Part of getting older is growing and evolving as a person—what used to make you happy when you were in your 20s and 30s might not be as fulfilling once you reach your 40s, 50s, and beyond. And this is part of what helps us strive for new things and reach new goals. It’s part of what makes us better, stronger, and smarter people. But how does this idea transfer to dating after 50?
When you’re dating in your 50s, what you want, need, and desire from the experience is very different. The things that once helped you find someone or find happiness within a relationship may not work anymore. You may need to find new ways to meet people and new ways to nurture intimate relationships.
As you navigate these changes, here’s some of best dating advice we’ve found for people dating after 50:
Be open to new people and experiences.
Sometimes, people spend so much time focusing on the end destination of dating—finding someone to love and spend the rest of their life with—that they miss out on other opportunities. Let’s admit it, when we’re older we tend to be more set in our ways. This can be a strength—you know what you want from life and a relationship, and you have a better idea of what works for you. However, don’t let this knowledge hold you back either. Ever been attracted to someone but just felt you were too different to make a good couple? Well, maybe it’s time to take a second look and follow that attraction to see where it leads. Even if you don’t find the love of your life, you could find out a lot of new things about yourself and what makes you happy.
Embrace the changing times.
That’s right, we’re talking about online dating. If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, there’s a possibility that online dating is new to you. While it may seem overwhelming at first there are some big benefits of online dating that you wouldn’t get meeting someone in a bar. The first of which is that you don’t have to go to a bar to meet someone great.
Meeting people online gives you time to get to know someone through his or her profile and conversations. If you’re new to dating, chatting with people online before meeting in person can help ease you back into the types of conversations you’ll have and the dynamics of meeting people with romance in mind.
Additionally, it gives you access to a new pool of people outside of work, family, and your current friendships. Part of what makes dating after 50 difficult is that you’ve already tapped out most of your social circles when it comes to dating. Online dating can help you widen your dating pool.
Acknowledge the past but look to the future.
Let’s face it, none of us get to 50 without dragging some sort of baggage with us. Whether it’s children, exes, our relationships with our parents, or other experiences all of us have things we’re sensitive about, that are hard for us, or that we’re still working on.
When you’re dating after 50, you are a little bit older and wiser. Sometimes that experience and intelligence comes from good times and other times it comes from learning something the hard way. It’s good to be honest with yourself about your past and what affect it has on how you get close to people, but it’s also good to let it go and focus on the moment you’re in. Part of getting to know someone, and building real intimacy with someone, is giving them a chance to show you who they are without comparing them with the relationships and people in your past.
Maybe your next date has behaviors that remind you of a past love or friend, maybe you have reservations because you’ve been here many times before and you don’t want to get hurt again. Those are natural feelings to have at almost any age—acknowledge them and listen to them. Just be careful not to let them hold you back from someone who could be great for you.
One of the biggest advantages of dating after 50 is that you have all of those years of experience to pull from. Use your experience to your advantage, but also open yourself up to new experiences and new people.