Welcome to My World ... a note from Joan Barrett.
Start to smell the roses! Enjoy this practical yet warm guide to expanding your horizons as you participate in Mature online dating via SINS (Singles INternet-dating Services.)
The following numbers are against you if you are sincerely looking for a future partner and you remain outside of SINS. As of June 2013, of the 54+ million singles in the U.S., 40+ million had tried online dating. And, 17 percent of all marriages met on dating sites. Twenty percent of current committed relationships began online.
Another number: The average online dater spends $239.00 per year in fees. Not much when you consider your investment is likely to bring positive changes to your life and, likely, a partner or spouse. Solo living, often rhapsodized in film, can be quite romantic. I know ... I live it. Thanks to SINS, I discovered Mature Singles are able to tailor quite satisfying lives.
Whether your goal is a fulfilling Solo or a Partnered lifestyle, this guide will bring you to a new, self-created future. Truly, you are likely to be single no more ... if you desire a last and lasting love.
1 http://www.statisticsbrain.com/online-dating-statistics/, Reuters, Herald News, PC World, Washington Post, research date: 1/1/2014, accessed June 30, 2014.
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Read an Excerpt
By Joan Barrett
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2014 Joan Barrett
All rights reserved.
Who are YOU and why are YOU at the entrance of Candyland SINS? Are YOU sculpting your next act? Where do YOU fit in?
Here you are ... a Young or Seasoned Mature and single. Probably single for the first time in decades. You ask yourself how you got to this state at this stage of your life. You may never have committed to a partnership or marriage. You may have lost your partner through death, divorce or breakup or you have chosen to be a committed Singleton. But, things can change, right?
You bear your life's earlier successes and disappointments by yourself as you approach or are in your later years ... possibly thinking about seeking a meaningful personal attachment. You are grateful most of the time that you still are so very much alive. You miss companionship perhaps and, yes, admit it ... intimacy. When you think of how often you passed by, passed on it or did not appreciate it when you were married or engaged in meaningful previous relationships you could cry! I mean, both for the companionship and the physical closeness!
You may be licking your wounds from relationship battle defeats. You may be obsessing about a lost love; or worse ... because there has been no love in your life to have lost. Now, you have Candyland S.I.N.S. and are about to take control of your life and create options. You may feel battered and beaten in love, romance and relationships for the moment, but that situation is about to change. Whatever the sad sweetness or lingering loss you still live with, your life could take a new turn. Give yourself the chance.
"People who live life in fear of taking risks die without living it."
-Fola, The Seed-
You have survived the first half of your adult life paying your dues along the way. You now stand at the gates of Candyland SINS, perhaps one of your last major entrances before those 'pearly gates'. Generally, it has taken you 20+ adult years to arrive here. Would you have dreamed you would be alone at this time of your life, having shared some or much of it with a partner? When life gives you lemons, make ...! It is so refreshing.
You are among the more than 50 percent of American adults who are single. Thirty-one million (roughly one out of every seven adults) live alone and make up 28 percent of all US households. Fifteen million of those solo dwellers are between the ages of 35 and 64; ten million of them are 65 and older. These numbers are staggering but do not necessarily imply failures. Stop moping about, hiding in the fact that you are alone. Stand up straight and hold your head high. Be assured you are not an anomaly but part of a large and growing segment of our society.
Despite having borne the pain of love lost or love unattained, you can choose to face your future (be assured you have one) with courage, knowing that heart piercing pain need not be relived. Choose not to live with your past. Choose to move beyond it. Benefit from your mistakes and failures to utilize lessons learned and create a 'next act' that could very well be the most exciting and riveting one in the stage play of your life. After all, you are now an experienced Mature, one maybe about to draw back the curtain ... poised to begin the grandest adventure of your life before an exceedingly interactive audience ... inside Candyland SINS.
As you read this book, you may be a Single alone by choice or not by choice, among the mature segment of society which is often dismissed and labeled 'retired', essentially retired from a full romantic life; held back for whatever reasons from what could be a vibrant and even warm, sexily adventurous time of life. Mature Singles who express interest in finding romance, intimacy and love often are stifled by those around them. Some of their peers may brush off attempts at deeper sharing. Some married and non-married friends chuckle and smile uncomfortably when Mature Singles mention what they are considering ... their rebirth. Many of their children find a parent's intention difficult to discuss. And, their grandchildren can't fathom it.
Grandfathers may still take their grandchildren fishing and grandmothers may still bake them cookies. However, more is going on in grandparents' lives these days than in the not-too-distant past ... more than tackle boxes and ovens. I know it and you know it. It is time we let the world know it ... many Younger and Mature Singles are alive and kicking ... and plan to kick up more dust before they settle under it.
These later years are for many Matures the time of being a grandparent, a retired pillar of the community, an active member of various groups, etc.... gasp, yawn!!! Society sees and relegates Matures' roles within their communities as such. In SINS, Mature Singles can cast off accumulated masks. Whether or not they feel their time is running short, some of them have dreams, even fantasies, to fulfill. Some may feel they have only one more real shot at finding and securing the elusive happiness of close and deep connection.
Let's review my terms in play in Candyland S.I.N.S.
Singles INternet-dating Services becomes the acronym S.I.N.S. That acronym I have playfully transposed into SINS. They are online dating sites. Most of them are very inclusive, opening to all comers their 'niche' doors to Candyland. Online dating services are not just for the younger generations anymore. Another name I use interchangeably with SINS is Candyland ... the colorful and lighthearted online world laden with never-ending (and continually replenished) tempting treats waiting to be sampled. Candyland is my affectionate and evocative term for SINS websites and their communities. These can become a fun-filled and fulfilling part of your life.
Enter when you are ready. You can participate at your own comfort level or time schedule and make your entrance as simple or as challenging as you please. Once you register with your selected site/s you will be spoon-fed the directions you are to follow. [But, before you leap into interactions with other members, you absolutely must read and internalize Chapter 12.] Always, always adhere to the rules of safety. Doing so could literally save your life.
You might consider why you have not found 'the one' after possibly years and years of seriously searching and engaging in various social activities. Or, perhaps it is time for some self-examination. You may be just unlucky to this point. Perhaps you are emotionally unavailable, which is beyond the discussions in this book. Therapists, a great many books and other resources can be of help. Google/search for certified counselors and psychotherapists in your area to assure you are not interacting with someone who just decided to hang out a shingle and give advice on your deep life issues. Better yet, ask friends for a good referral. Since so many of us have undertaken therapy; it is not a shameful thing for others to ask about. In fact, it is a commendable approach to understanding how you tick ... or not! [A discussion you will come to in Chapter 16.]
Your coming years can include a rebirth of sorts as you explore your inner and outer well-being and expand your community of friends and what they bring to your life. SINS members can be part of that enlarged community. On SINS I have met my best male friends and some of my best female friends, as well.
You have reached a point in life's journey where you can either coast along or choose adventure. The choices many Mature Singles are unaware they make can be conscious or subconscious, predetermined perhaps by their natures, their health or their finances. Or, even by chance; just picking up and browsing through a book such as Candyland S.I.N.S. can change your life. Believe it! The fact this book is in your hands and you are reading beyond its front and back outside covers demonstrate your interest in changing your status quo ... in modifying your life at a deeper level or just playing in the realm of Candyland S.I.N.S. Also, perhaps whatever happens is meant to be.
You can accept this stage of life and live much of it sitting in an armchair, waiting for the inevitable outcome. Or, you can literally hop on a motorcycle and start savoring life's adventures. You will decide how you will travel on this journey into new territory ... with the speed and enthusiasm of an easy-going coffee-sipping stroller ambling along or with the vim and vigor of a touring bike rider. Take control! Make choices!!
Here you are ... a Singleton. You are in your mature years ... deliberately considering or seeking a change in your sometimes too quiet, too lonely and possibly unwanted Single state. You do have the option to embrace its freedom and its other appealing benefits. [More of this option later in Chapter 16.] Either of these goals, to change your Solo state or embrace it, can be achieved successfully within the SINS community. Such members are just like you ... individuals who have found a new 'tribe' that celebrates the freedom to seek companions and/or partners or ... to happily fly Solo.
Whatever path you choose to pursue, Partnered or Solo, wipe the frown or blank stare off your face and begin to make up for lost time and missed opportunities. Start those endorphins flowing again! A vibrant dating world exists for Mature Singles ... and for you, if you are adventurous enough and prepared to successfully enter ... Singles INternet-dating Services, aka SINS.
This phase of your life is akin to attending a costumed ball, for which you wear a heavy mask sculpted over many years to accommodate others' perceptions of who they want or expect you to be. So few people in your life know who you really are deep inside. Within SINS, your mask and its accompanying weight can be cast off to give you a fresh start. Sadly, some new members foolishly replace the old burdened masks with fresh false ones. Old masks were to please family and friends and encase self-perceived deficiencies; new false masks are perhaps creations of how a member wants to appear to his/her new communities of SINS. Here is my sincere advice: Remain true to yourself ... be as authentic as you can be or you will live a lie ... perhaps for the rest of your life. Seek to connect with someone who loves you for your most true self and not for the persona you want the world to perceive.
Persona originally referred to an actor's mask. Now, the word means more of a false front. One of my dear friends is someone I previously dated on SINS. He is now gloriously, happily settled with another Mature he met online. My friend had a marvelous idea: create masks with exteriors that portray the persona the wearers want to present to the world and interiors that represent the wearers' authentic selves. What incredible potential for self-study and artistic interpretation, don't you think?
The optimal choice is to sculpt such a mask as close to your true identity as possible ... inside and out. Very few individuals can live healthily the rest of their lives being someone they are not ... stress can cause emotional strain, disease and even death.
Please enter SINS presenting a true profile of yourself. Attempt to be as authentic and sincere as possible for the special someone you have not yet met. Give yourself the real potential to lead a genuine, happy and deeply-fulfilling life with the person waiting for you. Attempt to be as relaxed as you would with the family and friends who love and know the real you. If you enter SINS as your genuine self you will never slip-up or experience anxieties, failures or regrets because you were not truthful.
Your deep and very real desires can surface when you know time is running short in fulfilling your dreams and, in some cases, your fantasies. You have another real opportunity to find your happiness and fulfill your desires ... perhaps even those fantasies ... within SINS. Allow them to open their gates for you. Add your participation in SINS, if only for a trial, to your bucket list.
You may be shy or feel you do not want to be 'seen' online by others whom you do not want to know about your membership in SINS. No one has to know you are dating on the Internet, if you do not wish it. You simply do not include pictures in your profile. You have the option to be totally anonymous. Member profiles offer neither actual names nor personal contact information. Neither should be shared online with other members ... or the public. You simply select your own fantasy Username; you decide to post your picture ... or not.
Warning: Without a picture, you will receive very few approaches and very little response to your contact attempts. I never respond to anyone who does not present a profile picture unless he has good reason for not initially presenting one, such as being a public figure. The necessity to include photos in your profile is very important for you to grasp because both males and females are greatly influenced by what their eyes send to their brains. No photos translates into few views and even fewer responses to your flirts, winks, favorites, messages, etc. Thus, you would defeat the purpose of your participation in SINS ... and have wasted your time and effort for a poor quality return on your combined investment of fees, energy, time and initial hopes. Popular recipients of winks, flirts, etc. will seldom if ever answer members who do not have a picture on their profiles. Please embrace the fact that having your pictures on a dating site no longer carries the stigma it once did. Posting a picture to who knows how many members is very acceptable to the membership ... and almost mandatory if you anticipate positive results.
Once you have some results to act upon do not throw out the many potentially good matches because the 'chemistry' just was not there. Thanks to SINS I have dated members who, although they were not to be romantic matches, have remained in my life as 'friends for life' matches. These members have given me a second career, hobbies, interests, and self-expansion toward horizons I would have never dreamed of.
As I write, due to my ongoing positive healthy connection with failed romantic matches, my life is, in fact, the richer. I have made efforts to revitalize a career of a retired singer/songwriter who, after his wife's death, had thought his singing days were over. I add positive dimensions to 'living' for a member friend whose life is riddled with health issues. I also exchange a great deal of laughter with a wonderful, elegant and well-educated gentleman via telephone conversations and online connecting. I designed and executed beautiful gardens on a large property for a great guy ... who broke my heart (I got over him, as one must). And, continue to applaud a wonderful couple who not only found their life partner in each other but also their ideal dynamic business partner on SINS at a time in their lives when they each seemed to be winding down their separate personal and professional stories. We three maintain a beautiful friendship as a happy result of an initial SINS match that did not work in the romantic department. We all have kept the best part of our relationships and friendships ... and left the dead wood behind us.
Your life will be made richer as has mine due to the broad spectrum of members I have met who did not give up on living and, actually, are leading their remaining years quite to the contrary. You will find Mature Singles looking toward new horizons, seeing the rest of their lives lit with sunrises, not sunsets. These are the sort of people you want to meet ... and be fortunate to know because of SINS.
So much awaits you within the world of SINS ... with a few taps on the keyboard or keypad, exciting opportunities can develop to meet others that bypass the usual, generally inefficient, difficult and time-consuming routes to find a certain someone in the general population. To join clubs and teams, volunteer, and go to bars and large social events, etc. may be valid in their own right but they just are not well-aimed. In the past, to find an appropriate mate was akin to locating the proverbial needle in a haystack. Now as a savvy member of SINS you will become, you can use your time much more efficiently to meet potential partners online in the quiet comfort of your own home or cozily settled with a café latte in a coffee shop. No longer must you investigate venue after venue fruitlessly searching with disappointing results. Statistics support the customary lack of success in finding possible someones in those environments.
Excerpted from Candyland S.I.N.S. by Joan Barrett. Copyright © 2014 Joan Barrett. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsWhat's It All About?, xi,
Welcome to My World ... To the Reader, xiii,
Chapter 1: Who, Why, and Where Are YOU?, 1,
Chapter 2: Who, Why and Where are THEY?, 16,
Chapter 3: What Are S.I.N.S.?, 25,
Chapter 4: The Best You ... ever, 35,
Chapter 5: Fear, Rejection, Mistrust, Hurt and Anger ... dump them, 51,
Chapter 6: Picking Your Site/s ... over 1,500 choices!, 66,
Chapter 7: How to Write a Profile, 89,
Chapter 8: Photos, 105,
Chapter 9: How to Read a Profile, 120,
Chapter 10: Scammers ... the dangers, 137,
Chapter 11: Catfish and Players ... the heartbreakers, 153,
Chapter 12: Safety Guide ... do not skip this chapter, 171,
Chapter 13: Online Dating Etiquette, 185,
Chapter 14: First Date ... and beyond, 205,
Chapter 15: SEX ... intimate engagements, 228,
Chapter 16: Going Solo ... again?, 241,
Reader Reflection and Discussion Group Topics, 271,
Reader Notes, 273,
About the Author, 275,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A reader does not have to be "single and hoping" to enjoy this entertaining and informative read. Barrett's successful formula offers personal accounts, eight years of active experiences, research-based information, humor and heart. All the elements combine to make CANDYLAND S.I.N.S. a multi-faceted guide that can help many start to shape enhanced selves and create more fulfilling lives. This book is definitely one to mention as a good read and think about as an anytime gift to others who are wistful about "more life" in their lives.
Candyland SINS is a great ‘companion’ to anyone looking to enter or who has already entered the online dating scene and needs to kick it up a notch. I am impressed by the writer, Joan Barrett’s knowledge of ‘the online scene’ through her experiences and supporting statistics. Her advice has been incredibly helpful to me to navigate the scene. The book’s interesting first-hand stories and funny topical cartoons make a really good read. I can see I will be referring to this guide many times over and over!