Older adults date better! Yes you'll still have sweaty palms and your heart might skip a beat, but who doesn't want a chance at that?
The reason seniors date better? With maturity comes patience, self-awareness and better quality dates. You know what you're looking for - and what you're not.
This dating guide is meant to help you make your dating experience fun and safe. Dating at this stage of your life can be exciting, challenging and exhilarating. So set your nerves aside and put yourself out there!
Table of Contents
1. What To Expect On Your First Date
2. How To Meet The Right Person
3. Where To Meet On A First Date
4. Making A Good First Impression
5. Dating Do's
6. Dating Dont's
7. How To Have Sex For The First Time (Again!)
8. Only The Paranoid Survive
What To Expect On Your First Date
1. Expect some nerves!
Remember how you felt when you were 15 and you went on a first date? Self-conscious, pit in your stomach, sweaty palms, heart in your throat - you'll have all of that again. Except now you'll be able to laugh it off with a lot more self-confidence. So don't panic, expect some nerves and embrace the excitement.
2. Expect to be patient
Finding the right person can take time. You could experience everything from attraction and boredom to excitement and disappointment on your first dates. Lust to revulsion. The most important thing is to be open and honest with your date and yourself. With a lifetime of experience learning about your own likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, take it slow and trust your gut.
3. Expect respect
You may not get it all the time, but you should expect it every time. If your date is dismissive, belittling or otherwise not interested in you, your interests or your accomplishments get out while you can. With people generally being on their best behavior on their first date, it likely won't get any better.
4. Expect fun
If you're only goal is to end up with a long term companion, dating can end up being a chore. But if you go in with the attitude that you're going to explore new relationships and have the opportunity to meet new people, engage in new conversations, experience new activities and learn new things dating can be fun and stimulating. Try not to get laser focused on the end result. Focus more on enjoying the process.
How To Meet The Right Person
1. Blast from the past
Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to look-up and casually say hi to old high school, college and work friends you may have liked spending time with. Having known someone puts you way ahead of the game. Nothing wrong with a virtual flirt with men or women from your past! You'll quickly learn if they're single, divorced, widowed or married.
2. Friends & Family
Ask your friends and family to keep and eye out for you. The advantage of friends and family is that they know you and presumably the person their setting you up with. Meeting people from the same circle, whether it be cultural, religious or education level dramatically increases the probability of long term success.
3. Get physical
If you like to work out, a great place to meet new people is at the gym, yoga or swimming pool. It comes with a few advantages. First, you'll meet someone with a like minded interest as you, and a healthy one at that. Second, the search itself will get you in shape -a little weak, but worth mentioning. The downside, if you date someone and it doesn't work out, you may have to find a new place to work out!
4. Birds of the same feather flock together
Do what you love. Love Jazz music? Go to a Jazz bar with some friends and chat up a few folks. Love books? Go to the library or bookstore and talk up the man or woman next to you. Catch the next museum exhibit that strikes a chord, who knows who'll be standing next to you. The point is, get active, put yourself out there and do the things you love to do. It's a great way to surround yourself with people who share the same interests as you.
5. Try online dating
If making the first move or meeting people face to face makes you a litTle uncomfortable, online dating may be the perfect opportunity for you. There are all types of senior dating sites nowadays from those that specialize in religious, ethnic, interest, age, and lifestyle to generalized sites that cast a super wide net. Whether it be Christianmingle, Farmersonly or Bumble, online dating sites can be a great way to meet and qualify people before you spend face to face time with them.
6. If the shoe doesn't fit...
The world's a big place. The dating pool is bigger than ever. If there's no connection, or if your feelings aren't reciprocated, move on! Forget about it! There's no sense in spending any time on someone who doesn't share your enthusiasm. No ones perfect, but there's no sense in fitting a square peg in a round hole either!
Where to Meet On A First Date
1. Go public
If you're going on a date with someone you've never met before, meet in a public setting. If things go well, there will be plenty of time to go for evening walks, catch a Netflix episode or go for a ride on a boat. Intentions may be honest, but at this stage of the game you have to think of your own safety first.
2. Quick escape route
Not every date will be a success. In fact, you may want to bail pretty quickly if it's obvious there's no chemistry, or worse the experience is just downright offensive. Instead of committing yourself to a 4 course dinner, coffee or drinks may do the trick. If the other person is rude or insulting, there's no social convention stopping you from calling the date short - that type of behavior is not owed your time or patience.
3. Acoustics matter
If you want to avoid a lot of head nodding with little understanding, scrap an environment with lots of background noise and loud music. Our hearing doesn't get any better with age. That doesn't mean you still can't find a warm, romantic place with a good vibe. But saying "what" all the time, is a sure way to make conversation harder than it has to be.
Making A Good First Impression
1. Have fun, keep it light
At this stage of the game, we all have baggage - divorce, loss, illness, etc... - it's a first date, keep it light. Keep it fun and you'll be good company. Get too personal too quickly and it could be seen as too nosy, too soon - a sure turn off.
2. Avoid the word "i"
Even if you're asked about yourself, don't forget to pay attention to your date. You should have learned something about your dates interests and personality by the end of the date. It's not a job interview, so no need to pump yourself up. It's a conversation, which is meant to be shared.
Don't let your nerves get in the way of your smile and be complimentary - flattery loosens people up. Be authentic, be honest, but make the conversation easy by giving off a warm vibe.
1. Browse before you buy
Don't lock into one person until you've given yourself a choice. Dating sites and apps give you the opportunity to date multiple people at once. It's no longer taboo. It's just important that everyone be up front and honest about dating other people - especially if asked, or if exclusivity is implied.
2. Make the first move If you want to
If you want to ask someone out, go for it. There's no longer any stigma attached to women asking men out.
3. Have sex whenever you're ready
There's no rules around sex at this stage of the game. There's no minimum number of dates or days you have to wait before jumping between the sheets. If you're ready, go for it. You're not saving yourself for anyone. Sexual compatibility is a significant component to finding the right partner.
4. Reach out if you want to
If you want to call, text, email or message someone after your date, by all means do so. Women don't have to wait for men and no one has to wait "3 days" to say you had a nice time and would love to see them again. If it feels right, do what you're comfortable with.
5. Trust your gut
Hopefully at this point in your life you know what you're looking for and what you're not. Trust your gut, it's built on years of unconscious experience. If someone makes you feel awkward or insecure while you're dating, chances are it won't get any better with time.
6. Be honest & sincere
This doesn't mean you have to share your PIN number ot details about your net worth. Just be honest with yourself and your date. This is your chance to have someone like you for who you are, not who you pretend to be.
7. Focus on friendships
As we said above, dating can be a fabulous way to meet really interesting people and do some things you never thought you'd do. Don't get so focused on finding a "mate" so to speak. Treat dating as an opportunity to meet new friends. Perhaps one of those friends may turn into a romance.
1. Don't overwhelm people on social media
In the world of social media, there's very little privacy any longer. That doesn't mean people want you to shadow them on all of their social networks. Moreover, if you text someone and they don't get back to you, don't message them on Facebook, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. Give them some space and respect their privacy. You don't want to come across as suffocating, or worse - a stalker!
2. Don't expect exclusivity right away
In a world of Bumble and Tinder people can schedule 3 dates in a weekend. The search is on until both of you have explicitly talked about exclusivity. Don't be insulted if the person your dating still has a profile up and you took yours down. Be open, honest and talk about it. If you're not comfortable with the outcome of your conversation, move on.
3. Don't bond over your baggage
Once you're past 50, you have baggage. Everyone does. But don't bond over ex-wives, dead spouses or illness. Dating is a fresh start. It's a new beginning. Just like you don't spend spring talking about how cold and miserable the winter was, you talk about how beautiful the sun, flowers and fragrance in the air is.
4. Don't have sex if you're not ready
If you haven't had sex with another person in a long time, the first time can be a little nerve racking. Don't do it until you're ready. That could be right away, weeks or months. Go with a pace you're comfortable with and if you think it's becoming an issue, discuss expectations with the person your dating.
How To Have Sex For The First Time (Again)!
1. Play it safe
Believe it or not seniors have some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the country. Seniors tend not to use protection. Don't make the same mistake. Use condoms until you and your partner gets tested and share the results with each other.
2. Make friends before you make love
If you're dating for the first time, and you're a little anxious about having sex with a new person for the first time in a long time, make friends first. That way it will be easier to share each other's insecurities, sexual preferences, kinks and turn-offs with less embarrassment.
3. You can still have sex if things don't work like they used to
It may take some men a little longer to get and erection and women may have trouble with lubrication. None of it is insurmountable. Patience or Viagra may be all men need, and some lubrication may be all that's required for women to have pain free sex. A change of position may be all that's needed for body parts that won't bend or support the way they used. Don't give up - get creative.
Yes, gravity becomes an issue as we age. But so what. Everyone's body changes as they get older - men and women. Your companion knows you're not a spring chicken anymore - they're not expecting one.
Only The Paranoid Survive
1. Reverse engineer images
Use reverse image tools like TinEye and Google Images to identify pictures shared with you. Drag and drop the image file into the search bar and presto, you'll see where else that image has been used! If the names associated with the images shared don't match the name you were given, get answers or run for the hills. Sites like Scamalytics keep a database of images used by scammers. Other sites like Romance Scams keep a list of email addresses associated with dating scams.
2. Check backgrounds
A little online digging can go a long way. Do a search of your date's name on Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. See if what they've told you regarding their job, location, marital status and family matches their online profile.
3. Do not send money
Rarely does it ever make sense for a stranger you've never met, or even someone you've just started dating face to face, to ask for money. The request may be come after months of intense, romantic correspondence, even face to face meetings. Don't do it. They may say some disaster has truck, their's no time to discuss, or they want to come and visit. It will all sound believable in the moment. But rarely do normal people ask strangers for money. Once it's sent, it's almost impossible to get back.