Don’t let anyone tell you any different—it’s completely healthy to continue looking for love in your 50s. Despite your past relationship history, there’s no age limit or restriction in regards to meeting new people. But still, it can be rather tough to do—especially if you’re haven’t been in the dating scene for awhile.
For people who haven’t gone out on a date in 20 or 30 years, just know that yes, the world of dating has changed. For the most part, dating starts online and goes from there. This is actually pretty beneficial since online profiles can serve as the perfect way to screen a potential date. You have the opportunity to figure out what your date is looking for, and a few things you might have in common to chat about when planning an in-person meetup.
But if you’re still looking for a few good tips to date like a pro, here are a few no-bullshit methods for senior dating.
Make sure your profile is up to date.
Oftentimes, we disregard things that we’re uncomfortable with as unnecessary. But when it comes to technology, you really shouldn’t. Here’s the truth—online dating isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Ask some friends if they have recommendations for a dating site, and then work on making a profile. In that profile, you need to be honest about who you are and what you’re looking for. Use your actual photo, not an image of a sunset or your senior picture from high school, and be proud of it. It can be nerve wracking putting yourself out there at first, but people want to see the real you and are interesting in learning more.
Don’t let the past bring you down.
You probably have relationship baggage. Guess what? Everyone does. It’s extremely rare to find someone over 50 who’s been single for decades and waiting for that one perfect relationship, so figure that everyone you meet has a story to tell. Your job is to not let yours weigh you down. If you’re divorced, don’t bog your date with details about it. Or, even worse, don’t openly compare your dating situation with things your ex did or didn’t do. It can come off as a little aggressive and makes it look like you’re not totally ready to romantically move forward.
Don’t choose a place that has any romantic significance to you.
When you’re dating someone new, you should try a brand new venue. That way, old memories won’t be attached to it. Even if you love the chicken parmesan at Restaurant X, it’s almost self-sabotaging to bring a new date there if Restaurant X is also where your ex proposed 15 years ago. Remember the mantra, “New person, new place.”
Say you meet someone who checks off all the boxes and seems nice enough, but something just isn’t there. Maybe they didn’t understand a majority of your jokes, or just seemed kind of dull. It’s fair to give them a second shot with a second date, but don’t assume someone better isn’t out there. It’s more rewarding to be alone than paired with someone who you just have no chemistry with.
If you like them, let them know.
In this day and age, there are no rules about who takes the lead. If you’re a woman who’s out with a man you really connect with, take charge and schedule a second meet-up before the first one ends. Don’t try to fall back on old-fashioned gender roles and expect him to call you two days later. Take control of the situation yourself, and you’ll be a lot happier.
Have fun with it.
At this stage in life, you should be bubbling with confidence. Yes, you might have a few hang-ups about appearance or perhaps you’re in the midst of a slump at work, but you know who you are and what you’ve accomplished thus far. So, dating should be fun. Even if you never wind up meeting the person you’re destined to spend the rest of your days with, at least you’ll be able to explore new areas of your neighborhood with someone new. Just being social and taking on new experiences will do so much for your mental health.
If you’re looking to date in your 50s and beyond, you need to always remember that just like 30 years ago, there’s nobody out there who’s perfect at it. Everyone goes out there on a whim and does the best they can. The worst that can happen is that you meet someone who’s completely not your type. Even so, at least you’ll have a story to tell later on.