone and so maybe the shirtless guy standing by his sports car is a good fit for the bikini-clad woman making duck lips, because they can have their thing together and not the rest of us will pass on that. 

Maria Spears: Yeah, that's a good point.

It goes back to what are you advertising and pictures paint a thousand words. It tells you more than what the person will say in their profile, and I agree that there are a lot of don'ts that people are doing if they have different intentions than what they're projecting. That [00:12:00] guy who has, is shirtless and doing, some muscle poses and whatnot. That tells me that they're looking for a physical relationship. And if they're not, then they're giving off the wrong vibe. And the same with the ladies. What they wear, how they pose themselves, that also says communicates non-verbally what they might be looking for.

Andrew Hatherley: This is where I think what we were speaking about earlier and our last conversation is so important about authenticity. Just be yourself and. You have sent a much better chance of attracting somebody who would be a better fit for you in the long term. 

Maria Spears: Yeah, especially if you're looking for longer term companionship or relationship.

Definitely, want to put out on the apps, what is special about you, that your friends and loved ones know about magic [00:13:00] sauce. Someone out there if they're looking for it, you need to say it upfront and have pictures that match that. Tell a story about that's real in your life, that's who you really are.

So the photos can tell their own story that you don't even have to say in words. If you're into biking, for example, you may not have to man mention that interest. If you have photos, that show doing a race, 

Andrew Hatherley: Or hiking or in a museum or traveling excuse me. Those are excellent ways of just, of visuali visually representing who you are as a person.

Maria Spears: Yeah. But standing in front of a Ferrari, for example, if you don't own one that, you either have to say you're interested in these cars and love them but don't, pull it off that you own one, for example. Just be, as you're saying, genuine honest. And if you are into [00:14:00] fish, you know it, it's fine to do that photo with fish because there are women, I had women talk to me who are looking for an outdoorsman.

A a hunter, a fisherman. But for most guys they should be aware that if they're trying to attract a lady and they don't care if she joins them fishing, that they should probably forego those photos because those only appeal to men, other men. 

Andrew Hatherley: And there are other sites for that. Yes. Okay, so we mentioned, we talk a lot about photos.

This is a little pet peeve of mine is, The recency of the photos. And apparently there are some five, six men putting themselves out there as five 11, and there are some 50 year olds or 60 year old women putting themselves out there in their forties. Let's be honest, upfront, because what's the point of putting a 10 year old picture up there and [00:15:00] then we meet it's going to be a disappointment and set the whole relationship off.

Wrong track or misrepresenting your weight or your height. 

Maria Spears: And I love that you said that, Andrew, from a man's perspective because those are pet peeves that I hear from men all the time. And the height one is also a pet peeve I hear from ladies. Yeah. 

Andrew Hatherley: It's funny because I've thought all my life that I was five nine and I don't know whether it's the fact that I'm about to turn 60, but apparently I'm five eight in a quarter and I've been shattered.

My thank goodness I I got married three years ago. Otherwise I'd be terrible state. 

Maria Spears: We shrink as we get older a little bit. People have to understand that if they're dating over 50, the last time we checked our height may have been when we were dollared.

Exactly, but not over two inches or so. 

Andrew Hatherley: So [00:16:00] you mentioned security. This is an important thing and I think the term is catfishing when people pretend to be someone they're not. It could be for various nefarious aims. H how do people protect themselves against this sort of thing? 

Maria Spears: There are a number of ways I actually have written a blog on it, but you can Google it to see what the common scams are and how you can report them to authorities not just to, the app, but also to the F B I and other authorities.

So ways to protect yourself to identify scammers early on. Scammers often don't have a picture on their profile. They will talk about a lifestyle that sounds too good to be true. They will use excessive flattery and try to get you off the app right away so that they [00:17:00] can really pursue their agenda without anybody watching, on the app, for example.

And There are people out there who ask for money after and they prey on people who are lonely. Yeah. So that's, remember, people are lonely getting on those apps and the scammers know that and they really psychologically maneuver in, in conversations very quickly to ask for money.

And I've had ladies say, regrettably, I did give that person money. And you never need to give anybody you've met online money ever. Not your personal information, not your address, nothing. One of the common scams that we, that men get is they get a woman who usually lives in another country altogether, but claims she lives locally and she can never talk real time.

[00:18:00] She texts at odd hours. And she's asking about their status, how much they make and where they live, how much how much their condo is, whatever. And for the women the scammer would lay on, the flattery, thickly and they would never meet for whatever reason, even if she asked to meet, they just keep it to a pen pal relationship.

There's no phone calls because if you had a phone call, you'd realize that person has an accent. They're not from here. Yeah. The common one for women also is the ex-military guy who's working on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean and is traveling the world. 

Andrew Hatherley: That's interesting. Yeah. I'm, of course, I'm not familiar with that one, but I wouldn't be, it's 

Maria Spears: important also to know, before I forget the thought, Andrew, is that the place where I see the most scams showing up, and I am approached every day on social [00:19:00] media, Instagram and Facebook.

It's rampant with people jumping into your conversation with other people and saying, I'd really like to meet you. You are, I've been following you. You are so interesting. You're beautiful, you're whatever. And then they want to immediately, they want you to friend them and they want to take that conversation off to the side.

And what I do is I report those people and 

Andrew Hatherley: block them. Yeah. That's not really the way to meet, to, to approach somebody on Facebook is it to barge into a conversation and try and hijack it with a dating request? 

Maria Spears: That again, it's not even about dating. It's about a scam. It's not sincere interest. They have the same words they use every time. It's almost like a bot or a school where these, people are searching social media so that [00:20:00] they can give this message and see who they're going to fish in, real in with the line. 

Andrew Hatherley: I, I think that's why it's so important.

The con, the first conversation we had about understanding ourselves and being ready to date, because I. I get the feeling, and I'm pretty sure you'd agree that when we've done the internal work, our antenna are much more sensitive to these sort of scams and dishonesties that, that are on the internet.


Maria Spears: And. Also, no matter where we are in our journey our love journey whether it's been weeks after divorce is final during a divorce or years later, we've already covered a certain path in our life where we have had our disappointments and heartache and heartbreak and people [00:21:00] are very vulnerable and.

I think our expectations sometimes when we get out there finally to find love is yes. Hopefully the next one is going to be the one, and it's so important, to set your own expectations, and I'm here to tell you that the next one is not going to be the one, it's just best to go in it. Letting yourself know that everyone out there is looking for what they're looking for.

I just have to stay focused on my yoga mat on my lane and pursue what I'm looking for and realize that it's going to take some time. It's not going to be instantaneous, but if you're not wanting to end up broken up or divorced again, then it's even that much more important. To be staying focused on your intentions and what you're really looking for the next time around.

Andrew Hatherley: Oh, very well said, Maria. So we spent quite a bit of time here talking about online dating [00:22:00] sites, but I know there are more traditional ways of meeting people. Of course the old standby is bars or parties. But I, that can get old really quickly. What about like meetup groups and groups of common interest?

Is that something that you recommend to your clients? 

Maria Spears: Yes. I talk to them about having a dating strategy and because I know that the research says that less than a fifth of people out there are meeting their forever person online, that means that four-fifths or more. Are meeting somewhere else.

Andrew Hatherley: Really? Yes. I wouldn't have thought the number was that high. 

Maria Spears: Yes, I do believe that there's a lot more people out there than ever before connecting online and active [00:23:00] online. But ultimately, those that end up meeting a partner and getting married are finding the majority are finding people through those common interests, through introductions organically.

Yes, meetups are really good. Any way that you can identify what your core interests are things that are part of your values, like if you value giving to back to your community and you volunteer. If you have specific political or spiritual or religious interests, those are great places to start.

Whether it's through a meetup group or through another organization, going to lectures on topics that interest you. I, one of my favorites that a lot of people are doing now that is fun and causes a lot more connections socially. Not just romantic, but friends as well is pickleball. Haha. 

Andrew Hatherley: Yes. It's [00:24:00] true. And I've just started playing pickleball myself. And it's funny, you could I could get the sense that people are meeting and developing attractions. because I've had people side up to me as you wait for the court because there's always a wait for the court because pickleball is so popular and say, Hey, so what do you do?

And yes. And inevitably, sometimes I'll, me and my wife do this, and then, and guys as well, you could see them opening up conversations on the pickleball course. You could see that it's a great way to meet potential romantic partners and get some exercises at the same time.

Maria Spears: Yes, I mean, I, just started a year and a half ago and I remember in just the few months that I was, doing it, I was asked out three times. Really [00:25:00] he, there's nothing like when you show up someplace and your guard is down and you're laughing and you're having fun, you, that makes you so approachable and that's what the other needs to approach.

Andrew Hatherley: The other thing, Maria, is that something like that also is a good indicator of your personality how you react to. Either winning or losing and how you play the game and are you a good sport or, do you have further childish reactions to losing? It's a good way of sussing people out.

Maria Spears: Yeah. Yeah. If you think about what some of your key interests are, then you go the next step further and say, okay, would someone, I'd be interested in, or I want to be with long-term, be doing this? You're guessing, but you're [00:26:00] trying different things. Is the idea as part of your game plan or your dating plan, trying different places that you don't normally go to?

because honestly, you could. If you have a certain mindset, you can meet people in the Starbucks line, in the grocery line, at the post office anywhere.

Andrew Hatherley: Back in the day when I was dating, I didn't, I think I met somebody in the grocery line and all sorts of unusual places.

You can meet people just by striking up a conversation. 

Maria Spears: And then there's also letting people know in your social circle that you are looking and giving them a good description of what you are interested in so that they don't necessarily just bring you a warm body. They have some idea what you're looking for.

I know where 

Andrew Hatherley: your mind's going. Yeah. You know what I'm thinking? You were talking about the dreaded blind date here, right? Yes. Yes. Never worked for me. I never had a good [00:27:00] blind date. I probably had about three, which is probably not a big sample size, but what someone thinks is good for you is rarely what you think is good for you.

My experience. 

Maria Spears: Yeah. And so you might be better off meeting friends of friends if they're having a dinner party or some other social event. Yeah. I am not a fan of meeting people at bars, especially as you get past 50. It just, yeah. It doesn't work, or some of those places. But sure, if it's a book signing or if it's a lecture or if it's a play, if it's, any number of other things where you might have a common interest, then that's really good.

Those are the things you want to 

Andrew Hatherley: look at. It's interesting what you said about bars and turning 50 because I have. A favorite cocktail lounge. It's really an old school classic cocktail lounge where they make really good classic cocktails. And [00:28:00] I used to, after I split up with my ex, I started going there and I was in my forties at the time and, I had a good time.

And we talked to the bartenders about, old school cocktails, something like the ACK and the French 75 and the origins of the Negroni. And the people who went to this bar were the sort of people who appreciated that. And that was almost a common interest. And I did meet some cool people going there, but I found as I hit that magic number 50 that I just, It wasn't for me anymore.

And maybe I just grew tired of dating a lot and wanted to find that long-term romantic relationship. But the bar kind of moved to the wayside, and it became much more about [00:29:00] common approaches to life and common interests and going out every Saturday night was no longer in the cards trying to be social, but not so much the bar scene.

I think that's definitely for a younger demographic. 

Maria Spears: But one of the things that you mentioned there I if I can take, it may be the bar setting was not ideal. However today since you brought the topic up, there are so many tastings. Whiskey, campaign wine. Those are places to meet people, like-minded people.

Andrew Hatherley: Good point. Good point. I recently got back from a cruise and the demographic on the cruise ship, as you might imagine, was well over 50. And they had that sort of thing, wine tasting. Yeah, for sure. Why not? I could see those sort of events [00:30:00] lending themselves to meeting, meeting people.

Or another thing is the wine. Your community may have a place that, that a winery, a vi that where people get together to make their own batches of wine. Yes. So that could be that could be another good way to meet people. Matchmaking services, are they still around?

Maria Spears: Yes, there are plenty of matchmaking services all over, and there are some that are definitely to be avoided. I have my own take on matchmaking and I personally, when my clients ask me about it, I While I give them, they have the option to do that if they feel it'll get them to their partner faster.

But in general, what I see is that number one, they're, they are much more skewed and geared towards what men [00:31:00] want. Yes. And they don't necessarily have a good selection of people, to introduce you to. It's like they go out and find them for you, and they're not finding very many matches and they are extremely expensive.

Andrew Hatherley: Yes. That's I think maybe 10, 15 years ago I might have looked for a matchmaking service, and it was very expensive. I, and with and the other dating services we discussed online services, we mentioned previously. That just seemed a lot of people and much more cost-effective.

Maria Spears: Yes. Yeah. There's some out there that are pretty known Takai three-day rule, and it's just lunch. 

Andrew Hatherley: Oh, I've heard of that one. Yes. 

Maria Spears: They're still around. But, again, for my clients, I don't recommend those. You're much better off circulating out in the world aligned with your interests and your values [00:32:00] than going that route.

It's, I think, really a waste of money ru for the most part. 

Andrew Hatherley: Okay. Are there any other ways to meet people that we haven't covered, Maria? 

Maria Spears: I think you mentioned at one point speed dating, 

Andrew Hatherley: Yeah. I don't think we mentioned we discussed that. Yeah. Ha. Have you ever done speed dating?

Maria Spears:  I personally haven't, but I do have clients who have tried it. I will say that it's good practice. Just like you want to include online dating in your dating plan to be out there as much as possible and give yourself the biggest opportunity to meet your person. You also speed dating, you're doing it because you want to practice your skills.

You want to practice, socializing. And what I've seen actually happen is maybe some dates come out of it. Haven't seen any relationships yet. But the other thing that I've seen [00:33:00] happen is that you meet other singles. So you may end up going out with other singles because a lot of people find at this age that the people they know are married or couple and they don't have someone to go out with when they want to do something. So you could end up meeting, meeting other singles to pal up with there. 

Andrew Hatherley:  When you say meeting other singles, do you mean meeting other singles of the same sex where you could be friends and go out, or is that what you're referring to or Yes, exactly.

And this is a problem for men because as men get older, it's more difficult for men to make male friends. And I'm just thinking about, I, I did speed dating, I think two or three times. And you do, while you're sitting around, you do strike up conversations with the other guys there.

And I could see how potential friendships might spark. But it's always difficult for men to make friends with other guys. It's usually. In relationships, while [00:34:00] we're married, the wife is usually the one driving the social bus, and it becomes quite a problem for men after, especially with Gray Divorce to reignite social relationships when they weren't the one really in charge of that in the marriage.

Maria Spears: So I think there's one question that we haven't talked about yet, and that is Facebook dating. And you mentioned that's where you met your wife. 

Andrew Hatherley: That's right. Facebook has set up a separate dating site within the app, right? Correct. Yeah. I've never used that.

And I think that site probably developed, From the comments that people made, the complaints that people made, that fading. Facebook isn't a dating site. LinkedIn isn't a dating site, and [00:35:00] I always disputed that because Facebook or LinkedIn or any place where men and women congregate can potentially be a dating site I don't think it should be.

Blatant approaches to people that are out of in, in threads or conversations that are unrelated. Hey, you're cute. Let's date, I think it should be much more private for one thing, and organic. But just to give you an idea of how it worked for me is I noticed one day that one of those prompts came up.

People you might know because you've got mutual friends. And so my wife my now wife Jackie popped up as someone you might know because we had two or three mutual friends in common. And so I think I, I [00:36:00] just friended her, sent her a friend request, and nothing more happened of it.

I just thought she's very nice-looking. And I checked her profile and oh, that's, she's very nice. And then nothing really happened. But then three months later we'll tell you some. Over the course of the three months before her birthday notification came up, I noticed that she liked a couple of my posts and never commented, but she liked a couple.

So I thought, okay, she's showing some interest. But then her birthday came up and I thought let's just send her a birthday greeting. So I sent her a birthday greeting and I think it was happy birthday to the Facebook friend that I've never met. And that was my entree, that was my approach.

And I remember [00:37:00] I was, I went to my personal trainer and I think while I was at my personal trainer I got a response to the message I sent to Jackie. And the response was thank you. From the Facebook friend, I'm sorry, I'm trying to remember the words. I think it's thank you from your Facebook friend who hopes to meet someday.

I go, wow. Wow. Okay. I don't think it's quite as forthright as that, but there was definitely some encouragement in her response. And I think a couple of days later I invited her out for coffee in a sticky bun. That was my line, like to me for coffee in a sticky bun. And we did.

And the rest is history. So Facebook can be a place where people meet anywhere. [00:38:00] It can be a place where romances develop. But funny, my mentioning coffee raises a question. Because when I first started dating, I think I made the fatal mistake of taking women out to dinner. And that was exhausting on my bank account and my sanity.

And so then I started doing coffee dates. So do you have any thoughts about, because some people say coffee, that's cheap, you don't want to do that. I said I can't be taking someone out to dinner three nights a week. That's crazy. Any thoughts on that first date and how it should be approached?

Maria Spears: Yes, I agree with you. It's best for both parties if the first date is something you do after a phone call, number one because you can hear some things that you may not like, right off the bat. And why go make the effort to go for a coffee if you might not be compatible. But let's say you're going out, the coffee just assumes it's a one-hour chat, [00:39:00] right?

So you have a finite time. And if it goes well, you can continue the date and move it to lunch or something else, but it really is a great, introduction to the person. Then you'll know between the two of you who wants to get to know each other further. But yes, for many reasons, safety and otherwise, I do feel like that coffee date is better.

Anything over alcohol really. Is not recommended from my perspective with a stranger. Especially if we're talking about a woman who wants to be safe out there. 

Andrew Hatherley: That's very interesting and that's a perspective that I hadn't heard before, but it makes so much, it makes so much sense. And I know some people tend to be nervous on first dates and might use the alcohol as a way of relaxing, but [00:40:00] ultimately that's probably counterproductive.

Maria Spears: Yeah. And I think on the rear occasion that this could happen, you just want to be mindful that today anyone can put something in your drink, right? And you don't want that to happen. So you eliminate that possibility by, being vigilant over your drink, not li leaving it unattended, but also just starting with the coffee to begin with.

Andrew Hatherley: And of course the coffee date, as you said, is typically no more than an hour. There's an escape clause and especially if you're doing it during the day, you can say that you've gotta get back to work, or, the, your kid needs to be picked up from school or the dog needs to go to the groomer or whatever.

It's it can less pressure. So let's assume that maybe you are doing an evening date or. Even an afternoon date, the best way to end a date, whether or not, whether the [00:41:00] date's gone or poorly, how do you recommend the people end the date? 

Maria Spears: I think with kindness and grace, what your grandmother taught you or your, is to thank them that it was lovely meeting them.

And, don't offer to get together again if that's not your intention or to call. So I think just, continuing to be honest and genuine in terms of how you handle that piece as well. And you've had experience with this, so what's your sense? 

It's tricky.

Andrew Hatherley: I think honesty is always the best policy, but you want to be kind and you and a person may be a good person, but they may not be the person for you. So if [00:42:00] you're recognized that it didn't really work out, you could always say something was nice having a conversation with you. And it was nice chatting with you.

But I probably committed this sin once or twice, but I think towards the more experienced I became with dating, the less I would say I'll call you because I didn't like that. Nobody wants to be told that they're going to be called or that they thought the date went well. And then the whole ghosting phenomenon that's something that I can't say that I've never done it, but I think that increasingly I did not do that.

I think it's always best to be honest. 

Maria Spears: And sometimes we try to be socially graceful by saying, okay, we'll talk soon, or, talk to you whenever. That's just a habit that we have in our language. And, so a lot of times [00:43:00] it doesn't even come out.

It just comes out spontaneously and it doesn't come out to mislead someone. 

Andrew Hatherley: Yeah. And I think. Sometimes you know, that you want to see the person again. And, in those cases, perhaps, you don't want to play games. You want to let the person know you're interested. But I think there's always part of you that says, oh, I don't want to be too over eager.

So I think in those cases, I would say, look, I had a really nice conversation. I think I'd like to chat with you again, Either, depending on how it went I might say, I might have said do you mind if I give you a call and then no ball's in their court, or wait for a response and see what they say and I don't know.

But if you want to see someone again, I think [00:44:00] you be honest about it and say it. I think you're going to do that anyway. 

Maria Spears: I love how you just talked out loud for your audience to hear. Yes. 

Andrew Hatherley: Rambled, I think is some of the words to say at the end. 

Maria Spears: Yeah. And it's, that is just exactly what I was meaning.

But I agree that if you're interested and if, especially if we're talking about a woman who's interested in a man, we've been taught, especially in the generation after 50, to let the guy take the lead, play hard to get all sorts of myths, misinformation, that real men need multiple signals in order to really, believe and understand that someone wants to see them again because they get a lot of rejection.

Women don't realize how much rejection men get. Yeah. So I think if you're interested, there's ways where you can drop the hanky if you're a lady and be like, I'd love to hear the rest of that story, [00:45:00] so let me know if you're 

Andrew Hatherley: interested. That's so good what you're saying there because I'm looking, I'm thinking about Jackie's response to our first date, and her friends told her emphatically, no more than an hour leave after an hour.

And I don't know how I would've reacted if she left after an hour. I probably would've called her again. But, it's a signal of rejection. I would've thought if the date's going really well. Now, obviously, if someone has an appointment or whatever, you understand, but I remember after about an hour I asked her, Do you have any plans this afternoon or, because I think we met for about on a, I think it was President's Day or one of those January holiday days.

And I had asked her if she had any plans and she was taken aback because she was thinking in the back of her head, friends said, no, friends said, [00:46:00] no, can't go on. And she goes no. But it turns out she did have plans, but she was having a good time as well. I said no. I said I'm going to this place to buy some charcuterie because it's got a really good reputation for the best meats and cheeses in town, if you like that sort of thing, you want to, you want to tag along.

And so she did. And the date ended up going on quite a long time. And and if she'd followed that friend's advice of cutting out after an hour it wouldn't have been nearly as good an experience. Yeah. 

Maria Spears: And that particular date, what I liked about it is that you actually left the building.

You went outside and you were walking. There's something about being side to side and moving that's just much more relaxing and conducive to a conversation. She could very well have said, I do have something right [00:47:00] after this, but let's continue the conversation. And would you have seen that as a rejection?

Andrew Hatherley: That would've been terrific. That would've been, that would've been fine. And walks, I think walks are a great date as well. It doesn't have to be high energy. It could just be being in nature in nice surroundings. I know we just we just got back from a whirlwind European trip and our first stop was in London and, is it Regents Park?

Oh my, where is it? Hunt. Kensington Gardens, I can't remember, but there's a place called the Serpentine, and it's a body of water and it's almost like a river and you can walk down the side of it and there's flowers and sculptures and gardens. Just tremendous thinking, man, these people in London have a great place to have a date.

Just this wonderful walk. So anyway, I think the bottom line is that people can meet [00:48:00] and kindle romance in so many different ways. Yes. 

Maria Spears: Yeah. And I love hearing your story. Hadn't heard that before. Thanks, Andrew. 

Andrew Hatherley: Oh you're welcome. Maria, once again, we've gone over time talking about this fascinating subject.

Really appreciate your input and, if our listeners are interested in learning more about you and the services you provide to help people in their dating and love life, how can they get ahold of you? 

Maria Spears: The most direct way is to go to my website which is Maria-Spears.

That's And from there you can find out what social media we can connect on and you can see what seminars I'm offering coming up next. 

Andrew Hatherley: Oh really? Yeah. Tell us a little bit more about that. 

Maria Spears: I do offer workshops where they're either a one-time thing or a series to [00:49:00] help people who are just getting back out there dating and they really want to set themselves up to choose the right person the next time around and do that self-discovery that we've been talking about today and in episode 12.

Yeah, it's a lot of fun and I think that people feel they're in the right mindset and confident when they're stepping out there as a result. 

Andrew Hatherley: Terrific. That's great. Maria, thanks again so much for your willingness to have a second part to our conversation and I hope people reach out to you and have the best romantic and love-related life they can going forward.

Maria Spears: Thank you so much, Andrew, and I too hope that they find the love of their life. Thank you.

Announcement: Thanks so much for tuning into this episode of The Gray Divorce Podcast. To learn more or [00:50:00] get in contact with your host, you can visit Andrew's website at Also, please feel free to rate, subscribe, and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. That helps others find the show and we greatly appreciate it.

Thanks again for listening, and we'll catch you in the next episode.

Andrew Hatherley: Information provided is educational only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Each situation is unique and should be discussed with your tax or legal advisor prior to implementation. Andrew Hatherley is not an attorney and does not provide legal advice. Information provided is financial in nature.

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