Do you remember your very first date? Sweaty palms. Awkward conversation. You probably even had a curfew. Once you hit 50, at least the curfew is gone. But according to TODAY’s “This is 50” survey results, only 18 percent of single people in their 50s said they were dating and more than 40 percent said they were considering it, but not actually doing it.
Nearly 60 percent say they don’t need a relationship to be happy. While that is true whether you’re 16 or 56, the main reason people over 50 aren’t dating is because they don’t believe there is anyone “out there” to date. More than 30 percent don’t even know where to begin and nearly 30 percent say they find it too stressful.
Sooooo – Let’s take “stressful” out of the equation. Here’s some Do’s and some Don’ts when it comes to dating After 50!
DO dress to impress. Getting dolled up or wearing the perfect suit can liven up the night for the both of you. Feeling confident and presentable will give you the courage to be more open to dating possibilities.
DO talk about what brings you to being single and over 50. You’ve lived life. Maybe you divorced, maybe widowed, maybe you focused on your career and you’re finally ready for love. Be open and honest. Authenticity is an attractive quality.
DON’T undersell yourself: Talk about an award you received, a great job, something you excel in. Remember, it’s ok to take pride in your accomplishments and sharing those details are great first date conversation starts…
DON’T oversell yourself either: Don’t come across as arrogant or make it sound as if no one could be good enough for you.
DO talk about something you did that makes you sound humane; you want people to know you’re a good person.
DO be adventurous. Search your city for great food trucks. Finding them is fun, and the food is always reasonably priced.
DON’T go out in large groups. “The best size group to go out with is three,” says Shannon Fox, the author of Last One Down the Aisle Wins. Going out alone might make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Two is too easily unbalanced, forcing one of you to become the “third wheel”. And four is too intimidating. Groups of three offer you the freedom to mingle with others and the security you need to feel confident.
DO embrace your years. The times have changed, and age just isn’t as relevant anymore when it comes to dating. Miguel Almaraz, coauthor of WTF Are Men Thinking?, said, “Younger men really do like dating older women. In fact, 66 percent of the men that were polled said they would date older women.” The main reason given? Experience.
Dating at any age can be a high anxiety situation. Finding your confidence, speaking authentically and following the adventure will make finding a new friend, companion, lover or spouse that much more enticing. What you want from dating will vary: love, sex, a good time, companionship. Your best bet is to combine optimism with a little humor. Whatever happens, at least you will have fun, and some good stories to tell.