Looking for a soul mate in middle age in the middle of a global pandemic is no joke, but Jeanne Sullivan Billeci assured Oliver Callan, it's possible to find your soul mate online – but only if you stop putting the wrong you out there.
Jeanne, who found love online herself 10 years ago, spent lockdown writing a book about how to successfully date online. One of the biggest obstacles for middle-aged people, she told Oliver, are what she calls the three midlife myths of online dating:
"All the good ones are taken… I’m too fat, I’m too old, I’ve too strong a personality… And then the third myth is that, for women or men who are very very successful in their careers, they’re afraid that they’ll lose themselves, that they’ll lose the great life they’ve built for themselves and they’re afraid they can’t find the right person to bring something to the party, so to speak."
According to Jeanne, we’re taught to date in the wrong way, in what she calls the Hollywood way. So, people look at the picture, they go by chemistry, they search for an exciting spark:
"And unfortunately, that actually leads us astray. That’s really not a decision coming from your heart and your spirit, it’s really more like hormones, really."
What’s really important, Jeanne says, is to think about what makes you happy. And the pandemic has actually made online dating better, she believes, because it’s slowed the whole process down. In the old times, people would look at a picture and think they’d found a match, go off on a few dates with no preparation and within a month be thinking that they’re with the wrong person.
The pandemic restrictions have made people pause and think before leaping into the fray. And that’s a good thing, Jeanne says, because the best preparation for online dating is to be yourself, not who you think your prospective date wants you to be. You need, she says, to own your authentic self:
"And that means flying your freak flag. And not worrying about trying to attract the masses. I think that’s really where a lot of us fail as we have this lack mentality and we’re worried about, 'Oh, we have to attract the most people, so let me be as vague as possible. And have the best poses in my pictures, so that I attract the most people.’"
Instead, Jeanne says, you should be as open as possible, and put your deal-breakers out there. Which, of course, makes sense, as then people replying to you will be fully up to speed on what you’re actually looking for.
Jeanne speaks from experience, as this strategy worked for her. She wanted to get married and didn’t shy away from saying as much.
"I put it out there. And the very next day, literally, four men, completely different, approached me online. It was an extraordinary shift. And one of them was my husband."
(Her husband-to-be, that is – it wasn’t a Pina Colada Song situation). You can hear the full chat between Oliver and Jeanne Sullivan Billeci by going here.
Jeanne’s dating advice website is mysoulmatecoach.com. And Jeanne’s book is called Be the Soul Mate You Want to Attract and it’s available now.