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By Rebecca Fending
For the majority of people, dating is already nerve-wracking. Dating over 50? That can be even more intimidating for seniors. If you’re looking to get back out there, below are a few words of advice and where you can get started to find your forever person.
Advice for Senior Dating
Don’t fear the internet
Although online dating can be daunting and maybe even “sketchy,” the internet grows as a powerful tool every day. There are many websites specifically designed for people (yes, even seniors!) to meet other single seniors in their area.
Dating websites are a great way to cut through the fluff and awkwardness of “organic” dating. With an online dating profile, you can list exactly what you’re looking for in a partner, what kind of a partner you’re looking to be and what kind of relationship you want. You can change your preferences at any time and date at your own pace. Online dating takes the pressure off of you having “game,” especially for those who have been out of the game for a while.
However, as a disclaimer, always meet a new online interest with an air of caution. If it’s your first date, be sure to meet in a public place. You can move on to more private dates as you get to know the person better. Keep your safety as a key focus.
If you’re interested in online dating, you can browse through a few resources listed below.
First date etiquette
The first rule of any first date is to keep the conversation light. This can change, of course, should either of you prefer to have a deeper conversation or really dig into each other’s ideas. However, keep the conversation fun with simple first-date get-to-know-you questions like interests, hobbies, favorites/dislikes, etc.
The second important point of a first date is to check your baggage at the door. Most people bring some sort of heavy history with them, but it’s best to keep that baggage out of the relationship from the start. Get to know the person in simple, honest terms in order to get to know if either of you are interested in helping hold the heavier aspects of your lives. Remember, a first date is just for fun! You may have found a romantic partner, or you may have just found a new pickleball buddy instead.
The third rule is to just have fun. Get giggly, push yourself out of your comfort zone and focus on the other person. If it goes well, there will be plenty of time to be serious and talk more about your life in the future. For now, keep everything light and flirty.
Prepare for rejection
As harsh as it may sound, rejection is inevitable for anyone. Whether the other person’s reasoning makes sense, or if you just get “ghosted” (the person cuts off contact), do not let it discourage you! Every new date and new relationship is a learning experience for you to understand what you want in a partner or how you want to go about dating.
The best way to keep yourself hopeful and intact is to not expect anything from any one date or new romantic interest.
Vibes don’t lie
You’ve learned a thing or two from your general life experience. At this point, most people over 50 have a strong gut instinct when it comes to meeting new people. If you meet with a potential new partner and their “vibes” are off, you get a bad feeling, or you notice red flags that make you hesitate, you can call it quits or step back from the relationship.
Where to start online
- Join a Facebook group: Facebook is the common denominator for most Boomers. There are a number of different groups that you can join if you’re looking to date, converse or even just vent about dating. Here are a few:
- Official Dating Sites for Senior Dating: As mentioned earlier in this article, there are TONS of online dating services geared toward successful senior relationships. Below are several that are highly peer reviewed for dating over 50:
Where to look in-person
If you’re absolutely opposed to online dating or want more of a challenge, in-person is still possible. Whether you’re looking to pick someone up while doing your weekly grocery shopping or at the dog park, don’t be afraid. Like mentioned before, rejection is inevitable. Just respect that if the other party declares they’re not interested, respect that boundary and move on.
However, if you’re not confident in your pickup game, there may be speed dating or singles events in your area. Just search for “senior single events” followed by the name of your city or general area. These are often free or come at the price of buying a drink, depending on the venue.