So, you’re 50 and getting back in the dating game. In case you haven’t noticed yet, things have changed a bit, though a lot of it for the better. Much of the dating world has packed up and moved online, in other words no more approaching singles at the bar. (Well, unless you really want to.) In many cases, going online means that there are more people to talk to who are easier to meet, but there is a learning curve. For those who are ready to dive back in, we have some tips to help you beat it.
1. Online dating doesn’t carry the same stigma it once did.
Yep, that’s right. Gone are the days of when online dating was only for your weird uncle. Now, it’s just what it should’ve always been—a way to meet new people. Everybody’s given in to dating online, because it’s so darn convenient. Sure, you can still meet people through your friends, family, or social groups, but you can do all those and date online, which gives you access to a whole new group of people. Anybody who’s online in your town you can find and potentially meet up with.
2. Many people are looking for something serious…
Maybe you’re fresh on the dating market again and you’re looking for a new commitment. Well, you’re not alone. Many online dating sites have an option to filter people by the level of commitment they’re looking for, and even on the sites that don’t it’s starting to become the norm to say what you’re looking for in your bio. This shakes any ambiguity.
3. …but many people aren’t.
That said, many people are also looking to have fun. Don’t be afraid to ask up front what someone is looking for if you’re not sure. There’s no shame in open and honest communication. The last thing you want is a string of outings that end in an uncomfortable conversation about mismatched expectations.
4. Online dating means everyone has a lot of options.
Options can be great, but when everybody has a lot of options, it’s also harder to stand out. The big takeaway is that things will probably progress a little slower. There will be fewer impulsive declarations of love. People you date (and you) will be more choosy. Don’t get too invested in the idea that anyone you’re dating is dating only you. They’re likely going on dates and talking to multiple people to see who’s out there. You should be, too. Let things happen at their own pace.
5. You’re still going to experience the ups and downs.
If you think because you have a few years of experience in the dating game that you’re in for smooth sailing, you’re going to be in for a shock. Whether you’re 16 or 65, the ups and downs of falling for someone don’t get easier. Well, not by much anyway. That said, the fun of having a crush is still there, too. Late night phone calls and romantic dinners are still a thing. Prepare yourself for disappointments and excitements and take things as they come.
6. Practicality will play a much bigger role in picking a partner.
The older you are, the more factors you have to consider when dating: family, income, property ownership, and physical health are all but a few of the factors to consider. When it comes to selecting a long-term partner, older people are much less likely to pick someone on emotional impulse and will give more credence to how well they fit in each other’s lives.
7. People have other non-dating priorities.
If people are slow getting back to you on dating sites, don’t take it personally. The older you are the more responsibilities you have, and it’s the same for everyone else. Remember that while you may be itching to shack up with somebody, everyone has their own lives to take care of and that’s to be respected. You may notice that the romance takes a bit longer to build, so it’s important to exercise patience. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested, they’re just busy.
No matter how confident you are going into online dating, there will be a learning curve. There’s no way around it. But if you prepare yourself, you’ll be more ready to have fun once you’re past it. Like dating the last time you were single, dating now isn’t a walk in the park. It will have its ups and downs, but what you’re looking for will find you, as long as you keep looking. Patience is key.