Dating at any age can be daunting. When you’re over 50 and have been out of the game for a while, however, dating can be especially intimidating.
Dating when you’re over 50 is not going to be like dating when you were in your 20s. You’re not the same person as you were back then and therefore you shouldn’t expect the same experience. Who (and what) you’re attracted to will look very different than it did in your younger years.
On top of that, a lot about dating has changed. Behaviors like “breadcrumbing” (sending someone just enough messages to keep them interested but not enough to be committed) and “ghosting” (ending a relationship by suddenly and without explanation cutting off all communication) have become part of the new norm. What you need to know about dating after 50
First things first, dating in 2020 is less about looking around in bars for someone you fancy and more about looking down at your phone to scroll dating sites and apps. This might feel totally alien-like and not how a relationship should be formed, but there are upsides.
No more going to parties hoping someone single will be there, no more chatting with someone only to find out they’re in a relationship, no more limited numbers: there are millions of singles out there waiting to e-meet you.
The proof supporting online dating success is in the pudding – over 17% of marriages start with online dating. One in five relationships and nearly one in six marriages begin with online dating and 53% of Australians know at least one couple who met online.
Secondly, there are online dating sites that are specifically designed to suit your purpose. If you’re comfortable with the typically short-term nature of Tinder relationships, give it a whirl.
If you’re looking more to settling down with someone, you might prefer a dating site dedicated to finding love after 50. At the very least you’d benefit from doing a bit of online dating site research. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Create an online profile
When writing an online profile, be honest about the kind of relationship/partner you’re after. Show your personality, talk about the things you love, describe your situation (but maybe leave out the messy stuff about your recent divorce).
You want your profile to be as realistic as possible and not “aspirational”. Your goal is to attract someone who is compatible with you now, not the person you one day hope to be. A cartoon image or a photo-less profile will make you look 1. Married or 2. a Robot. Because of this, you’re less likely to get interested in other singles.
Instead, choose fabulous, up-to-date photos (don’t be tempted to upload a picture of you in your 30s) and photos with just you in it. Your favorite photo might be of you laughing with your friends but the last thing you want is that awkward moment when your date thought you were the pretty brunette on your right in the photo.
2. Profit from your experience
Just think about all the things you know now that you didn’t know when you first started dating. Not only are you much better at judging people, but you also know yourself much better. A bereavement may have made you realize that life is too short or divorce may have taught you to stand on your own two feet more. Whatever the history, you have a ton of experience to draw from.
3. Be bold
Dating is not the time to be a shrinking violet. The dating landscape can be tough and you need to take every opportunity to meet new people. You never know when you might meet that someone special.
Tell people that you’re looking to date, someone. Friends, family, and colleagues are great sources for meeting new people and while you don’t have to wear a flashing sign saying “I’m available” getting the word out there that you’re on the market won’t be a bad thing.
If you’re worried about online dating, relax knowing that almost 3 in 5 dating seniors have used online dating sites and apps. 7 in 10 seniors think dating apps and websites are for anyone no matter their age and 3 in 5 believe that dating is now easier because of technology.
4. Fake it til you make it
You might not have all the confidence in the world but pretending you do will not only make you more desirable, but genuine confidence will follow. When talking to people, hold eye contact and show them that you’re listening. Pay attention and use their cues to talk about yourself. Not sure what to say?
Store up 10 interesting things about yourself and prepare for any situation with a couple of great stories.
5. Take up a hobby
You’re never too old to be taught new tricks and taking up a new hobby is a great way to meet new people. These new skills will also help give your mental wellbeing a boost and reduce your risk of dementia later in life.
Taking up a hobby that involves other people guarantees that you’ll mingle with like-minded adults. Being busy will also help relax you as you get to know people in a safe and fun environment.
Making the most of the dating experience
Dating is meant to be fun and not stressful. Use it as an opportunity to try new activities and remember that it’s a numbers thing that you need to invest some time in. Remember too that it’s okay to take things slowly. Sex and relationships might not be a new thing for you but it can take time to feel comfortable with a new person.
Above all, remember there’s no particular rush to meet somebody and that it’s better to wait for the right kind of connection than to try and force something that’s not working.