One of the most natural things in life is to want a companion, someone with whom to share life’s ups and downs, not to mention having a regular date for Saturday night.
We already know that social interaction is useful in countering the physical, emotional and mental difficulties people may experience as they age.
Dating over 50 can seem daunting and overwhelming, but all it takes to get started is a little motivation to put yourself out there!
But how do you go about meeting the right person? That’s where the difficulty can arise, especially if you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while.
The fact is that people are living longer and remaining active, and this knowledge has led entrepreneurs, as well as those seeking a relationship, to redefine “dating” as no longer just for younger folks.
Meeting the love of your life begins with the simple idea of meeting more people: here are some tips to start you on your way.
11 Tips: Dating Over 50
1. Start Close to Home
First, when beginning your search for love, start close to home. If you feel comfortable in doing so, let people you trust know that you’re interested in meeting new people, and what you hope the outcome will be.
Family and friends might be able to connect you with people in their circle, besides possibly having their own tips and inspiring stories.
2. Join Groups That Interest You
Reading, bird-watching, cooking or dancing – whatever it might be, look for local opportunities online or on neighborhood bulletin boards. Again, let people know what you’re looking for, and they might be able to recommend something.
3. Senior Meetup Groups
These groups abound, allowing you to meet others while engaging in fun, educational, or otherwise enriching activities. Ask around or go online and search for senior meetups in your area.
4. Take Up a Hobby
If you don’t already have a hobby, experiment: select something that intrigues you, even if you later drop it. Then look for a senior meetup and share your new interest with other people.
5. Take Classes
College courses are generally available at a significant discount for seniors. They allow you to meet others while both revealing something about yourself to them and expanding your mind. Fitness classes will make you feel better about yourself, while also giving you the chance to meet others who share a concern for health.
Everyone has causes that are meaningful to them. If you have the time, giving it to a worthy cause could be beneficial to you on so many levels, including broadening your social network.
7. Get a Part-Time Job
Look for one that includes other people. Besides a little extra money, and, ideally, mental stimulation, it increases the likelihood of your encountering someone remarkable.
8. Online Dating
As of 2013, Lehman Brothers Equity Research found that those aged 50+ comprise the fastest-growing age group using online dating services. There are even dating sites specifically designed for those aged 50 and above.
Don’t sign on or give over any personal data, though, without studying the site’s terms and conditions, as well as customer reviews. If you do sign up, make sure you use a great photo of yourself and put some time and energy into your profile. For additional tips on online dating for mature adults, check out our interview with a dating expert here.
Top Tips from Dating Expert Susan Bratton:
Identify your values- you have to know what's important to you and what you aren't willing to put up with. Good pictures! The importance of good pictures can't be stressed enough. Write a good profile- write about what you are looking for, not necessarily who you are. Lastly, look at dating as a fun adventure full of meeting new people and sharing a little bit of yourself along the way.
Speed-dating is a relatively new (20 years old as of 2018) and efficient method has become particularly popular with Baby Boomers and seniors. For those who don’t live close enough to a meeting place, there is online speed-dating.
Though it lacks the full face-to-face effect, it could, at the very least give you the chance to practice social skills and break down any shyness you may have. Again, be sure you know how the site works and who it’s geared for before signing up.
10. Singles Cruises
Anyone who’s ever seen episodes of “The Love Boat” knows what a cruise can lead to. In addition to a possible love connection, travel makes you a more intriguing person. It also reminds you that there’s a big world out there with immeasurable possibilities.
Choose a cruise for the destination, based on its theme, or because of what classes it may offer (cooking, photography or music-based are just a few possibilities). These days especially, health or mobility issues needn’t stop you; just be sure, before making a reservation that the ship’s staff can work with you.
11. Transition to a Retirement Community
Much like the cruise ship option, there are many types of retirement communities available. Such a community can be based on a shared interest such gardening, beekeeping, physical activities (hiking or fishing, for example), artistic or religious pursuits, and many, many more.
The bottom line is that, whenever you can, practice your social skills. Every time you go out and talk to someone, you’re taking a step (pun intended) in the right direction. And never forget that, as someone who’s made it this far, you’ve got a lot to offer others.
Regardless of the type of relationship you want, whether romantic or platonic, making the effort will make you feel that much more alive. There’s no telling where it will lead – you might even find the love of your life!