I have decided that one of the major problems of dating in the last half of life is that we all “know better “ by now. Experience has been a tough teacher.

For example, that sarcastic wit I used to find attractive when I was younger I now understand can become a cruel tool.

A “take charge personality?” It can mask insecurities so deep that the only way to cope is to exert control, control, control. And a maternal or paternal nature may see that the bills are paid and rugs vacuumed, but it can also be smothering. I’m also growing less and less fond of strong opinions, my own as well as anyone else’s.

So what qualities do I continue to look for? Kindness. Generosity. These two characteristics never wear out their welcome. Good-humored is also another valuable characteristic. A sense of humor can be subjective—laughter can have an edge to it– but to be good-humored connotes a light spirit and a person willing to roll with the vagaries of life.

How about you? What traits do you value in a mate? And which ones set off warning signals?

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