7 Tips for Older Dating
There’s no better time than the present to meet someone new. No matter what age you are or what reason brought you to try and find love or a romantic connection, both are out there waiting. The trick is, where to find them? While dating as a senior can come with different struggles than dating in youth, the foundation remains the same: we want to find chemistry, and we want to find romance.
The good news is age brings wisdom, and it also brings identity. As we grow, we tend to gain a better understanding of what we want out of life, and who we want to surround ourselves with. When those assets are brought to the dating world, it means we have a firmer understanding of what we want in a romantic partner too.
With that in mind, there’s more ways than ever before to find a partner like that. If you’re getting out into the game, here are our 7 Tips for Older Dating:
1. Meet People Online
Just like most everything else from paying bills, getting directions, or reading the news—online is now one of the easiest places to find love too. That being said, it’s also the place to use the most caution.
When dating online, it’s extremely important to use reputable sources and search reputable sites. While there are a number of would-be romantic websites that promise to find you a partner in no time—you should make sure you trust the site. E-harmony, Match, True Life Partner, or OurTime are all choices you can trust enough to offer up credit information—and that’s probably the gauge to measure by.
With all that out the way, the true benefit of online dating is that you are in control, or at least wary, of a lot more before that first date even happens. You create a dating profile, choose a profile picture or a few pictures to display, write a description of yourself, and sometimes fill out a questionnaire all as a means of outlining who you are—and, also, narrowing your list of compatible partners.
After that, you can get to know potential partners through their own profiles, through their pictures, their descriptions documenting their lives, their age, their interests, and their hobbies. Most all of that is on display and if any isn’t, the gaps can often be filled by asking a person directly in the chat feature.
The real strength of online dating is that this process can help to find someone with compatible interests and, often, compatible life experience. After all, while it’s always wonderful to be able to talk to someone about common interests, it’s even better to be able to talk about common life experiences that shaped those interests.
2. Join an Activity Group
Another great way of finding a date, if the online route isn’t for you, is by joining activity groups or clubs. This almost ensures that you and your prospective partner might have at least one shared interest upon which you might lay a foundation. Whether that interest comes in the form of reading or theater clubs, dance or cooking classes—anything you choose is not only a great opportunity to make a love connection, it’s also a great way to make new friends and, potentially, even try something new.
While it might not always be a place people go in search of love, it’s a great way to ease yourself into a more social atmosphere of like-minded individuals—especially if it’s a first step back in the game.
3. Join a Matchmaking Agency
If you haven’t had luck with the first two options, or if those options don’t necessarily appeal to you, it could be worth a shot to try out a senior matchmaking agency.
Unlike an online dating profile, a matchmaking agency will work to find the right person for you.
Once you find an agency that appeals to you, the process is pretty simple. You go in and an expert will interview you with a few questions to gather your specific interests, hobbies, history, and overall life experience. They’ll do their best to get to know you, and also what you’re looking for in a potential partner. From the information provided they will find a match that appears compatible from their own database—someone else who went through the same process.
The best part about something like this is that you know with some certainty that the other person is likely looking for the same thing you are—and that can be a wonderful relief going in to the first date or beyond.
4. Plan a Relaxed First Date
With all those methods of finding a potential date out of the way, it’s important to talk about the actual date. A first date as a senior doesn’t have to be what you might expect—a candlelit dinner, or carriage ride through the park. In all honesty, it can be anything you want.
The best way to decide on a first date is assessing what you’re comfortable doing. A first date, above all else, is an opportunity to speak with a prospective partner in order to see if there’s a connection.
That being said, some of the best first dates can also be the simplest. A cup of coffee, a stroll in the park, a meal at a favorite restaurant no matter the time of day. Any opportunity that provides comfort to both of you, but also the opportunity to get to know each other, is all you’re looking for.
5. Dress for Success
Now it’s possible you’ve done this whole song and dance before—but, even if you have, the best way to go about the whole experience is with fresh eyes, and fresh optimism. Whatever your intention with dating as a senior, go in to those dates looking your best.
Just remember, you decide what your best is.
Your best doesn’t necessarily mean wearing the finest clothes you have—it just means putting in the effort so that when in the mirror before you head out the door that you feel confident. Whatever hairstyle, suit, make-up, shirt, belt, or dress you want to wear for your first date—make sure it’s what makes you feel good about yourself.
After all, the absolute best thing you can wear is confidence.
6. Live in the Present
One of the hardest things about dating for many seniors is separating our extensive life history, from the present moment, with a new person. Often it feels easy to assume that we might know how things will play out, and we want to protect ourselves from an added hassle. Even from heartbreak. We worry about the future, or the past, or the stress sometimes associated with dating.
But the truth is, dating and meeting new people is just something that brings about new opportunity. New opportunity to learn, to connect, to feel, to rekindle, to add a new layer to an already layered life. While it may not be easy at the start, enjoy the process. Be excited about the idea that you’re trying, and optimistic about the possibilities of how someone might just surprise you.
7. Be Honest with Yourself
Beyond all the other advice, the most important is to be honest with yourself. Dating as a senior could be the result of any number of situations in life. Perhaps you were married for a long time and divorced, or widowed, and aren’t looking for anything serious—perhaps you’ve been married before but are still looking for that one special person—perhaps you never had much interest in dating or relationships but want to experience something new, or meet someone new.
Dating as a senior can be any number of things, and it doesn’t even always have to be romantic. Some people are out there just looking for a connection, for a friend, and a partner to spend days and time with. While other people are looking for more casual dating—the short-term relationships and just to let loose and have some fun.
Regardless of the reason you’re out there trying to date, the most important thing to remember is to be honest with yourself. You know what you like, and what you don’t—you’ve had the years to figure it out. Don’t set expectations, just enjoy the experience of it all.
Dating as a senior can feel like it comes with its own set of problems to overcome—but, with an open mind, it can also come with greater feelings of liberation, self-esteem, and excitement. Dating is an opportunity to experience something new in life, to learn some new tricks, and to feel something new or rekindle something almost forgotten. There are no cut-and-dry rules to dating as a senior, there’s just getting out there, and seeing if there’s a connection to be made.
While it can be nerve-racking to get out there and date, it can also be wonderful. Be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for, optimistic about the chance at making a new connection, and dating as a senior won’t be something to dread, but something to look forward to.