If you find yourself in midlife and single again after 20 or more years of marriage, you’ll find the dating world has drastically changed. With the vast number of online dating sites, you are competing for the attention of a woman with a great number of men. It’s not like when you were in high school, a jock, and had your pick of the girls in the school.

Dating in midlife takes a little work. It may seem a bit rocky at first, but stick it out, and you just might find the perfect woman for you. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

• Know yourself—Not being that jock anymore is not a disadvantage…it can be a big advantage. Before you relied on that reputation for dates. You’re a different person now. You have confidence in who you are as a person, not just what you can do. You’re a stronger, smarter person now. If you genuinely understand and like who you are now, you’ll be able to find a woman who will too.

• Try change—Your ex is an “ex” for a reason. If you look for someone just like them, you may just end up having another ex. You might also miss out on something exciting and wonderful. Try dating different types of women who enjoy things you’ve never tried, but are willing to. You’ll learn so much more and you just might find that loving, intimate relationship you are looking for if you look outside the box.

• Develop a dating strategy—If you’re serious about dating again, you can’t just sit home and wait or dates to knock on your door. You have to determine ways to meet new women. You can try online dating, join different social groups, and/or attend social events. Taking a dance class is a great way to meet women, and it gives you one-on-one contact with them and a chance to learn more about them.

• Prepare an awesome online dating profile—Find a profile picture that stands out and will be noticed. Pick a user name that is original and catchy. Add current pictures to your profile that show you enjoying life and doing things you enjoy doing. If you don’t have any current pictures, then take some! When you meet she should be able to recognize you. Tell about who you are and what you hope to get from the dating experience. Remember to be honest. A lot of men list that they are looking for love and marriage because they think that’s what women want to hear. Some women do, but others just want someone they enjoy spending time with.

• Listen—You can’t learn anything about a person if you don’t listen to them. You want to show them you are listening. You should keep eye contact with them. Respond appropriately by nodding, smiling, asking questions, or adding comments.

• Seriously try—A lot of singles say they want to date, but are reluctant to try. If you’re feeling vulnerable right now and don’t think you know how to date, you can talk to friends or even hire a dating coach.

How you go about dating is important, but the most important thing is that you actually do it!