Flirting masterclass for older women launched

Susan Cohen, left, and Karen Barr show they are all heart; below, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft share a moment. Picture: Lesley Martin
Susan Cohen, left, and Karen Barr show they are all heart; below, Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft share a moment. Picture: Lesley Martin
Share this article
Have your say

A new scheme to to help 40-and 50-year-old Edinburgh women through the dating minefield has been launched, with a free flirting masterclass devised by an ­Edinburgh businesswoman.

Clinical hypnotherapist Susan Cohen, 50, with the help of “dating consultant” and psychology graduate Karen Barr, 52, hope their brand of modern seduction techniques will produce a higher success rate than that enjoyed by Mrs Robinson.

Susan, who doesn’t see herself as an older woman, believes there’s a huge demand for dating and tip classes that empower both middle-aged men and women looking for love.

“I realised that in our heads we still are that age group and still happy and want to go out and have a good time, but you don’t want to stick out like sore thumbs,” she said.

The former family lawyer, who admitted it was ironic she’d come full circle after helping so many couples ­separate, is hoping she can help people “in their prime” have fun and “feel free”.

“We are not necessarily looking for ‘the one’ but we are looking for a place where ­people can be free,” she added.

In addition to the flirting masterclasses, the pair will be hosting speed-dating sessions far removed from the “ringing a bell and running around” way of doing it.

Instead they will host grown up but informal sessions designed to put new 40- and 50-somethings on the dating scene at ease. After each event, Susan will pass on the e-mails of the singletons who have mutually liked each other. “There’s nothing that can replace that spark of chemistry,” Susan explained. “We want to kick against the labels – people try to do it if you’re over 40 such as mother, ­divorcee or career woman.”

Karen, who describes herself as a “coach that helps women attract love” added: “There’s a whole new generation of ­people out there looking for love in the 40s, 50s and 60s especially ‘nesters’ where their families have left home and the couple aren’t staying together,” Karen explained. “We wanted to make it more spontaneous and not have those forced conversations – you get to know people so much better when you have activities.”

She added: “I’m working with women who are generally a bit older, about 35, and they still have not found someone but there’s all these ­pressures and the thought that the ­biological clock is ticking.

“They get great pressure from their families who say ‘It will be your turn next’ but it’s a downward spiral from there.”

Registrar General for Scotland figures for 2011 revealed there were nearly 10,000 divorces in Scotland – resulting in a middle-aged boom in the number of people entering the dating game.

To find out more about the classes visit

Great tips to help you find romance

Here’s Susan’s top tips for successful flirting:

1. Always make eye contact with each other.

2. Lean in to the conversation so it’s clear you are interested.

3. Make sure the conversation is balanced and that you’re speaking as much as you’re listening.

4. Read each other’s body language and remember to adapt this to the date rather than still thinking you’re in a business meeting.

5. Even if you’re having a bad day, don’t whinge.

6. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes.

7. Try to be humorous but don’t tell ridiculous jokes.

8. Always keep smiling.