The idea of finding a new relationship when you’re over 50 is a scary thought for many of us, especially if you’ve recently lost a spouse through death or divorce, or if you’ve been out of action for a long time. As Baby Boomers, we grew up before online dating existed and did things the old-fashioned way like meeting a guy at the malt shop or at the beach. It’s easy to understand why you may be terrified of meeting a stranger on an online dating site.
Get over it!
Online dating is the way to go these days and there are plenty of legitimate and safe sites you can use. That’s not to say you still won’t meet someone naturally. It could happen but let’s face it, “You have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet a Prince.” What’s cool is that there are dating sites that focus on older people like tinderforseniors.com, Seniormatch.com, and OurTime.com.
I recommend that you keep your dating site profile as honest as possible. Don’t exaggerate or make yourself out to be someone you’re not. If it works, it works. If not, don’t sweat it. And, although we’re all getting older, there’s really no hurry. Enjoy the process. Who knows? If you don’t find a relationship right away you may meet your new best friend!
Don’t post a picture of yourself that’s 20-years old or that’s been photoshopped to take out all your wrinkles or saggy jowls. You are who you are and if you honestly want “true love” they’re going to have to accept the real deal, varicose veins and all. Believe it or not, there are suitors out there who don’t care if you’re overweight or had a total mastectomy.
Take your time to get to know someone
We all have baggage from the past and even though you don’t want to spew all your troubles on a first date, it’s going to come out eventually. Get it out of the way and be upfront about it.
Learn more about your date’s background. Look for signs of past or present alcohol or drug abuse, domestic violence, financial trouble, etc. It’s easy to become hypnotized by someone’s charms and get swept off your feet.
If you’re unsure about safety, start with a short coffee or lunch date to get an initial impression. Then, you can move on to longer interludes. That way if your date is a dud, you can get out fast without having to endure an entire evening.
Expand your expectations
Age is only a number, right? Men hook up with younger women all the time. Women can do that too. Be open to either a younger or an older date.
What about sex?
In the 70s, we may have jumped in bed on a first date without thinking about it, but now that we’re older that may not be the case.
Now that you’re older there’s no reason to be impulsive when you’re in a new relationship. But, if you feel like taking the plunge, make sure you use protection. Baby Boomers have a high risk of contracting STDs because they’re no longer worried about getting pregnant.
The old-fashioned way to find a new relationship still works
There are still plenty of ways to find a new relationship offline. The trick is, you have to put yourself in a social situation so why not get involved with activities you enjoy? A friend of mine, who is not skinny as a rail, had great luck when she moved into an over 55 community and got involved with some of the community’s performing groups and clubs. She met a “boyfriend” who is perfect for her and is now engaged to be married.
However, if you’re happy in your home and aren’t planning to move into a retirement village, you can also meet people on Meetups, neighborhood involvement, volunteering, bridge clubs, gyms, travel, hiking, political groups and other areas of interest. But caution: I don’t recommend hanging out at bars unless you want Otis as your next mate.
Just get yourself out of your house and out with other people. Chances you’ll have a fling with the mailman or plumber are about as good as winning the lottery.
Have you had good experiences dating over 50? Are you thinking about taking the plunge? Please leave a comment below.