Dating can be a little intimidating at every age, but it has some special challenges when you’re over 50. Dating for seniors doesn’t have to be difficult, however.
You just need to take some time to consider what you’re looking for in a new relationship. Here are a few things to think about before stepping back into the senior dating pool.
Consider Your Reasons for Dating
When you’re dating later in your life it’s usually for different reasons than dating among people in their 20s and 30s. Seniors have usually already been married and started a family. While some are interested in finding a new long-term partner, many people over 50 are looking for less-formal arrangements.
It’s a good idea to take a little bit of time to think about why you’re dating. Make sure that your potential partner is looking for the same thing in a relationship to prevent misunderstandings later on.
Be True to Yourself
When you first enter the mature dating scene, other people might object. This problem is especially common among seniors who have adult children that can’t cope with the idea that parents can date (read: Meeting Your Date’s Adult Children).
Don’t let pressure from family members or friends keep you from going out and meeting new people. No one should have to be lonely just because they’re over 50. Your loved ones might be surprised at first, but they’ll soon become more supportive.
Decide What You Want in a Partner
Younger people often focus on looks, income or other superficial factors when they look for a new relationship. Most people over the age of 50 have gained the perspective to avoid being distracted by these things.
They still need to take a little time to think about what they want in a new relationship, however.
The traits that interested you when you first got married might not be what you’re looking for now. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and see different kinds of people. Dating for seniors opens up a whole range of new experiences, after all.
Trust Your Instincts
The over 50 dating scene isn’t immune to scams and dishonest people. Meet new people in a public space, especially if you first encountered one another online. Be willing to take things slowly and let the relationship develop at its own speed.
Keep an eye out for unusual behaviors, and always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem quite right, you might need to reassess the relationship.
Look for Partners in Appropriate Places
The bar scene may be a staple of conventional dating, but it rarely offers seniors many opportunities. That doesn’t mean you have to be restricted to looking for partners at your local assisted living community, though many have fun programs that make it easy to meet people.
Church and temple functions are another traditional option for people who have a strong connection to their religions.
You can expand your dating search outside these standard areas, however. Check out hobbyist clubs, continuing education classes, ballroom dance events and other fun social occasions. They’ll help you find exciting people in your age group who share your interests.
Don’t forget to look online, too; the Internet opens up the dating pool significantly (read: Mature Dating and the Internet). You could meet someone in your own backyard.
Senior dating can be a rich, rewarding experience, whether you’re looking for a long-term mate or just someone to have a good time with. If you’re willing to analyze your wants, needs and situation before you jump in, you have much better chances of success.
So, think about what you want out of an over-50 relationship, then meet someone special.