No matter our chronological age, when it comes to love we are all young inside. Many things have changed since our youthful, carefree days but some remain the same. We ask the same questions such as where to meet, and how to meet but the answers have changed. Dating After Fifty is quite different from being in our 20s, 30s, and 40s. Don’t let that intimidate you. You can most definitely succeed! It could feel intimidating so let’s explore how to make it a bit easier for you!
Let’s get it started in here
- Are You Ready?
Many of us jump too soon into the dating pool after separation or widowhood. We are sad, scared, and lonely. Perhaps our self-esteem took a big hit. We think we are ready and fantasize about being a couple. You need to take some time to reflect. Grief counseling and Newly Separated/Divorced counseling is something to consider. It could help you discover if you are ready. I’ve had dates with men who ranted on and on about their awful ex-wives or whined about how neglected they were. They still harbored a lot of anger and were clearly not ready. Ask yourself if you’re over the anger, the hurt, are you no longer vitriolic or sobbing when you think about your former relationship? Can you get through a phone call with a best friend without your situation being the main topic of conversation? If so, then you’re probably ready to take the first step.
- Where To Look:
Let’s start with you! What do YOU like? Do you have hobbies or activities that you enjoy? Is it important to you that your partner enjoy the same ones? Is there something you haven’t done in years because your former spouse didn’t care for it? Now it’s time for you! Unless you live in a rural area you are likely to find age-appropriate groups on a variety of activities within a local radius by searching on meetup.com. There are numerous groups and activities that range from biking, to live music, to hiking, wine tastings, maybe a film festival, a book club, or simply (& obviously) a singles group for After Fifty. Go take a look. You can search by zip code or by activity.
- ONLINE DATING SITES:
Did you know that those of us that are After 50 are the fastest-growing group of Internet daters? That means there are a lot of people just like you that are online lookin’ for love. Online dating increases your chances of meeting someone and it also lets you swim through a large pool of fish according to age, interests, religious preferences, politics (yikes!) and location. (Look for my article on Tips for Writing an Online Dating Profile)
Unlike online dating, you never know who you might connect with on Facebook (FB) – you could find a former classmate and rekindle a friendship. Better yet, perhaps an old flame whose spark is still there! You might even find someone you never had an interest in when you were younger who is now very appealing to you. FB is not just about recipes, politics, and gossip. If you’re not yet on there, go for it!
- Who and What:
Who are you looking for? What are your deal breakers? What are your eyebrow raisers? (reminder: MEN – TRIM THOSE STRAYS!) Does he or she have to like dancing? Are they a foodie? Do they like or hate travel? You also need to decide WHAT your relationship goals are. Do you seek marriage, living together, friends with benefits, companionship without benefits? This is important. What if you wanted to get married and they didn’t? Is that a deal breaker for you or would you consider a relationship without marriage? What if you could no longer have sex and your potential partner doesn’t want a sexless relationship? These are just some of the things that are unique to dating at our stage in life.
Yep I’ve said it before and I am sure I will say it again, and often. LOOK IN THE MIRROR! Try to be objective. Would you date you? I am not talking about aging, wrinkles, sagging. Those are things we cannot help (unless we want to have surgery). I am talking about basic grooming, hygiene, and clothing. You don’t have to be wealthy to look good. Go to the mall or the outlets or whatever is near you and buy a few new outfits. That shirt with the stain on it? TOSS IT! Look at your teeth! Would you kiss you? See a dentist. If you don’t have insurance, ask the dentist if they’d work out a plan for you. It can be affordable. Get your teeth cleaned and whitened (you can whiten cheaply using a drugstore product). Fix your hair. A new do, a trim, perhaps color? Trim those nose hairs, chin hairs, ear hairs, and eyebrows! Buy a trimmer!!
NOW you should be ready to rock n roll!