In 2016, according to research by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, almost a third of the U.S. population was 55 or older.
What’s more, according to the Pew Research Center, divorce rates for those over 50 has doubled over the past 25 years.
This means, therefore, that there are many over 50 who are looking to get back into dating. But, what is dating like for those over 50? Read on to find out about being in the dating game aged 50+.
The dating rules of days of old are now considered to be rather outdated. Ladies, you don’t need to wait for a man to make all the moves!
Nowadays, nobody has to sit in the backseat in the dating game. After all, we’re talking about your love life. Take the bull by the horns – send that first message, ask that person out on a first date, and be the instigator of that first kiss.
It doesn’t matter who does all these thing anymore! If you feel the time’s right and you’re confident, go for it. Your date, or potential date, will probably be flattered as well as relieved that they don’t have to make the first move!
Online and Mobile Phones
If you’re back in the saddle after many years of not dating, the dating game really has changed.
It’s less than a decade since smartphones really became mainstream and so online dating and dating through mobiles might not have been as ubiquitous back when you lasted dated.
Don’t be put off by new technology, in many ways, dating is so much easier since the beginning of the digital age!
So, join those dating sites, get used to using apps, and you’ll have a whole heap of fun on the way.
Where to meet over 50 singles
The great thing about being over 50 and single is that there are lots of people in the same position – you just need to find them. Regardless if you choose to use sites like match.com or silversingles.com you can still find single over-50s everywhere.
Here are some ideas on places to go:
Go for the quieter bars where a conversation can be had. Don’t be put off by large groups on night’s out.
Some of the best relationships have started this way! Not sure if someone’s single?
Be brave and just strike up a conversation, they’ll soon tell you if they’re taken, and if they are, they’ll still be really flattered that you were interested in them.
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2. New Hobbies
If chatting up someone in a bar really isn’t your scene, how about trying a new hobby? Lots of single people do the same.
Being newly single often gives people a new lease of life. The hobbies that they might have had with their ex perhaps no longer seem appealing and so they look for new ones. If you’re not sure what to try, have a look online for classes you could join.
Dancing is really popular! Whether it’s salsa, or Latin and ballroom, dancing gives you a great opportunity to meet new friends and potential dates.
Don’t fancy dancing? How about a book club, or bowls club? There are also websites like meetup.com that allow you to connect for social activities anywhere in the world.
Singles often have more time for exercising and the recently single population often flock to the gym after a break up in order to gain a new lease of life and get back into the dating game.
Whether you join a gym or an exercise class, you’re bound to meet some over-50s singles.
If you’re looking to meet someone who is like-minded, volunteering is a really great place to start. There are hundreds of people who volunteer in all sorts of places.
It really takes a special someone to volunteer and give up their time for free and so you’re likely to meet really lovely people this way.
5. Online Dating
6. Solo Vacations
If you’re single, it’s often not very easy to find someone who wants to go on vacation with you. Solo vacations are really great and often full of people who are also single!
This is a great way to combine taking a vacation with the dating. You may want to consider a cruise for 50+ singles. Don’t go with any expectations and you’re likely to have a really great time!
Tips on Your First Date
If you’ve exchanged messages online and are ready to meet in person, you might be worrying about how the first date will go.
It can be quite nerve-wracking after all this time and even the most confident among us, might find the prospect of meeting up quite daunting.
Just remember, your date is likely to be nervous too.
What Should I Wear?
This depends on the location but a safe bet is to dress somewhere between casual and dressy.
For the ladies, you might want to put on a pair of heels, if you find them comfortable.
For the men, you can’t beat a smart shirt with an open collar and a pair of smart jeans. The most important thing is to make sure you feel good and comfortable in your outfit.
Will we live up to our online photos?
When you date online, the photos you choose are obviously ones that show your best side! If can be a bit unnerving to go on a first date and hope that the other person finds you attractive!
Make sure that you include photos that are recent and not from 10 years ago when you weighed 20 lbs less than you do now!
If your date looks nothing like their picture, realize that this just probably means that they are insecure about their looks.
Don’t make a mistake and dismiss them because they’ve chosen pictures that aren’t really reflective of what they look like.
Advantages of being in the dating game over 50
There are tons of advantages to dating when you’re over 50. Let’s look at a few of them:
1. You Know What You Want
You’ve lived half a century on this earth and so you most likely know what you want. This means that dating when you’re over 50 is much easier! As soon as you meet a match there won’t be any needless games or drama about not knowing what it is you want out of the relationship.
2. You’ve Got More Time
Even if you had children late, by the time you’re 50 your children are much more grown up and any that are still living with you are probably fine to be left home alone!
This means that you’re free to go out without worrying about babysitters and childcare.
3. You’ve Got More Money
Ok, so we’re talking averages here. While you might not be rolling in cash, the chances are you’re more financially secure than you were when you started dating in your late teens and early twenties.
You might have a home, a car, and a secure job. You might even be retired!
4. Less Perfection
By the time you’re 50, you understand that nobody is perfect and that everyone has flaws and imperfections. This makes dating so much more fun!
You don’t need to worry so much about what any potential dates think, over-50s are the most accepting of all age groups.
Disadvantages of Dating Over 50
You’re obviously reading this article because you’re keen to get into the dating game, so you shouldn’t be put off by any disadvantages there might be. The pros of dating over 50 by far outweigh the cons.
Here are some things you might want to be mindful of, however:
You’re going to find your partner will have had previous relationships. Those previous relationships have obviously ended, however, so try not to show any jealousy there.
If you get into a serious relationship and end up meeting your partner’s family, be prepared to just be yourself.
Adjusting to a new partner in a family should be an easy thing, but it’s just common sense that families are all different and some might find it harder than others to accept a new partner.
This is especially true if the previous partner was a long-standing member of their family.
Whether grown up or still young, it is likely that any new partner over 50 has children.
When it comes to dating people with children, you’ve got to accept that they come as a package.
If they’re older, it’s quite likely they will be more accepting and even very happy that their mom or dad has found a partner. Teens are probably the trickiest age group to be introduced to, but that doesn’t mean your relationship with them is going to be all doom and gloom!
It may just take more effort and time to build a relationship with that age group.
Homes – Where to Live
It’s possible that you both have homes that you’re quite happy living in.
Unlike younger couples who choose their first place together, having a relationship when you’re older can be more complicated because of things like homes.
It could mean you or your partner having to compromise if you want your relationship to go to the next level.
How to deal with possible “baggage”
Keeping communication open is the key to success in any relationship. If you and your partner have ‘baggage’ be it emotional or physical, then you’re going to need to be good communicators.
Being open and honest will help you as you work your way through the initial forging stages of your relationship.
You’ve both got to learn to be accepting of any baggage and work as a team.
Complicated Situations – Being Widowed
If you’re dating after the death of a partner, it can be a pretty scary time.
You might find that your family and friends can’t accept that you’re dating again. The truth is, there will never be a right time to begin dating again.
You’ve got to consider what is right for you. If you’re ready to find love again, then your friends and family will hopefully support you.
Equally, it can be quite difficult to date someone who has lost their partner this way. Their friends and family might find it hard to accept you.
All you can do is be there for your partner and take things as slowly as they want. They need to be in the driving seat in this type of relationship.
Things to consider
1. Don’t Worry About Age
Cliché or not, age is just a number. No matter what your age, if you want to date, date! As long as you’re happy, what’s stopping you?
If you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable getting back into dating again, just remember that it’s likely that you felt this way all of those years ago for one reason or another! Whenever you’re chatting with a potential date or are on a first date, just remember to be yourself!
2. They’re Too Good to be True
Unfortunately, there are some people out there who date when they’re already in a relationship because they’re bored or stuck in a rut.
Don’t go out on first dates worried that this is always the case though because it’s likely not to be. If in doubt, why not arrange to meet in a public place close to their home.
If they’re in a relationship already, they won’t want to do this through fear of getting caught!
3. Tips for beginning a relationship over 50
How do you progress from that first date? If it goes really well, then both of you will probably want to repeat it. Just let things happen naturally but have a little bit of confidence.
If, towards the end of the date, you feel it’s gone well but your date hasn’t asked you for a second date, don’t be disheartened – it could be that they’re not very confident and are waiting for you to suggest a second date.
Just take things slowly and let them evolve naturally.
4. Take Your Time
There’s no rush when it comes to dating in your 50s. You don’t have to worry about the ticking of your biological clock or anything like that.
You’re probably not new to relationships, even so, it might take a while before you’re ready to take things to the next level and that’s totally fine!
Overall, you need to remember that you don’t have to rush to meet anybody. It is much better to wait for somebody you truly connect with than to attempt to force a relationship when it’s not really working for you.
5. Be Upfront
Don’t worry about dating conventions you may have heard about, the over-50s typically don’t play games. Don’t worry about seeming too assertive by texting immediately.
Be yourself and be true to yourself.
If you want to tell them you love them after a few weeks, do it. The average person waits a couple months before saying I love you, but do it whenever you feel it is right.
They might not be ready to say it back, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually.
If you’re dating online and only want a serious relationship, make sure you mention it in your profile or messages. People use dating sites for lots of different reasons and some people just want to hook up.
Finally, if you’re not really interested in someone, don’t just keep messaging them or seeing them to avoid hurting their feelings. The chances are, you won’t be won over by them so do the decent thing and end it as soon as you know you’re not interested in taking it further.
You can let them down gently and they will appreciate the honesty.
One Final Note
Whether you’re coming out of a long term relationship, have been single for a while, or are simply wanting to try online dating for the first time, dating over 50 is great!
Dating over 50 is certainly fun and that’s what you should bear in mind when you enter the over-50s dating game. If for whatever reason, you’re not enjoying it and not finding it fun, take a step back and see where you’re going wrong.
If you’re hesitating about dating, remember this: if it works out, you’ll have loads of fun with someone new, if it doesn’t work out, you’ll have loads of fun in the process!
Sometimes dating over 50 leads to friendships when romance fails. People are less into breaking hearts in this age group, it’s all about the fun!
Finally, be open minded. It can be fun to date people that you wouldn’t consider to be your “type”. If the last time you dated was a while ago, you might actually have a different “type”. Have fun, and the rest will take care of itself!