Dating over 50
Whether you’re heading back into the dating pool after a loss or a breakup, or simply want to meet some new people, getting back into dating is a big step. Where do you even start? Do people still go to bars to meet people anymore? Should you call your old high school flame? Maybe sign up for a dating app? Ask your friend if her boss is still single? Approach the owner of your favourite cafe you always thought was kind of charismatic? And once you do start dating, what should you expect? So many questions…and here are all the answers!
5 golden rules for dating over 50
Knowing what you want is the first step to success when it comes to dating. Whether you’re looking for a serious relationship and a new life partner, or a companionship to have fun with on weekends, there’s always fish in the sea looking for the same.
Use your experience
You know it just like we do: being 50 or older is a sweet spot to be in – also for dating! Your experience in life taught you how to make better decisions than a teenager blindly in love, but without having to compromise on catching the butterflies for someone who is on the same wavelength as you.
Be truthful about who you are, what you’re looking for, and your lifestyle. Don’t pretend you love hiking if you don’t – you’ll end up 10km into a circuit before you can say “actually I prefer reading by the pool”!
Follow your gut
Your instincts always know when something seems off – or when something seems right! Follow that feeling to make sure you’re not ignoring red flags, or missing out on something great.
Have fun If you’re not enjoying it, if it doesn’t make you feel good, or it’s feeling like a chore, then remember that you don’t have to date. You’re a full, interesting person on your own, you don’t need a partner. Dating should be fun!
Where to start your search for love
Unsure if you want to try online dating or if you’re keen to meet someone in real life? Let us help you narrow it down!
App-ily ever after
Whether you’re a seasoned dating expert, or you haven’t had to think about it since Cyndi Lauper topped the charts, there’s no denying that things on the dating scene have changed dramatically in recent years. While dating apps may have a reputation as something for 20-somethings seeking quick, casual flings, the truth is that the market is full of options for people looking for, well, basically anything. From apps specifically designed for over 50’s singles, to apps with Nobel Prize winning algorithms to help you find your match, or even apps for people specifically looking for other gym junkies and green smoothie enthusiasts, and yes, apps for those of us who are actually looking for something quick and casual; online dating has something for everyone. With 55% of dating app users now being over 50, this is the perfect time to dip a toe into the online dating pool.
Quick tips and tricks for online dating:
- Use recent pictures: Make sure your photos are clear and current. We know you looked amazing in 1993, but you look just as great now, so choose to use a recent, clear photo so people know who they’re talking to.
- Fill out your profile: Your profile is your first impression - so make it count! Give people an easy way to start a conversation with you. Careful though: be safe and never share any private information about you like your bank account numbers, passwords, home address or workplace.
- Use your search filters: Most apps have a way of letting you narrow down who you see and speak to. Adjust your age range so you’re not scrolling through 18 year olds, and control your location settings so you don’t accidentally match with someone living hours away from you.
- Know how to spot a catfish: If someone seems too good to be true – they might be. A catfish is someone who is pretending to be someone they’re not on dating sites. This can go from heavily photoshopping or editing their own pictures, to straight up using pictures of someone else. If their pictures seem a little too professional looking, they might be using a strangers modelling shots.
- Respond regularly: No one likes starting a conversation with someone and not hearing back for a week. Keep an eye on your apps or online profile to keep conversations, and the spark, alive.
- Don’t get financially involved: If someone starts asking you to send money; instant unmatch.
- Meet somewhere public: If you do choose to go on a date with someone, meet somewhere public first. It’s safer for all parties, and will keep the stakes low and the fun high. Also let a friend know about the location and when you meet up for an extra backup.
- It may take a few apps: Sometimes the first app you try isn’t a perfect fit for you. Don’t give up - just download another one and see if it’s more your style.
Finding your person in person
There are lots of ways you could meet someone in person rather than through online dating.
- Through your friends: Your existing network can be a great place to meet people. You’ve surrounded yourself with friends and loved ones who share your values, have the same sense of humour as you, and who have similar passions. This means there’s a pretty good chance they know someone who knows someone who is potentially a great match for you! Maybe it’s time to subtly let your friends know you’re single and ready to mingle…particularly with their friend that you met at their birthday last year…you know the one.
- Through your hobbies: Nothing says ‘blossoming romance’ quite like sweating it out on the pickleball court, bonding over a billiards game, or laughing together at your first attempt at Life Drawing. Meeting through shared interests means the ice is already broken, and gives you a strong starting point for a connection. Picking up new hobbies in retirement will naturally lead you to expand your social circle, opening up new opportunities to meet people.
- Through a Lifestyle Community: Your neighbourhood is the perfect place to find a kindred spirit; after all, you’ve clearly both got good taste in real estate! Enjoy your holiday romance with no end; have a meet-cute in the library as your hands brush reaching for the same book, or accidentally bump inflatable lilos as you float away the day in the pool, or lock eyes across the Clubhouse and feel time stop.
We’ll meet event-ually
Wishing there was a sweet spot between online dating, flirting with your friend's neighbour, and having to join a bird watching group? Good news! There are events specifically designed for you to meet people. Give a mature singles speed dating session a go, so you skip the awkwardly long dinner and small talk and find out in 3 minutes or less if you feel a spark with someone! You could also join a singles meetup group, or attend a single mingle - which is just a fun way to say a party designed for singles - or go full luxury and jump on a singles cruise. Ahoy, potential mateys!
What to expect when dating over 50
Trying to figure out what the dating pool is thinking in this stage of life? Well, three quarters of them say they’re open to finding love, with 61% indicating they believe they’re better partners now than they were in their 20’s. If you’re a fan of juggling, 32% of singles over 50 have dated multiple people at one time, with 45% saying they’re open to a “friends with benefits” style relationship. The top 3 things older singles are looking for are good health, independant finances (thank you downsizer funds), and a positive outlook on life, with the most major deal breakers being smoking and pessimism. Even though 25% of over 50 singles aren't dating because they don't believe anyone is out there for them, and 22% just don't know where to begin, almost half of older singles agree that they still want to marry or remarry.
Our best advice is to start saying yes. Yes to trying new things, yes to dates, yes to your friends dinner party invites you keep dodging; you never know where and when you might meet someone great. If you’ve come out of a long term partnership, it can be easy to compare your old partner to your potential new ones. Try to avoid playing the comparison game - enjoy where you are now and choose to look forward.
Speaking of looking forward, if you’re ready for love at first site at a Lifestyle Community? Let us play matchmaker and find your perfect home match. We’d love to have a chat with you about the future we see with you.
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