9 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Dating After 50

A couple dating after 50 smiling as the man kisses the woman's cheek.

It may seem scary to get back into dating as a senior, but the good news is that more and more individuals over the age of 50 are realizing it’s never too late to find love. Still, it may be a setback if you’re inexperienced. Haven’t been on a date in 30 years? Well, things have changed. But it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get up to speed.

Keep in mind, you’re bound to have a bad date or two along the way. But there are still a few mistakes you won’t want to make if you’re looking for romance. Here are a few things you’ll want to avoid after booking a date with someone new:

Don’t talk yourself out of it.
At the age of 50, you’ve gotten really good at canceling plans. Maybe the kids were sick, or schedules overlapped, or you totally forgot about that meeting after work—it happens. But, if you have nothing in the way except for fear, you should push yourself to go out there and give dating a chance. If you keep rescheduling due to anxiety, you’re technically leading this person on. Sometimes we need to face our fears, and oftentimes, doing so will lead to true happiness.

Make sure not to monopolize the conversation.
If you’re the type of person who fears long gaps in communication, you might feel the need to nervously talk more about yourself. Instead, try to ask some questions about your date that they’d feel comfortable answering. Ask them how they got into their career, or if their family is still close by. If they’ve moved to the area recently, ask them what they think of the town, and whether or not they checked out some of your favorite local spots. As a general rule, if you think you’re talking too much about yourself, you probably are.

Don’t put yourself down.
It’s easy to minimize your own accomplishments when you’re in the moment. Open up about titles you have, or things you’ve achieved, and be proud of them. If you assume your date immediately won’t be interested in what you do, you’re already setting yourself up to be the doormat in the relationship. This is surprisingly easy to do if you’re new to dating, or if you really like someone and are afraid they won’t like you back.

Don’t compare your date to your exes.
If you’re newly divorced or widowed, it’ll be very easy to compare your first date to your ex. But by doing so, it makes it you look like you’re not over your last relationship. Every single person in the world has unique traits, so don’t forget that this date will be vastly different from dates in the past. Treat them like a unique being, not a replacement for the person who left.

Offer to pay. 
Make sure to prepare to pay for yourself. If you weren’t the person who planned the date, you probably shouldn’t expect to cover the other person. It may be uncomfortable, but it’s a part of dating. If you and your date hit it off, figuring out who’s covering for lunch or dinner will get a lot easier in the future.

If he or she is younger, don’t get caught up in age.
Unless there’s a significant and questionable gap, you shouldn’t worry all that much about being older than they are. You also shouldn’t get too insecure—unless you lied about your age in your dating profile, they knew the facts straight up and chose to ask you out regardless. It’s because age is just a number, and your personality is far more important.

Try not to talk about things you’re unsure of.
Not everyone is up-to-date on every topic. If your date keeps talking about the latest iPhone and you’re a bit lost in the conversation, just tell them that you’re a bit behind but would love to know more. If they’re talking about a book you’ve never read, don’t act like you’re read it. Acting as if you’re on their level will just lead to disaster later on. It’s best to be honest, even if you feel a little foolish at the time.

Leave politics out of it.
These days, it’s pretty important to have the same political beliefs. But in person, try hard to leave politics out of your first date. It’s often awkward, and situations are a bit upsetting and personal, and it’ll leave your date with a strange first impression. It’s good to discuss in general, but not while you’re out having fun with someone new.

If you have kids, don’t talk about their personal issues too much.
Remember, this is technically a stranger you’re talking to. So, you don’t want to start gabbing about your kids and their personal or medical problems. It’d likely embarrass them if they found out, and leave your date feeling like he or she knows too much. If the topic does come up, try to be vague and short. No matter what, this is a “getting to know you” session, and not a night out with your best friends.

You can have a lot of fun if you’re dating after 50, and perhaps form relationships you never thought possible. There’s nobody out there who’s too old to go out there and find love. Just remember, keep it light and fun. 

Karen Belz

Freelance Writer

Karen Belz has written for sites like Bustle, PreviouslyTV, Heavy, and HelloGiggles. She’s also the founder of Best Recap Ever, a site that’s focused on television news and reviews. She’s a fan of sketch comedy shows and most movies that involve Muppets, and has been addicted to Sugar Free Red Bull since 2005.

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