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Chat retirement strategies with AARP’s Jean Setzfand today, Oct. 24th, at 2:00 p.m. ET

Dating Advice From Mom and Dad?!

Practical tips my parents taught me

On my first and last trip to Las Vegas, I was a callow 25. I swam in the hotel pool each morning and gambled each afternoon. One day I ran into Richie Havens at the roulette table, but I don't think he recognized me.

Mother and daughter smiling (Getty Images)

Parents can provide valuable dating advice. — Neustock Images

Now it’s 40 years later and I’m headed for Vegas again, slated to appear on an AARP panel called “Love Connections: Finding Someone after 50.” It’s all part of AARP's Life @ 50+ national event, where they have me billed as a dating expert.
 
When did that happen?

Well, let’s see: In my mid-30s, I got divorced. At age 60, I met my present husband. In between those two events I had several relationships that lasted anywhere from six months to two years, as well as one to several dates with men who were terrific, creepy, decent, obnoxious, grounded, or disconnected from reality.

I described both the moles and the mensches for national magazines, and this year I’ve been sharing my dating strategies with you.

With my Vegas talk on May 31 falling squarely between Mother's Day and Father's Day, I've been thinking a lot lately about Mom and Dad — and how their wisdom was a life raft as I sailed the Dating Sea.

Here are highlights of my parents' dating advice.

1. My first significant other after my divorce was a bad boy — Billy Bigelow minus the spinning carousel or velvet voice. "He's missing that fine coat of polish," my mother said. "But I see why you like him: He's got that special manly quality." Huh? In college I'd been led to believe that I was supposed to land a polished man. "Really, Mom?" I responded. "But I don't think he's my forever guy." "I see that, too," she said. Then she rocked me back once more: "But if you get married again, make sure that physical thing is there. It's the glue." "Do you have that 'glue' with Dad?" Mom blushed. “Can’t you tell?”

Next page: More wise words from Mom — and Dad. »

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