Standing at the edge of the dating pool can be an overwhelming experience. Especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve dipped your toe into those romantic waters.
When you first dive in, you’ll realize that the pool doesn’t work the way it once used to, but you’ll find that dating in your 50s isn’t so bad at all. Once you get past the jitters of going out on your first date, you’ll have a great time meeting new people.
Just keep in mind that things have changed - including you. Dating won’t be like it was in your 20s or 30s, and remembering that will help you keep your head above water. It may sound far-fetched, but you may very well discover that what you are attracted to now is very different from what you liked in your past.
Dating allows you to meet people with new and interesting stories. It also provides you with a chance to meet someone who enriches your life. So come on in, the water’s great. If you’ve been wondering how to find a date after 50, these tips can help you stay afloat.
Finding Love After 50 - How to Begin, Where to Go, What to Do:
Here are some tips to start.
1. Make An Online Dating Profile
First things first, you need to recognize that the traditional swimming hole of dating is long ago. These days most people are paying for memberships to swim in the infinity pools of dating, also known as online dating profiles. Subscription dating sites like eHarmony provide a great service.
Using a paid dating site adds a layer of security to dating over 50. This way, if you encounter someone who is a bad actor, you can report them to the company and have them banned from the service.
Utilizing a service like eHarmony also increases your chances of finding others who are interested in finding love after 50. How to begin, you ask? Start with the truth. When you set up your profile, use a recent picture and be frank about your interests and hobbies.
There’s no need to become frazzled if online dating seems daunting at first. Even Olympic swimmers had to start swimming with the doggy paddle. Stick with it, and you’ll soon find yourself comfortable paddling in this new and improved dating pool.
2. Don’t Give Up on Tradition
While infinity pools are all the rage, there’s no need to scorn the thought of returning to your trusty and reliable community pool. Having a rotation of online as well as face-to-face meetings is a great way to embrace both tradition and modernity.
This also expands the number of people you’ll get a chance to meet. You can even ask your family or friends to set you up with people they think might be a good fit for you. Another great way is to go out and do things that interest you.
If you love reading, nature, or dancing, sign yourself up for these activities in your area.
For example, take dance classes, find a local book club, or join a hiking group to increase your chances of meeting someone special who also shares your interest without all the pressure of setting up a perfect date.
Of course, if you’re having difficulty finding local groups like that, you can always turn to a matchmaking service. Unlike a dating site where you must sit and wait after creating your profile, a matchmaking service will pair you with a strong romantic candidate.
3. Accept Rejection
Rejection while dating may feel a lot like getting splashed in the face with water. It can be unpleasant at best, but it can provide an awful sting if chlorine gets in your eyes. The best thing you can do for yourself is to endeavor not to take any rejection personally.
Rejection can occur for a wide variety of different reasons; there’s no shame in feeling disappointed or hurt if it happens, but don’t let it weigh you down.
If you are having a hard time picking yourself back up after a rejection, try this tip. Remember that not everyone likes to swim laps in the pool. Some people like to dangle their feet over the side. Others primarily enjoy doing water aerobics.
There’s nothing wrong with swimming laps in the pool, and many people love to do just that. You just need to find someone who likes swimming laps as much as you do. So go on and shake the water out of your eyes.
Remember that while rejection may sting, the reason you’ve been rejected most likely has nothing to do with you.
4. Don’t Play Mind Games
One of the great aspects of dating in your 50s is putting an end to the mind games. While you may once have sat by the phone, hoping to hear back from a romantic prospect who had offered you a second date, those days are no more.
You don’t have to tolerate that type of disrespect anymore. If you are promised a phone call but never receive one, move on. These types of games are not worth your time.
5. Know What You Want
This is a tip that should be taken by anyone dating — no matter their age; however, this is an especially great tip for anyone who has just ended a long-term relationship.
Before dipping your toes back into the dating pool, take some time to examine your past relationships. Reflect on what didn’t work for you in those relationships and think of how you can avoid finding another person with similar attributes as you wade through the dating pool.
You should avoid weighing yourself down with preconceived notions of the exact qualities your future partner should have. Instead, keep in mind some core attributes you believe in to build a strong and healthy relationship.
Finding yourself single after a long relationship allows you to enter into a period of growth. Use this time to explore new things, and don’t let yourself fall back into the dating patterns of your 20s.
You’ll need to take a look at yourself and consider what a good match for you now is instead of what would have been a good match for you previously.
For example, once you may have been looking for a partner who wanted to raise kids, but now, you may have children who have flown from the nest. A partner’s desire to want kids may no longer be a requirement at this stage in your life.
As you turn your examinations inward, be open to the desires you have for a romantic partnership.
6. Give New Partners a Chance
You shouldn’t be discounting or marrying anyone right away. Give a new romantic acquaintance at least three dates so you can give yourself a chance to get to know them. The rule of threes lets you get through a first date which may be full of nerves and jitters.
Giving a person a chance with two extra dates lets both parties become more at ease so you each can be comfortable acting like yourselves.
If you are looking for someone who, for example, is a good listener and your date hasn’t displayed this quality after three gatherings, then they may not be the one for you.
A great tip for a first date is to keep it short and sweet, especially if you are meeting someone you connected with online. This gives you time enough for an introduction and can help all involved avoid long, awkward dinners.
7. Don’t Be Pressured into Intimacy
Dating may at some point lead you to the bedroom; however, there is never any need to rush into things. Unless you feel respected, comfortable, and excited to be with a new partner, there’s no reason for you to become intimate with someone.
There’s also no reason to be shy about your feelings when it comes to intimacy. Talk to your potential partner about what you are uncomfortable doing in the bedroom and what you are comfortable with.
If you haven’t been with a romantic partner in quite some time and are nervous, share these feelings. Being upfront will help you have a more positive experience overall and help you discover which partners are worth your time.
8. Don’t Give Up
At times you may find yourself treading water and flapping your arms like crazy in the dating pool without seeming to get anywhere. Don’t be concerned; you’re not alone.
The process of finding a partner is hardly ever accomplished without encountering a few waves. While you may not encounter your soulmate in the first few rounds of dating, that is not a bad thing.
Dating naturally brings with it a range of experiences, both negative and positive. You’ll most likely have to go out on a number of dates with different people before you find someone with whom you truly connect.
This is a normal part of dating. It may be frustrating at times, but just keep swimming. If you keep swimming laps and don’t give up, you’ll find the right person who likes swimming laps just as much as you do.