Dating over 50 has many advantages over dating at younger age. Older singles have the life experience to draw from that can streamline their approach to the dating scene; something younger people just don’t have.
Here are some things that give older daters an edge over those newer to the game, and some tips daters of all ages can benefit from:
1. They take care of their bodies and minds.
Dating at any age requires attraction. “Attraction is pretty broadly defined and includes looks and personality, and successful daters over 50 take care of themselves, physically and mentally,” says relationship expert, David Bennett.
2. They’re fun.
Just because you get older doesn’t mean you have to become stale and boring, or only date to look for something serious. Quite the opposite! Many singles in their 50s say they’re enjoying life more now than in their 20s.
3. They’re smart.
Singles in their 50s have learned lessons about dating and relationships over the years, and know how to proceed and what to avoid. Rather than letting past setbacks and mistakes ruin them, they’ve learned from them, says Bennett.
4. They don’t abandon their friends.
“Older daters realize the importance of having friends and keeping them around, even when you’re in a relationship or dating,” says Bennett. Younger daters can often let friendships suffer because they’re focusing so much on one person. Almost everyone later regrets this, but it takes a more mature dater to know better.
5. They take it slow.
ingles in their 50s don’t rush to desperately find the one. Instead, they live life, meet a lot of people, and end up happier than if they hurriedly commit to someone who isn’t good for them.
6. They have deal-breakers.
Whether it’s a smoker/non-smoker, a person with young kids, or even the kind of relationship they want, singles in their 50s have a much better idea of what just won’t work for them.
7. They’re more likely to be honest.
You’re much more likely to see daters in their 50s say they never want marriage or that they’re bad with money and they know it. After you’ve dated for a bit, you realize you don’t need to play games or pretend to be someone your not.
8. They’ve broken their bad habits.
Usually by the time people are in their 50s, they’ve stopped making their signature dating mistakes. This type of mistake is different for everyone—maybe they were too focused on physical attraction, only wanted to be with someone dominant or submissive, or sought out people who were just like them. “Younger people still don’t get it yet,” says Susan Trombetti, a matchmaker and relationship expert. “They make the same dating mistake over and over. By the time you are 50 and over, you have broken your bad dating habits, and this is half the battle.”
9. They know what they like and are more in touch with their needs.
“Sure, you’re giving so you will do what your date likes to do, but in general, you know how to find someone that is more compatible that can be more of a companion rather than picking someone you like but have nothing in common with,” says Trombetti.
10. It’s easier to catch and release.
Daters in their 50s can attract someone, go on a few dates, and cut it off if the date isn’t a good match. “It prevents you from, once again, spending too much time with the wrong person, like you did earlier in life,” says Trombetti.
11. They’re more confident.
Young people might have youth on their side, but singles over 50 have confidence that comes with wisdom. It’s so much more alluring than that needy 20 something you used to be.
12. Time is actually on our side.
“You’ve been married already and have kids, so there’s no rush to meet someone and get married in order o start a family. Been there and done that,” says Trombetti. Singles in their 50s are also less encumbered now that their children are older, so there’s more time to focus on themselves.
13. They aren’t afraid of getting hurt.
As we age, we come to understand that most upsets in life are survivable. “We’ve lived through discomfort, heartbreak, and downright devastation,” says Dr. Christine Carpenter, a psychologist and dating coach. “With a hefty reserve of resilience inside them, older daters are less fearful of getting hurt,”
14. They don’t settle.
Chances are daters over 50 have spent some time in their dating life hoping for the “almost good enough” relationship to turn into the “great” relationship they’ve always wanted… and have learned the hard way that that’s always a bad idea. “They know it doesn’t work this way,” says Carpenter. “They know what they want, they will ask for it, and if it isn’t forthcoming they will move on.”
15. They know how to communicate.
Daters over 50 don’t waste time playing guessing games. “If they’re curious about how someone is feeling or where something is headed they will be more likely to just check it out rather than trying to read the tea leaves,” says Carpenter.
16. They focus more on the person within.
Older daters know that the character of the people involved will determine whether a relationship will be a success, not their outward appearances, says Dr. Tina Tessina, aka ‘Dr. Romance’ and author of Dr. Romance’s Guide to Finding Love Today .
17. They’re not obsessed with finding love.
Singles in their 50s, who are working or have lots of other things going on, often regard their careers as primary, and relationships secondary. “They want companionship, but they don’t necessarily want their relationship to be all-consuming,” says Tessina.
18. They recognize that life is too short to worry about the little things.
“If the person you’re dating has a big nose or an annoying laugh, it just isn’t that big a deal, certainly not enough to throw away a good relationship over,” explains Raffi Bilek, a couples counselor. “Being a little older and more mature helps you realize that.”
19. They don’t get worked up over dates that didn’t work out.
So you met someone a few times and they didn’t like you that much? No worries, not everyone in the world has to like you. 50-something singles get this.
20. They know themselves well.
“Knowing yourself is a crucial part of knowing who you want to be in a relationship with. If you’ve spent your years wisely, then by the time you’re in your silver years you’ve hopefully got a better sense of who you really are than when you were 20,” says Bilek.
21. They know what makes a relationship last.
“It’s not the flowers and special outings, but rather the listening, the empathy, and the small moments that count,” says Bilek.
22. They don’t confuse infatuation with love.
Older daters understand those first few months or weeks where both people are acting on their best behavior is all part of the infatuation phase. “Younger and less experienced daters often believe they’ve found their soulmate at this point,” says Kevin Darné, author of My Cat Won’t Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany). “It takes time to truly get to know someone.”
23. They let go of fairytales and other unrealistic expectations.
Singles in their 50s have already had the big wedding and the divorce, or if they haven’t experienced it themselves they’ve seen it happen enough times to have a more realistic view of relationships. “They’ve traded in the dream of Prince Charming and the Princess living happily ever after under sunny blue skies and rainbows,” says Darné.
24. They communicate and ask for what they want.
“Younger daters more likely to stress out over dates and try to ‘figure out’ what the other person is thinking,” says Darné. “They may opt to drop hints rather than asking directly for what they want or worse yet they expect their partner to read their mind.”
Dating over 50 comes with a lot of benefits that only a few life lessons and experiences can bring. Overall, when you know yourself better you tend to know what you’re looking for too. So take a bit advice from those who’ve been there and done that.