7 Tips To Successfully Navigate Mid-Life Dating
While most people don’t necessarily expect to find themselves re-entering the dating scene later in life, in today’s world it isn’t an uncommon situation. In fact, recent research indicates that singles in the United States now outnumber married couples.
Whether you’re just coming out of a divorce or a long-term relationship, or it’s just been a while since you’ve put yourself out there, it might feel a bit overwhelming to think about dipping your pinky toe back into the dating pool.
Here are seven tips to help you successfully traverse mid-life dating.
Choose the Online Site that Works for You
Once upon a time, the standard and acceptable ways of meeting someone new included set-ups through friends or by happenstance at a store or bar. Fast forward to the present day, and online dating is not only acceptable, it’s also one of the primary ways modern couples meet.
When it comes to dating websites, there are a myriad of options available. It really just depends on what you’re looking for in regards to what might be the best site for you. Match.com and eHarmony are considered more “traditional” and tend to attract people looking for a real connection, as opposed to some sites that are more casual.
Join Singles Groups
If you’re still leery about online dating, there are also plenty of singles groups out there where you can meet people in real time and scope out potential dates. Groups such as Meetup.com get like-minded solo people together for hikes or other outings, and are usually a mix of all ages with no expectations aside from meeting new and interesting people with shared interests.
Other avenues include singles cruises (there are several for those over 50) or activities like dance classes, yoga or cooking classes, all of which can be a fun way to meet people.
You don’t have to sport the latest runway looks, but if you’re going to get back into the world of dating, you’ll need to up your game a bit. Get a good cut and color, men please trim that beard, get a manicure (Guys, too! Yes, men get manicures!) and make sure you look your best.
Many stores offer personal shoppers free of charge, and if you haven’t bought yourself clothes any more recently than you’ve dated, it can be a great way to check out some new looks. As the saying goes, when you look good, you feel good, and feeling good breeds confidence.
Meet for Coffee First
Coffee is a great first date because you can exit fairly quickly if it’s not going well, or linger over that latte for hours if you’re feeling a connection. A casual meeting at your favorite Starbucks is a more comfortable way to ease into that first date, without any of the stress or expense of a formal dinner.
Plus, when you go the online dating route, being somewhat cautious about sharing personal information such as your home address is a good rule of thumb for women and men alike.
If you’re not a texter, it’s time to learn how to be one. Texting is the main form of communication for a huge portion of the population these days, and unless you want to be seen as a dinosaur, it’s time to get with the program. It’s totally acceptable to get to know someone better via text, and it can actually be a fun and low risk way to chat.
Keep in mind, however, tone and context can sometimes get misconstrued when you aren’t face-to-face, so take a minute to think about what you’re saying before you hit send.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Whether you’re scoping out online dating, joining up with singles groups or just happen to meet someone interesting at the grocery store, it is okay to say “no, thanks” if things aren’t going well.
One of the best things about dating at this time of life is being comfortable with what you want, and not wasting time on relationships that require more compromise than you’re willing to give.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say Yes
While knowing what you want is a great part of dating later in life, being open to new things can also be an amazing experience. If you’ve never been hiking and someone invites you to go, why not try it?
Or if you meet someone who might not tick all the boxes in what you’re looking for, but still sparks an interest, give yourself a chance to get to know them a bit.
As much as dating later in life can seem daunting, get out there and give it a chance. You might be surprised at just how much fun it can be!