Once you’re over 50, finding yourself back in the dating game can be daunting. There’s the anxiety of meeting new people, the awkwardness of being set-up, and a whole new realm of technological connections to be made. Dating now is just as overwhelming as it was back then, and though many things have changed, the general approach is much the same.
You may be single due to a divorce, or you may find yourself having lost a loved one, or perhaps you are still searching for the right person. Whatever the reason, you are datable. Losing a loved one to death or divorce is difficult, and moving past this and allowing yourself to love again is key. Maybe you don’t want romance, maybe you just want companionship. Maybe you want someone to hold hands with, to have fun, to experience the ‘firsts’ associated with relationships anew. The reason does not matter – dating is for everyone and every background.
Get Reacquainted with Yourself First!
The first thing to do when you begin dating again is to debunk taboo. Society likes to approach dating as a young person’s pastime, but this is simply not the case. You do not get only one chance at love, and those chances are found throughout your lifetime – not just during your 20s and 30s. A hugely important thing to consider is that you are not the same as you were when you started dating.
Fortunately, we are not in the teenage stage of relationships. This is a fantastic thing, and it allows us to see new and exciting opportunities when it comes to enjoying life and love. Perhaps the most difficult part about dating over 50 is actually stepping out and doing it. Many of us have been in long-standing relationships that have ended for one reason or another. Humans are not designed to be alone, and there is nothing wrong with seeking companionship, affection, and even romance. Age has no effect on these needs and no influence on how we should approach meeting them. It just so happens that the approach can be awkward – especially if you have not done it in a great many years.
So where to begin? Modern life has made a tangled web of love and finding the first thread is crucial to the pursuit of meaningful relationships. Step one, regardless of whether you are 25 or 65, should be dating yourself. That’s right – date yourself. Fall in love with the person you have matured into and find pleasure in your time alone.
There is no rush to find another person if you have not discovered the person you are to yourself. Take the time to meet yourself again; go to dinner, see a movie, have a coffee, go shopping, and do all of these things alone. Take a little bit of time out. This will not only help you realise who you are as a date but also allows you to see what you want from your dating life. Become reacquainted with who you are.
Next, and probably the hardest step, is don’t be picky. People get picky when they want perfection, but such a thing does not exist. Just as you should embrace your flaws, it is important to embrace those of a potential partner. If you cannot do this, Celebrating you may find that you will not be able to connect with any of your dates.
Triangle of Affection
Focusing on looks and cars is not as important as focusing on the feeling you have when you are with a new person. Of course, physical attraction is part of forming a romantic relationship, but so is the emotional and psychological attraction. These three things form what is referred to as a triangle of affection; a foundation upon which successful relationships are built. If your triangle only has one side, then it is bound to collapse. Leading from this is getting past the limitations of stigma.
The first stigma you will likely face is that you should not date over 50, that dating is a pastime for the young. This is simply not true. You do not age out of love, and your love life is no less important as you grow older. Stigma two associates itself with the stereotypes you hold, such as men only wanting sex or women only pursuing money. Date for the pursuit of meaningful relationships and say that this is what you are doing. This will help you avoid those who confirm your stereotypes and assist you in meeting those who break them.
Make Technology your Friend
Technology can be your friend. Dating online used to be seen as quite a dangerous activity, but the modern world has allowed for safer relationships and more dynamic partners. You can cast the net wide, meeting people from all over the world through the World Wide Web. This may seem frightening at first, but it is how many successful relationships have started. Online dating is a thing now, and it helps fulfil a need for communication and care.
Simply be safe and never send money to someone you have never met, or give out your address. The rules of online dating are to meet the person in a public place first, and then let the rest go from there. Staying safe is easy, and setting up a dating account is just as simple. If you’re looking for companionship, love, or fun, then dating is still for you. Being ‘mature’ has no influence on whether or not you are ‘qualified’ to brave the world of dating once more. You have lived, and a great part of life is love. So go forth, forget the stigma, be brave, and be happy.